Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Letters to a Frenchman on the Present Crisis — First Letter (1870)


[There are two manuscripts by Bakunin with titles very close to “Letters to a Frenchman on the Present Crisis,” written one after the other and overlapping in some places, but substantially different. The 12,000-word "Letters to a Frenchman on the Present Crisis" in the Dolgoff anthology is drawn from one of the later parts of a 54,000-word manuscript identified in the Collected Works collection with the title “Lettre à un Français.” A second manuscript, 10,000 words long, broken into separate letters, and identified as “Lettres à un Français sur la crise actuelle," followed. Here is the first letter from the second, shorter set of manuscripts, dated September 1,1870: ]

Letter to a Frenchman
____

My dear friend,
The latest events have placed France in such a position, that it can no longer be saved from a long and terrible slavery, from ruin, poverty, and annihilation, except by a rising en masse of the armed people.
Your principal army being destroyed, — and that is no longer in doubt today, — there remains to France only two outcomes: either to submit sheepishly, shamefully, to the insolent yoke of the Prussians, to bow beneath the staff of Bismarck and all his Pomeranian lieutenants; abandon Alsace and Lorraine, who do not want to be Germans, to the military despotism of the future emperor of Germany Alsace and Lorraine; to pay billions in damages, without counting the billions that this disastrous ware will have cost you; to accept from the hands of Bismarck a government, a crushing and ruinous public order, with the dynasty of the Orléans or the Bourbons, returning once more to France behind the foreign armies; to see itself, for a dozen or for twenty years, reduced to the miserable state of modern Italy, oppressed and contained by a viceroy who would administer France under the iron rule of Prussia, as Italy has thus far been administered under the iron rule of France; to accept, as a necessary consequence, the ruin of national commerce and industry, sacrificed to the commerce and industry of Germany; to see, in the end, the completion of the intellectual and moral decline of the whole nation...
Well, to avoid that ruin, that distraction, give the French people the means to save itself.
Well, my friend, I do not doubt that all the titled and well-heeled men of France, almost without exception, that the vast majority of the haute and moyenne bourgeoisie consent to this cowardly abandonment of France, rather than accept its salvation by a popular uprising. In fact, the popular uprising is the social revolution, it is the fall of privileged France. The fear of that revolution has cast them, for twenty years, under the dictatorship of Napoléon III, today it will cast them under the saber of Bismarck and under the constitutional and parliamentary rod of the Orléans. The liberty of the people causes them such a dreadful fear, that in order to avoid it they will accept any shame, consent to any cowardice, — even should these cowardices ruin them later, provided that they serve them now.
Yes, all official France, all bourgeois and privileged France conspire for the Orléans, and consequently conspire against the people. The generals of the empire, the commander of Paris, the left, agree in this treason. And the European powers see the thing approvingly. Why? Because knows well that if France tries to save itself by a formidable popular uprising, that would be the signal for the outburst of revolution in all of Europe.
Why then is the restoration of the Orléans still not an accomplished fact? Because the collective and obviously reactionary dictatorship of Paris finds itself at this moment inevitably powerless. Napoléon III and the empire have already fallen, but the whole imperial machine, legislative corps, senate, prefects, etc, continues to function; and they dare not change anything, because to change all that is to proclaim the revolution, and to proclaim the revolution is to provoke precisely what they wanted to avoid.

[Working translation by Shawn P. Wilbur]

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Report of the Commission on the Question of Inheritance (1869)


GENEVA, AUGUST 27
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Report of the Commission
ON THE QUESTION OF INHERITANCE
ADOPTED  BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
OF THE GENEVA SECTIONS

Citizens,

This question which will be discussed at the Congress de Basle is divided into two part, the first consisting of the principle, the second the practical application of the principle.
The question of the principle itself must be considered from two points of view: that of utility and that of justice.
From the point of view of the emancipation of labor, is it useful, is it necessary for the right of inheritance to be abolished?
To pose that question, is, we believe, to resolve it. Can the emancipation of labor signifier anything but its deliverance from the yoke of property and capital? But how to prevent both from dominating and exploiting labor, as long as they are separated from labor, they will be monopolized in the hands of a class which, by the fact of exclusive enjoyment, exempt from the necessity of working to live, will continue to exist and crush labor, by taking from them rent for the land and interest on capital, and who, supported by this position, still take hold, as they do everywhere today, of all the profits of the industrial and commercial enterprises, leaving to the workers, crushed by the competition that they are forced to make among themselves, only that which is strictly necessary to preserve them from hunger.
No political and juridical law, however strict it may be, could not prevent that domination and exploitation, no law could prevail against the force of things, none will be able to prevent a given position from producing all its natural results; from which it clearly results that as long as property and capital on one side and labor on the other, the one constituting the bourgeois class, and the other the proletariat, the worker will be the slave, and the bourgeois the master.
But what is it that separates property and capital from labor? What constitutes, economically and politically, the difference of the classes, what destroys equality and perpetuates inequality, the privilege of the minority and the slavery of the majority? It is the right of inheritance.
Must we show how the right of inheritance creates all economic, political and social privileges? It is obvious that the difference in classes is only maintained by it. Through the right of inheritance, natural as well as temporary differences in fortune or happiness that can exist between individuals and should disappear as the individuals themselves disappear, are perpetuated, petrified as it were, and becoming traditional, create privileges of birth, found classes and become a permanent source of the exploitation of millions of workers by thousands of men born fortunate.
As long as the right of inheritance functioned, we could not have economic, social and political equality in the world, and as long as the inequality exists, there will be oppression and exploitation.
Then, in principle, from the point of view of the integral emancipation of labor and the laborers, we should desire the abolition of the right of inheritance.
It is understood that we do not pretend to abolish physiological heredity or the natural transmission of the bodily and mental faculties, or to express ourselves more accurately, of the muscular and nervous faculties of parents to their children; often this transmission is an unfortunate fact, because it passes physical and moral maladies from past generations to the present generations. But the fatal effects of this transmission can only be combated by the application of science to social hygiene, both individual and collective, and by the rational and egalitarian organization of society.
What we want, what we should abolish, is the right of inheritance created by jurisprudence and constituting the very basis of the legal family and the State.
It is also understood that we do not intend to abolish sentimental inheritance. We mean by this the inheritance that passes into the hands of children or friends objects of slight value that belonged to their friends or their deceased parents, which by dint of having long served have preserved, as it were, a personal imprint. The serious legacy is one that provides the heirs, either completely or in part, the possibility of living without work, drawing on the collective work, whether the rent of the land or interest on capital. We mean that capital as well as the land, in short all the instruments and all the raw materials for labor, ceasing to be transmissible by the right of inheritance, become forever the collective ownership of all productive associations .
The equality and consequently also the emancipation of labor and the laborers are only at this price.
There are few workers who do not understand that in the future the abolition of the right of inheritance is the supreme condition of equality. But there are some who fear that if we are going to abolish it presently, before a social organization has assured the fate of all children, whatever the conditions in which they are born, they children will find themselves in distress after their deaths.
What!” they say, “I have amassed by the sweat of my brow, and by condemning myself to the cruelest privations, 200, 300 or 400 francs, and my children are to be deprived of it!”
Yes, they will be deprived of it, but on the other hand they will receive from society, without any prejudice to the natural right of the mother and father, a maintenance, education and instruction that you would not be able to assure them of with 30 or 40 thousand francs. For it is obvious that as soon as the right of inheritance is abolished, society must take charge of all the costs of the physical, moral and intellectual development of all the children of both sexes who are born within it. It must thus become their ultimate guardian.
We have stopped at this point, because it brings in the question of integral instruction about which another commission must make its report to you.
But there is another point that we should clarify.
Many claim that by abolishing the right of inheritance, we will destroy the greatest stimulus that drives men to labor. Those who think thus continue to consider work as a necessary evil, or to speak theologically, as the effect of the curse that Jehovah in his wrath launched against the unfortunate human race, and in which by a singular whim, he understood his whole creation.
Without enering into this serious theological discussion, taking as a basis the simple study of human nature, we will respond to these accusers of labor, the work being far from an evil or a hard necessity, is, for any man who is in possession of his faculties, a need. In order to make sure everyone can make an experiment on himself, let them be condemned for just a few days to absolute inaction, or else to sterile, stupid, unproductive labor, and see if in the end they do not consider themselvess the unhappiest and most debased of people! Man is forced by his very nature to work, as he is forced to eat, drink, think, and speak.
If labor is cursed today, it is because it is excessive, stultifying et forced; it is because it kills leisure and deprives men of the possibility of humanely enjoying life; it is because each, or almost every one is forced to apply his productive strength to the sort of work least suited to his natural dispositions. It is finally because in this society founded on theology and on jurisprudence, the possibility of living without working is considered as an honor and a privilege, and the necessity of laboring to live as a sign of degradation, as a punishment and a shame.
The day when labor—muscular and nervous labor, manual and intellectual, at the same time—will be considered the highest honor of men, as the sign of their virility and their humanity, society will be saved; but that day will not come as long as the reign of inequality endures, as long as the right of inheritance is not abolished.
Would that abolition be just?
But if it is in the interest of everyone, in the interest of the humanity of everyone, how could it be unjust?
We must distinguish between historical, political, and legal justice, and rational or just simply human justice. The first has governed the world to this hour, and has made of it a receptacle of bloody oppression and iniquity. The second must emancipate it.
So let us examine the right of inheritance from the point of view of human justice.
A man, we are told, has earned for his labor a few tens, a few hundred thousand francs, a million, and he would not have the right to leave them as an inheritance to his children! But that would be a violation of natural right, a sinful plundering!
First, it has been proven a thousand times that a lone worker cannot produce much beyond what they consume. We challenge a serious worker, that is to say a workman enjoying no privilege, to earn tens, hundreds of thousand francs, millions! That would be him simply impossible. So if there is in today's society some individuals who earn large sums, it is not by their work, it is thanks to their privilege, through a juridically legalized injustice, that they earn it; and as everything that they do not take by their own labor is necessarily taken from the labor of others, we have the right to say that all these gains are thefts committed by privileged individuals against the collective labor, with the sanction and under the protection of the State.
Let us move on.
The thief protected by law dies. He leaves, by testament or intestate, his land or capital to his children or relations. This, it is said, is a necessary consequence of his liberty and his individual rights; his wishes must be respected.
But a dead man is dead; outside of the entirely moral and sentimental existence made in the pious memories of his children, relatives or friends, if he has earned it, or public recognition, if he had rendered some real service to the public, he no longer exists at all; so he can have neither liberty, nor rights, nor individual will. Ghosts must not govern and oppress the world, which only belongs to the living.
To continue to wish and to act after his death, there must then be a legal fiction or political lie, and as he is henceforth incapable of acting by himself, some power, the State, must be responsible for acting for him and in his name, the State must execute the will of a man who, being no more, can have no will.
And what is the power of the State, if it is not the power of everyone organized to the detriment of everyone and in favor of the privileged classes? It is above all the production and collective force of the laborers. So must the laboring masses guarantee to the privileged classes the transmission of inheritances, which is the principal source of their poverty and slavery? Must they forge with their own hands the irons that bind them?
We conclude. It is enough that the proletariat declares that it no longer wants to sustain the State that sanctions its slavery, in order for the right of inheritance, which is exclusively political and legal, and as a consequence contrary to human rights, to fall on its own. To abolish the right of inheritance is enough to abolish the legal family and the State.
What is more, all social progress has proceeded by the successive abolitions of inheritance rights.
We first abolished the right of divine inheritance, the traditional privileges or chastisements that were long considered as the consequence of divine benediction or curse;
Then we abolished the right of political inheritance, the consequence of which was the recognition of the sovereignty of the people and the equality of citizens before the law;
Today we should abolish economic inheritance in order to emancipate the laborer, the man, and to establish the reign of justice on the ruins of all the political and theological iniquities of the present an past.
The last question that remains for us to resolve, is that of the practical measures to take in order to abolish the right of inheritance.
The abolition of the right of inheritance can be accomplished in two ways: either by means of successive reforms, or else by social revolution.
It could be accomplished by means of reform in those fortunate countries, very rare if not unknown, where the class of proprietors or capitalists, the bourgeois, being inspired by a spirit and wisdom that they lack today, and finally understanding the imminence of the social revolution, would come to terms, in a serious manner, with the world of the workers. In this case, but only in this case, the path of peaceful reforms would be possible; by a series of successive modifications, wisely combined and settled amiably between the laborers and the bourgeois, we could completely abolish the right of inheritance in twenty or thirty years, and replace the present mode of property, labor and instruction by collective labor and property, and by integral education or instruction.
It is impossible to determine more of the character of these reforms, since it would be necessary to adapt them to the particular situation in each country. But in all countries, the goal remains the same: the establishment of collective labor and property, and the liberty of each in the equality of all.
The method of revolution will naturally be shorter and more simple. Revolutions are never made by individual, nor by associations. They are brought about by the force of things. The International Association does not aim to make the revolution, but it must profit from it and organize on its behalf, as soon as it is made by the more and more obvious iniquity and ineptitude of the privileged classes.
It should be understood between us that on first day of the revolution, the right of inheritance will simply abolished, and with it the State and legal right, in order that on the ruins of all these iniquities will rise, across all political and national boundaries, the new international world, the world of labor, science, freedom and equality, organizing itself from the bottom up, by the free association of all the productive associations.
The Commission proposes to you the following resolutions:
Considering that the right of inheritance is one of the principal causes of the economic, social and political inequality which reigns in the world.
That apart from equality there can be neither liberty, nor justice, and there will always be oppression and exploitation; slavery and poverty for the proletariat, wealth and domination for the exploiters of the people’s labor;
The Congress recognized the necessity for the full and complete abolition of the right of inheritance.
That abolition will be accomplished, as events dictate, either by means of reforms, or by revolution.

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L'Egalité, August 28, 1869, Geneva

[working translation by Shawn P. Wilbur]

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pan-Slavism (1870)


PAN-SLAVISM

Pan-Slavism is the order of the day in our official and unofficial world. It is the dominant idea of the present reign. After having emancipated our peasants, as they say, after having given them liberty and happiness, our generous benefactor, Czar Alexander II, no longer has any thought today but that of going to deliver the Slavic people, our brothers, who still groan under the yoke of the Germans and the Turks.
They speak of nothing but this in the court at St. Petersburg, in the higher regions of the army and the bureaucracy. The salons of St. Petersburg and Moscow offer at this moment a spectacle that is as amusing as it is instructive. Some great ladies who ordinarily only speak French and who look down on the Russian language, because it is the language of our peasants; some pure-blooded Germans, in the service of the Emperor; men of state, generals, officers civil servants, who have only two ideas in their head, two sentiments in their heart: first to please the Emperor, and then to make their fortune and career, - all these people are now dying with love for our unfortunate brethren, the Slavic peoples. The marvelous discipline of a well-organized empire! The master has ordered it, and everyone is immediately animated by suitable inclinations and ideas.
We have had a memorable example of this enchanting staging of sentiments on command, during and after the Slavic Congress, held in 1867 in Moscow, when with the permission of their master, or to speak still more truthfully, when following an order they had received from their master, the more or less titled lackeys of the emperor of Russia offer a generous hospitality to the Slavic subjects of the emperor of Austria and the sultan of Turkey. The program of sentiments consistent with the political situation and officially imposed, was formulated, we know, with great care, by the minister of foreign affairs. The roles once divided up, each learned their own by heart, and recited it in a manner so natural and with such a great appearance of liberty, that our Slavic guests, who asked nothing better than to let themselves be fooled, were delighted with it.
It was a high comedy, where everyone played at the same time the role of spectator and actor. There were also naturally a good number of simpletons who took their roles seriously and believed in good faith that it was a question of Slavic emancipation. They lavished congratulations and sincere tears of joy, while the leaders gave the Judas kiss.
That Congress was a real saturnalia of slaves, an orgy of mutual hypocrisy and official lies. On the part of all the Russian members, it was an act of cynicism, and on the part of the Slavic members, a low deed; for the introduction and basis of this Congress was the massacre of a great Slavic nation, Poland; the enslavement of another Slavic nation, Little Russia; and finally the slavery in fact, which, under the name of emancipation, still weighs today on a third great Slavic people, the people of Great Russia.
And it was in the name of the Czar, organizer of all these massacres, cause and supreme aim of all this slavery, that the Russian slavophiles have promised, and that the Slavic delegates have announced to their fellow citizens, the resurrection and deliverance! Our Russian slavophiles, in large part civil servants or official agents of the Empire, and only in small part saps, have obviously acted in the interest of the Empire. But in what interest have the Slavic delegates, the Riegers, the Palackis, the Brauners, sought to mislead their populations?
We do not hesitate to speak of trickery, because the eminent men we have just named are too intelligent, too learned, too practical, too clever to let themselves be fooled. They know better than anyone what the Russian Empire is, and what the Slavic peoples can expect from it.
They see very well how this boa constrictor attempts to crush, in its immense entrails, the last vestiges of the nationality of the people, Slavic or non-Slavic, this it has swallowed. Profound experts on the history of the Slavic peoples, they know that nothing would have been so dire for them so far as the protection of the government of St. Petersburg, who, after having drawn from their agitation, fomented by himself, all the desired utility, has never failed to deliver them defenseless to the vengeance of their Turkish or German oppressors. In the end, they are political men too perceptive and too well informed to be ignorant that at this very hour when a crowd of countless agents of this government roam all the Slavic countries from Austria to Turkey, preaching holy war and announcing to all, in the name of the liberating Czar, the coming hour of common deliverance, that at that very hour, Russian diplomacy, which is too wise to dream of the impossible conquest of all the Slavic countries at once, already prepares the elements of a new division, and that it will ask no better than to conceded, at least temporarily, Turkish Serbia, Montenegro and perhaps even Bosnia to Austria, provided that they let it get its hands on all of Romania, and that it is allowed to erect, under the high and very liberal protection of the emperor of Russia, with a prince of the house of Romanov, the quasi-independent viceroyalty of the Bulgarians.
On the other side, Palacki, Rieger, Brauner and Co. also cannot be ignorant that between the court of St.-Petersburg and the court of Berlin there has long existed an understanding, according to which, in the case of a triumph obtained by the by the united armies of Prussia and Russia, over the Austro-French coalition, Russia will seize Galicia, while the kingdom of Prussia, transformed a German Empire, will help themselves to Bohemia, Moravia and a large part of Silesia.
They know all of that, and they have always known it. why then are they allied to Moscow? Why do they mislead their populations, by representing the emperor Alexander II to them as the future liberator of the Slavic world?
It is a question that Slavic patriots must resolve for themselves. We are content simply to pose it. However we may be permitted to give them advice. Let all the Slavic peoples who feel oppressed today, warned by sad experience, especially by the example of the unfortunate Poland, and following that today given them by the Bulgarians, seek their emancipation, their salvation in the revolution and in the revolutionary solidarity of all peoples, Slavic or non-Slavic, but never in the reaction, never in the combinations of diplomacy, and especially not in the dissolving, corrupting and misleading protection of the emperors of all the Russias.

Bulletin russe (supplément du Kolokol), No. 2, April 9, 1870, Geneva

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Death Penalty in Russia (1870)


THE DEATH PENALTY IN RUSSIA

To the editors of the Rappel.

Gentlemen,

In the issue of January 29 of your estimable paper, I have found a very amusing letter from my compatriot, Prince Wiasemsky, in which he has been so tiresome as to note the ignorance of M. J. Simon and some other signatories of the bill on the abolition of the death penalty, and which ends by declaring to you that the death penalty no longer exists in Russia, having been abolished by the Empress Catherine II.
That news appears to have dismayed you. Frightened about the obvious inferiority which would result from it for your country, you have first sought a consolation in the idea that “if Russia does not have the death penalty, it has Siberia and the whip.” Then, reflecting on “the beating” which flourished in Cayenne, you have cried in despair:
“Alas! Will imperial France be reduced to envying Russia!”—(You should have added “Imperial,” it seems to me.)
Do not worry, gentlemen, and chase away the blush that threatens to invade your brow. Despite the incontestable progress that you have made, since June 1848, in the art of repression and bloody suppressions, you have not reached the height of our ankles, and we will continue to dominate you by the unqualified majesty of our absolute scorn for the dignity, rights and lives of men. And since the mere thought that the death penalty could have been abolished in Russia while it continues to work in France desolates you, I hasten to calm you, by assuring you that not only the simple death penalty, but varied, complicated, and refined forms, preceded by tortures, have never ceased to provoke among us the respect of authority and love of public order. In this regard, as in so many others, we surpass all the countries of Europe, not excepting even Turkey.
Gentlemen, we hang;
We shoot,
We kill with the knout;—now we no longer call it the knout, but the lash, which is more gentle;
We kill by the gauntlet in military executions,
Or with the simple rod;
We stifle and poison in secret in our prisons;
And when we find it necessary, we precede the final execution by the question ordinaire and extraordinaire [forms of torture]; we employ the traditional torture, developed and perfected by the application of all the discoveries of modern science.
It is only the Chinese who surpass us in the art, eminently political, of tormenting and eliminating men.
So, you ask, would the prince Wiasemski… say the opposite of the truth?
Alas! I am sorry for the prince, but I must admit he has misled you. But wait, there is an excuse for him. It is perfectly true that the death penalty, and torture as well, was legally abolished in Russia, even before Catherine II, by the Empress Elizabeth, the mother of the unfortunate Peter III, whom Catherine his wife had murdered by his guards. Becoming the great Empress by these means, Catherine II, wishing to receive the applause of civilized Europe, wrote in her own hand a sort of introduction to Russian laws, known as the title of the ukase of Catherine II, and modeled on the ideas, then in great vogue, of Beccaria and Montesquieu. Issuing directly from the pen of the sovereign, this introduction should necessarily have the force of law, and serve as basis for all subsequent legislature. You will find there the abolition of the death penalty, the abolition of torture, and also this beautiful maxim: “that it is better to let ten guilty escape than to strike one innocent.”
So is Prince Wiasemski correct? Not at all. He is not right even from a legal point of view. Prince Wiasemski, who speaks with so much assurance and with this crushing disdain of the ignorance of Mr. Jules Simon, should not be ignorant of the fact that Emperor Nicolas, whose legislative power was every bit as unlimited and legitimate as that Catherine II, reestablished the death penalty in our legal codes. And what is more distinctive is that he reestablished it precisely for political crimes. Thus, Mr. Jules Simon is a thousand times right, and it is on the Russian prince that the sin of ignorance again falls, doubled by presumptuousness.
So much for the legal right. But does a legal right exist in Russia? On paper, yes; but, in reality, no. And that is another thing that Prince Wiasemski must not, cannot be ignorant of. In three lines of verse, now famous, our poet Pushkin has expressed, almost forty years ago, the very essence of what these gentlemen so pompously call the Russian laws:

There is no law in Russia!
The law is nailed to a post,
And that post wears a crown.

Perhaps that could be true in the time of Pushkin, under the despotic reign of Emperor Nicolas; but today, under the beneficent and liberating scepter of czar Alexandre II, the most liberal man, surely, in all of Russia, as the Presse (January 25) assures us, today it cannot be thus.
It has not ceased to be true for a single day, from the foundation of the Muscovite Empire to the moment when I write this letter, gentlemen. Today it is more true than ever, and it will only cease to be true the day when popular revolution will have swept away the whole establishment of the State.
In imperial Russia, there has never been but one truth, constant and sovereign: it is the lie, it is official hypocrisy, a hypocrisy which has never failed to adopt the appearances most in conformity with the dominant ideas in contemporary Europe. We have sought the primitive man, the ape-man. Why haven’t we looked in the court at Saint-Petersburg? Specimens abound there.
Our laws, all the humane principles we have officially proclaimed, our so-called rights, are nothing but an eternal masquerade, under which is hidden an official reality as well, but a bestial one. That masquerade fools no one, and it does not even trouble itself to fool anyone in Russia, but it is a great aid to the peaceful triumphs of imperial diplomacy in Europe.
Do you know, gentlemen, the meaning of the verb enguirlander [literally to cover in garlands], created at Saint-Petersburg? I’ll wager you do not. Allow me to explain it to you.
An important foreigner came to Saint-Petersburg. He wanted to study Russia. But you can well understand that, if he had looked at it too closely, he could have discovered things that certainly would not do great honor to the imperial government. To avoid that danger, the court made a signal. This signal is an order, understood in an instant by that titled bunch of lackeys which is called the Russian aristocracy. The princes, the counts, the German barons,—and there are a crowd of them among our official patriots,—ministers, generals, high functionaries of every hue, capitalists and monopolists of all sorts, their wives, their daughters and sisters, all surround the foreigner, weary him with invitations, smile at him, smother him with caresses, spread before him his feelings of control, and plunge him up to the ears in the imperial lie.
That is called covering one in garlands.
Well, gentlemen, the prince Wiasemski wishes to cover you in garlands.
If you would publish this letter in your paper, and if the disgruntled Russian prince returns to the charge, you will allow me, I hope, to respond.–It is in the interest of revolutionary Russia that the socialist democrats of Europe know it as it is.
Accept, gentlemen, the expression of my warm sympathy,

M. Bakounine
Geneva, February 7, 1870.