I studied Russia’s Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876) in college and I must say he puzzled me; I never quite “got” him. He seemed to be a mass of contradictory impulses.
I’m not about to take (or give) a refresher course on Bakunin, nor am I endorsing him. But I’m highlighting him here because I came across a couple of quotes from him that show how well he seemed to understand that Communism (or Marxism, or Bolshevism, or whatever he would have called it at the time) would lead to the very biggest of Big Governments and tyranny.
Here’s one quote to give you an idea of what I’m talking about:
If you took the most ardent revolutionary, vested him in absolute power, within a year he would be worse than the Tsar himself.
And there’s this, longer but in a similar vein:
The State has always been the patrimony of some privileged class or other; a priestly class, an aristocratic class, a bourgeois class, and finally a bureaucratic class…. But in the People’s State of Marx, there will be, we are told, no privileged class at all … but there will be a government, which will not content itself with governing and administering the masses politically, as all governments do today, but which will also administer them economically, concentrating in its own hands the production and the just division of wealth, the cultivation of land, the establishment and development of factories, the organization and direction of commerce, finally the application of capital to production by the only banker, the State. All that will demand an immense knowledge and many “heads overflowing with brains” in this government. It will be the reign of scientific intelligence, the most aristocratic, despotic, arrogant, and contemptuous of all regimes. There will be a new class, a new hierarchy of real and pretended scientists and scholars.
I especially like that “pretended” in the last sentence.