Federalism, socialism, anti-theologism (speach 1867)
We are happy to be able to report that the principle of federalism has been unanimously acclaimed by the Congress of Geneva…. Unfortunately, this principle has been poorly formulated in the resolutions of the congress. It has not even been mentioned except indirectly. . . while in our opinion, it should have taken first place in our declaration of principles.
This is a most regrettable gap which we should hasten to fill. In accordance with the unanimous sense of the Congress of Geneva, we should proclaim:
- That there is but one way to bring about the triumph of liberty, of justice, and of peace in Europe’s international relations, to make civil war impossible between the different peoples who make up the European family; and that is the formation of the United States of Europe.
- That the United States of Europe can never be formed from the states as they are now constituted, considering the monstrous inequality which exists between their respective forces.
- That the example of the now defunct Germanic Confederation has proved once and for all that a confederation of monarchies is a mockery, powerless to guarantee either the peace or the liberty of populations.
- That no centralized state, being of necessity bureaucratic and militarist, even if it were to call itself republican, will be able to enter an international confederation with a firm resolve and in good faith. Its very constitution, which must always be an overt or covert negation of enduring liberty, would necessarily remain a declaration of permanent warfare, a threat to the existence of its neighbors. Since the State is essentially founded upon an act of violence, of conquest, what in private life goes under the name of housebreaking—an act blessed by all institutionalized religions whatsoever, eventually consecrated by time until it is even regarded as an historic right—and supported by such divine consecration of triumphant violence as an exclusive and supreme right, every centralized State therefore stands as an absolute negation of the rights of all other States, though recognizing them in the treaties it may conclude with them for its own political interest….
That all members of the League should therefore bend all their efforts toward reconstituting their respective countries, in order to replace their old constitution—founded from top to bottom on violence and the principle of authority—with a new organization based solely upon the interests, the needs, and the natural preferences of their populations—having no other principle but the free federation of individuals into communes, of communes into provinces, of the provinces into nations, and, finally, of the nations into the United States of Europe first, and of the entire world eventually.
You can read the rest here: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/bakunin/works/various/reasons-of-state.htm
And about Michael Bakunin here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Bakunin