Marginal notes on the program and rules of Bakunin's International Alliance of Socialist Democracy - Karl Marx

Brief notes Karl Marx hand wrote in the margins of a leaflet containing the programme of Bakunin's Alliance, on 15 December 1868.

Submitted by Steven. on June 4, 2014

Program and Rules of the Alliance

Marx's Remarks

The socialist minority of the League of Peace and Freedom having separated itself from the League as a result of the majority vote at the Bern Congress, the majority being formally opposed to the fundamental principle of all workers' associations that of economic and social equalization of classes and individuals has thereby adhered to the principles proclaimed by the workers' congresses held in Geneva, Lausanna, and Brussels.

equality of classes!

Several members of this minority, belonging to various nations, have suggest to us to form a new International Alliance of Socialist Democracy, established entirely within the big International Working Men's Association, but having a special mission to study political and philosophical questions on the basis of the grand principle of universal and genuine equality of all human beings on Earth. Convinced, on our part, of the usefulness of such an enterprise that would provide sincere

established within and established against!

socialist democrats of Europe and America with the means of being understood and of affirming their ideas, without any pressure from the false socialism which bourgeois democracy finds necessary to apply these days, we consider it our duty, together with our friends, to take the initiative in forming this new organization.

So socialist democrats are not understood through the International

Therefore we have established ourselves as the central section of the International Alliance of Socialist Democracy, and we publish today its Program and Rules.

What modesty! They establish themselves as the central authority, clever lads!

Program of the International Alliance of Socialist Democracy

1. The Alliance declares itself atheist; it wants abolition of cults, substitution of science for faith and human justice for divine justice.

As if one could declare by royal decree abolition of faith!

2. It wants above all political, economic, and social equalization of classes and individuals of both sexes, commencing with abolition of the right of inheritance, so that in future enjoyment be equal to each persons's production, and so that, in conformity with the decision taken at the last workers' congress in Brussels, the land, instruments of labor, like all other capital, on becoming collective property of the entire society, shall be used only by the workers, that is, by agricultural and individual associations.

Hermaphrodite man! Just like the Russian Commune! The old Saint-Simon panacea!

3. It wants for all children of both sexes, from birth, equal conditions of development, that is, maintenance, education, and training at all degrees of science, industry, and the arts, being convinced that this equality, at first only economic and social, will increasingly lead to a great natural equality of individuals, eliminating all kinds of artificial inequalities, historical products of a social organization as false as it is iniquitous. 4. Being the foe of all despotism, not recognizing any political form other than republican and rejecting completely any reactionary alliance, it also rejects any political action which does not have as its immediate and direct aim the triumph of the workers' cause against capital.

Empty phrase!

5. It recognizes that all the existing political and authoritarian states, more and more reducing their activities to simple administrative functions of public service in their respective countries, will have to dissolve into a universal union of free associations, like the agricultural and industrial ones.

If they are reducing themselves, they will not have to dissolve, but disappear spontaneously.

6. Since the Social question can only have a final and real solution on the basis of international or universal solidarity of the workers of all countries, the Alliance rejects any policy based on self-styled patriotism and on rivalry between nations.

There is rivalry and rivalry, my dear Russian!

7. It wants the universal association of all local associations on the basis of Liberty.



1. The International Alliance of Socialist Democracy constitutes a branch of the International Working Men's Association and accepts all its general rules.

The International Association does not admit any "International branches".

2. The Founder Members of the Alliance are organizing provisionally a Central Bureau at Geneva.

New Central Council!

3. Founder Members belonging to the same country constitute the national bureau of their country.

4. National bureaus are to establish in all regions local groups of the Alliance of Socialist Democracy, which, through their respective national bureaus, will ask the Central Bureau of the Alliance to admit them into the International Working Men's Association.

The Rules of the International do not recognize this "mediatory power".

5. All local groups will form their bureau according to the customary procedure accepted by the local sections of the International Working Men's Association.

6. All members of the Alliance must pay a monthly contribution of 10 centimes, half of which will be retained for their own needs by each national group, and the other half will go to the Central Bureau for its general requirements.

New taxes absorbing our own contributions!

In countries where this sum will be judged to be too high, the national bureaus, in accord with the Central Bureau, will have the power to reduce it.

7. At the annual Working Men's Congress the delegation of the Alliance of Socialist Democracy, as a branch of the International Working Men's Association, will hold public meetings in a separate building.

They want to compromise us under our own patronage!

Members of the Geneva Initiating Group

J. Philipp Becker. M. Bakunin. Th. Remy. Anotoine Lindegger. Louis Nidegger. Valerien Mroczkowsky. Jean Zagorsky. -- Phil. Zoller. A. Ardin. Ch. Perron. J. Gay. J. Friess. Fr. Rochat. Nikolai Zhukovsky. M. Elpidin. Zamperini. - E. Becker. - Louis Weiss. - Perret. - Marauda. - Eduoard Crosset. - A. Blanchard. - A. Matis. - C. Raymond. - Mme. Alexeyeva - [Barteneva], - Mme. Bakunin. - Mme. Suzette Croset. - Mme. Rosalie Sanguinede. - Mme. Desiree Gay. - Mme. Jenny Guinet. - Jacques Courtois. - John Potot. - Andre Bel. - Fr. Boffety. - Ch. Guyot. - Ch. Postleb. - Ch. Detraz - J. Croset. - J. Sanguinede. - C. - Jaclard. - L. Coulin. Fr. Gay. - Blaise Rossety. - Jos. Marilly. - C. Brechtel. - L. Moanachon. - Fr. Mermillod. - Donat-father. - L. J. Cheneval. - J. Bedeau. - L. H. Fornachon. - Piniere. - Ch. Grange. - Jacques Laplace. - S. Pellaton. - W. Rau. - Gottlob Walter. - Adolphe Haeberling. - Perrie. - Aolphe Catalan. - Marc Heridier. - Louis Allement. - A. Pellergin-Druart. - Louis de Coppet. - Louis Dupraz. - Guill meaux. - Jospeh Baquet. - Fr. Pisteur. - Ch. Ruchet. - Placide Margarittaz. - Paul Gar bani. - Etienne Borret. - J. J. Scopini. - F. Crochet. - Jean Jost. - Leopold Wucher. - G. Fillietaz. - L. Fulliquet. - Ami Gand illon. - V. Alexeyev [Bartenev]. - Francois Chevalier.

Asinus Asinorum! And Madame Bakunin!

Jules Johannard Eugene Dupont

The Founder Members of the International Alli ance of Socialist Democracy having decided to start a paper under the name La Revolution, to be the press organ of this new Association, the provisional Central Bureau will begin publication as soon as it has 300 shares, of 10 francs each and payable in four installments, one every three months, from January 1, 1869.

and they have the cheek to announce in Switzerland that I shall contribute articles to La Revolution without informing me!

Accordingly, the provisional Central Bureau is appealing to all national bureaus of the Alli ance and inviting them to begin subscriptions in their own countries. As these subscriptions are considered voluntary gifts whcih give no right to receipt of the paper, the national bureaus must simultaneously compile a list of subscribers. The paper will appear once a week. Subscriptions cost: one year: 6 fr. six months: 3 fr. 50 On behalf of the provisional Central Bureau:

8 Rue Montbrilliant N.B.

The national bureaus are requested to send the Central Bureau the money received for the shares and subscriptions before January 1.



10 years 1 month ago

In reply to by

Submitted by AndrewF on June 6, 2014

That 'Hermaphrodite man!' note presumably as as a response to the inclusion of gender equality is pretty telling as is Marx referring to Bakunin as 'Madame Bakunin!'


10 years 1 month ago

In reply to by

Submitted by Battlescarred on June 6, 2014

Except that he isn't, if you look, Madame Bakunin was one of the signatories


10 years 1 month ago

In reply to by

Submitted by AndrewF on June 6, 2014

Ah right, hadn't see that further down. Any idea what that objection was about then?


10 years 1 month ago

In reply to by

Submitted by simiangene on June 6, 2014

Its refreshing to read anecdotal comments as snippets by Karl, unfortunately they have no real leverage concerning his deepest aspirations. The context of the scene where these marginal writings occurred at least give us a glimpse at his wit and human passion, something which the capitalists have been devoted to deny.

Lucky Black Cat

3 years ago

In reply to by

Submitted by Lucky Black Cat on June 21, 2021

I wish Marx could be my editor.

Submitted by westartfromhere on March 27, 2024

Very nicely presented, Steven.

AndrewF wrote: That 'Hermaphrodite man!' note presumably as a response to the inclusion of gender equality is pretty telling... [of] Marx

"Hermaphrodite Man!" Biology negates the possibility of the sexes being socially equalised just as the political economy denies the social classes ever equalising.