Anarchists come in two varieties: amiable duffers and impulsive destroyers—they’re opposites to each other. The first type is exemplified by Tolstoy, Gandhi, Godwin, and Kropotkin (although he was not totally pacifist). These people tend to be ultra-intelligent and believe (or pretend to) that everything could be sorted out through reason (if so, the anarchist sanction is really passive-aggressive “silent treatment”—actually an unbearable psychic coercion that lacks the honesty of physical coercion and winds people up so that they can be scapegoated as “violent”). These people are dangerous because, like Tolstoy, they undermine the system they live in and destroy the faith intellectuals hold in it—men like Lenin fill the gap.
They tend to be narcissistic as well. Tolstoy was Satanic in my view—he said Christ was a man; and that was because Count Tolstoy was too important to be inferior to anyone (let alone Christ). Yet his daughter, model for a character in War and Peace, was jostled aside in the Revolution. “But she was in War and Peace,” they said—nobody at the railway station cared. The second anarchist type is exemplified by Bakunin and Proudhon (Tolstoy borrowed the title War and Peace from him)—they’re the bomb-throwers, totally emotional. You know how modern cities have all these rules you have to learn to survive, like looking both ways when you cross the street? Thousands of little internalised rules. Well, fuck that—throw a bomb into Harrods and blow up CERN. Why? Because fuck everything—destruction is creation. Nietzsche was like Bakunin.
They’re hypocrites: Bakunin pointed out Marxism would lead to bureaucratic dictatorship (correct) but then he made his own totally dictatorial anarchist secret society (he wanted to be Tsar). Bakunin, Kropotkin, Tolstoy—Russians like anarchy because Russians are ungovernable; the peasants in this huge country just want to be left alone on their commune—the dream is for officialdom to “disappear” (eventually it did—happy days, then the Red bureaucracy arrived and with it the collective farm).