Book Review: God and the State by Mikhail Bakunin

I struggled to read this book. Not because of its content, but because of the tone of the text. Bakunin’s anger and hatred seeped through his words. Anger and hatred do feed the existing contempt, but seldom alter anyone’s opinion. I’m not saying this because I disagree with some of his convictions about the importance of science, separation of state and church, and about how reason is one of the best tools there is. But understanding is a better way to communicate than hate. However, this book is a product of its time, and thus I understand the harsh words.

What I loved in the book was how Bakunin warned that science shouldn’t become the next religion. That science is a tool and subject to time and change. He also wrote that what he now writes come from the current knowledge and are subject to change. Rarely such statements are heard. People so dearly hold their beliefs to be the everlasting truth and seldom it is especially with scientific knowledge. And in a few spots, science and time has proven him wrong, and if he is true to his words, he would readily change his perspective. Such a man is admirable.

I’m not sure what to think about the book. It is not something I will read again. Neither it is a book I will recommend to others, but I wouldn’t change the fact that I read it. It gave me a wider perspective of the historical argumentation about atheism and communism and that itself is valuable.

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