Listen. Trust me.
You need to read this.
It's everything I thought Chomsky's "On anarchy" would be x57.
Bakunin explains (in detail) how capitalism and governments/statehood necessarily create and reproduce economic/political/social inequality/injustice and slavery.
He breaks down the importance of thinking about/understanding true freedom.
For example, in explaining one difference between true and "theoretical freedom", he talks about the "option of quitting a job in a capitalist system". A person has the right to leave a job but do they have the means to realize it? "And if he quits, is it in order to lead a free existence or to sell himself to another employer?"
Essentially, "theoretical freedom" means no freedom. A "choice" between working or poverty is not a choice.
What I loved the most was how he also explains the insidious and explicit ways states are designed to maintain and institutionalize inequality and that that is essentially their purpose... through police, military, politics, laws etc ... and that their abolition is unquestionably necessary for true freedom.
There is no true freedom under capitalism, which depends on exploitation and violence, which has to be maintained and redesigned by/for elites, who have to sell it to the masses through politics, media and patriotism, who have to buy into/contribute to it through consumerism and ideology, or it is imposed by force and fear, which all has to be contained and regulated by the state ... which has to control and exploit its own citizens and other states to maintain this power and system through terror and coercion.
As usual, some fire quotes:
Patriotism is in reality, nothing but the passion for and cult of the national state.
With their development increased the power of the ruling class, of the priests and aristocrats. Their first concern was to inoculate the enslaved peoples with the idea of necessity, the benefit, and the sacredness of church and state. And the purpose of all this was to change brutal and violent slavery into legal, divinely preordained and sanctified slavery.
The state can never be sure that prohibited and dangerous thoughts may not slip in and be smuggled somehow into the consciousness of the population it governs. And the demon of revolt, that eternal enemy of the state, awakens so easily in their hearts when they are not sufficiently stupefied, that neither education nor instruction, nor even the censorship, sufficiently guarantee the tranquility of the state. It must still have police, devoted agents who watch over and direct the current of the people's passions.
Political freedom within the state is a fraud.
My liberty is the liberty of everybody.