The phrase “equalisation of classes” placed in the context of the political, economic and social equalisation of individuals obviously implies the abolition of classes. The logic is simple. If both worker and capitalist shared the same economic and social position then wage labour would not exist (in fact, it would be impossible as it is based on social and economic inequality) and so class society would not exist. Similarly, if the tenant and the landlord were socially equal then the landlord would have no power over the tenant, which would be impossible. Bakunin agreed with Marx on the ambiguity of the term and the Alliance changed its Programme to call for “the final and total abolition of classes and the political, economic and social equalisation of individuals of either sex.” [Bakunin, Op. Cit. p. 174] This change ensured the admittance of the Alliance sections into the International Workingmen’s Association (although this did not stop Marx, like his followers, bringing up this “mere slip of the pen” years later).

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