in consequence of the general political anarchy, serious conflicts took place here between the Tatars and the Armenians, and two-thirds of the Balakhani and Bibi-Eybat oil-works were burned.
BAKUNIN, MIKHAIL (1814–1876), Russian anarchist, was born of an aristocratic family at Torjok, in the government of Tver, in 1814. As an officer of the Imperial Guard, he saw service in Poland, but resigned his commission from a disgust of despotism aroused by witnessing the repressive methods employed against the Poles. He proceeded to Germany, studied Hegel, and soon got into touch with the leaders of the young German movement in Berlin. Thence he went to Paris, where he met Proudhon and George Sand, and also made the acquaintance of the chief Polish exiles. From Paris he journeyed to Switzerland, where he resided for some time, taking an active share in all socialistic movements. While in Switzerland he was ordered by the Russian government to return to Russia, and on his refusal his property was confiscated. In 1848, on his return to Paris, he published a violent tirade against Russia, which caused his expulsion from France. The revolutionary movement of 1848 gave him the opportunity of entering upon a violent campaign of democratic agitation, and for his participation in the Dresden insurrection of 1849 he was arrested and condemned to death. The death sentence, however, was commuted to imprisonment for life, and he was eventually handed over to the Russian authorities, by whom he was imprisoned and finally sent to eastern Siberia in 1855. He received permission to remove to the Amur region, whence he succeeded in escaping, making his way through Japan and the United States to England in 1861. He spent the rest of his life in exile in western Europe, principally in Switzerland. In 1869 he founded the Social Democratic Alliance, which, however, dissolved in the same year, and joined the International (q.v.). In 1870 he attempted a rising at Lyons on the principles afterwards exemplified by the Paris Commune. At the Hague congress of the International in 1872 he was outvoted and expelled by the Marx party. He retired to Lugano in 1873 and died at Bern on the 13th of June 1876.
Nothing can be clearer or more frank and comprehensive in its destructiveness than the revolutionary anarchism of Bakunin. He rejects all the ideal systems in every name and shape, from the idea of God downwards; and every form of external authority, whether emanating from the will of a sovereign or from universal suffrage. “The liberty of man,” he says in his Dieu et l’État (published posthumously in 1882) “consists solely in this, that he obeys the laws of nature, because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been imposed upon him externally by any foreign will whatsoever, human or divine, collective or individual.” In this way will the whole problem of freedom be solved, that natural laws be ascertained by scientific discovery, and the knowledge of them be universally diffused among the masses. Natural laws being thus recognized by every man for himself, he cannot but obey them, for they are the laws also of his own nature; and the need for political organization, administration and legislation will at once disappear. Nor will he admit of any privileged position or class, for “it is the peculiarity of privilege and of every privileged position to kill the intellect and heart of man. The privileged man, whether he be privileged politically or economically, is a man depraved in intellect and heart.” “In a word, we object to all legislation, all authority, and all influence, privileged, patented, official and legal, even when it has proceeded from universal suffrage, convinced that it must always turn to the profit of a dominating and exploiting minority, against the interests of the immense majority enslaved.” Bakunin’s methods of realizing his revolutionary programme are not less frank and destructive than his principles. The revolutionist, as he would recommend him to be, is a consecrated man, who will allow no private interests or feelings, and no scruples of religion, patriotism or morality, to turn him aside from his mission, the aim of which is by all available means to overturn the existing society. (See Anarchism.)
BA-KWIRI, a Bantu nation of German Cameroon, West Africa. According to tradition they are migrants from the eastward. The “Brushmen,” for that is the meaning of their name, are grouped in about sixty separate clans. They are a lively intelligent people, brave fighters and daring hunters, and in their love of songs, music and elocution are superior to many negro races. Their domestic affections are strongly developed. Their chief physical peculiarity is the great disparity between the size and complexion of the sexes, most of the women being much shorter and far lighter in colour than the men. The Ba-Kwiri are generous and open-handed among themselves; but the law of blood for blood is mercilessly fulfilled, even in cases of accidental homicide. Their religion is ancestor-worship blended with witchcraft and magic. They believe in good and evil spirits, those of the forests and seas being especially feared. In common with their neighbours the Dualla (q.v.) the Ba-Kwiri possess a curious drum language. By drum-tapping news is conveyed from clan to clan. Slaves and women are not allowed to master this language, but all the initiated are bound to repeat it so as to pass the messages on. The Ba-Kwiri have also a horn language peculiar to themselves.
BALA, a market-town and urban district of Merionethshire, N. Wales, at the north end of Bala Lake, 17 m. N.E. of Dolgelley (Dolgellau). Pop. (1901) 1554. It is little more than one wide street. Its manufactures are flannel, stockings, gloves and hosiery (for which it was well known in the 18th century). The Tower of Bala (some 30 ft. high by 50 diameter) is a tumulus or “moat-hill,” formerly thought to mark the site of a Roman camp. The theological college of the Calvinistic Methodists and the grammar school (endowed), which was founded in 1712, are the chief features, together with the statue of the Rev. Thomas Charles, the distinguished theological writer, to whom was largely due the foundation of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Bala Lake, the largest in Wales (4 m. long by some 3 m. wide), is subject to sudden and dangerous floods, deep and clear, and full of pike, perch, trout, eel and gwyniad. The gwyniad (Caregonus) is peculiar to certain waters, as those of Bala Lake, and is fully described by Thomas Pennant in his Zoology (1776).
The lake (Llyn Tegid) is crossed by the Dee, local tradition having it that the waters of the two never mix, like those of Alpheus and the sea.
BALAAM (בִּלְעָם Bil‛am; Βαλαάμ; Vg. Balaam; the etymology of the name is uncertain), a prophet in the Bible. Balaam, the son of Beor, was a Gentile seer; he appears in the history of the Israelites during their sojourn in the plains of Moab, east of Jordan, at the close of the Forty Years' wandering, shortly before the death of Moses and the crossing of the Jordan. Israel had conquered two kings of eastern Palestine—Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan. Balak, king of Moab, became alarmed, and sent for Balaam to curse Israel; Balaam came after some hesitation, but when he sought to curse Israel Yahweh compelled him to bless them.
The main passage concerning Balaam in Num. xxii-xxv.; it consists of a narrative which serves as a framework for seven oracular poems, the first four being of some length and the last three very brief. The story is doubtless based on ancient traditions, current in various forms; the Old Testament references are not wholly consistent.
The narrative in Num. xxii. ff. is held to be compiled with editorial additions from the two ancient documents (900–700 B.C.) commonly denoted by the symbols J and E The distribution of the material between the two documents is uncertain; but some such scheme as the following is not improbable. The references to portions the origin of which is especially uncertain are placed in brackets ( ).
The present narrative, therefore, is not really a single continuous story, but may be resolved into two older accounts. In combining these two and using them as a framework for the poems, the compilers have altered, added and omitted. Naturally, when both documents made statements which were nearly identical, one might be omitted; so that neither account need be given in full in the composite passage. The two older accounts,