Among Marx’s earliest critics were the “anarcho-communists,” including Mikhail Bakunin (1814–1876). A Russian anarchist (from the Greek an archos, meaning “no rule” or “no government”), Bakunin disputed Marx’s claim that communism would lead to “the withering away of the state.” Instead, Bakunin predicted, the supposedly temporary interim state that Marx called “the dictatorship of the proletariat” would prove to be a permanent dictatorship over the proletariat by state officials who would jealously guard their own power and privilege. Bakunin insisted that state power must be smashed once and for all by a proletarian revolution. Only in a voluntary anarchist society, he claimed, could people combine and associate as free and equal producers and comrades.