History of The First International by G. M. Stekloff
107 Eichoff, op. cit., pp. 31-2.
108 Villetard, op. cit., p.152.
109 “Several thousand franc notes turned up from London in the actual course of one of the meetings at Ménilmontant, at which some of the dissenting employers were present. The effect was tremendous. The letter bringing good news together with hard cash tended to disintegrate the employers’ combine. Anxious about the future, the masters withdrew their ultimatum, and reopened their factories.” (Fribourg, op. cit., p.101.)
110 Fribourg, op. cit. pp.141-2.
111 Villetard, Histoire de l'Internationale, p.149.
112 “The English regarded the International merely as an organising force, one which might give great assistance to the strike movement. They went so far as to intimate to the delegates [at Geneva] that the adhesion of the British trade unions was only given on that understanding.” (Fribourg, op. cit., p.87.)
113 Quoted by Testut in Le livre bleu de l'Internationale (reports and official documents read at the Congresses of Lausanne, Brussels, and Basle), Lachaud, Paris, 1877, pp. 8 and 9.
114 Association internationale des travailleurs, 1870, p.69 – Rudolf Meyer, in his book Der Emancipations-kampf des vierten Standes (Schindler, Berlin, 1874, pp.120 and 122) writes with his customary impartiality: “During the years 1868 and 1868 the economic war spread throughout Europe. It raged most fiercely in France, although here it was not instigated by the International ... In France, during December, 1868, the cotton workers were on strike at Rou; the cotton workers at Lyons struck in 1869. In the latter year, during a strike of coal-miners near Saint-Etienne, there was bloodshed (the massacre of La Ricarmarie). Prosecutions followed. The result was that the membership of the International Workingmen’s Association increased by more than 50,000.”
115 Villetard, op. cit., pp.155 and 158.
116 Testut, Le livre bleu, etc., p.101. The reference is to the watchword of the Lyons insurrectionists is the year 1831.
117 Testut, Association internationale, pp.268-9.
118 Zasulich, op. cit., vol. II, pp.300-1.
119 Op. cit., pp.193-4; English translation, pp.166-7.
120 The General Council’s report to the Lausanne Congress (quoted by Testut, Livre Bleu, etc., p.11) stated that one great trade society had refused to affiliate on the ground that the International was concerned with political questions.
121 The report to the Lausanne Congress shows that in 1867 the International had adherents in the following French towns: Paris, Caen, Lyons, Bordeaux, Rouen, Vienne, Neuville-sur-Saône, Pantin, Saint-Denis, Puteaux, Neufchateau, Lisieux, Condé-sur-Noireau, Harcourt-Thierry, Granville, Argentan. The foregoing had all been in existence at the time of the Geneva Congress. Since then there had been formed branches at, Castelnaudary, Anch, Orleans, Nantes, Villefranche, Marseilles, Fuveau, Havre. There were also branches in Algiers and Guadeloupe. In 1869, France had four district councils, in Paris, Lyons, Rouen, and Marseilles. Cf. Testut, Livre bleu, pp.17-18, and L’association Internationale, pp.177-196.
122 It need hardly be said that these figures were altogether fanciful. There were few permanent organisations; their composition was unstable. When any individual member of a union joined the International, all the members of his unions were accounted members. It is really impossible to ascertain the precise membership.
123 “In 1865 and 1867 a few [Italian] trade unions joined the International. A Central Council of Trade Unions had been founded in Milan, and Gaspard Stampa attended the Lausanne Congress as delegate of this body. Eugène Dupont, reporting to the congress, stated that trade unions had been formed at Naples, Milan, and Genoa, and that the General Council of the International was in correspondence with them.” – Testut, L'Association Internationale, p.217.
124 The dues to headquarters came in most irregularly, so that lack of funds was the weak spot in the General Council. Of course, this bears witness to the impecuniousness and lack of stability of the movement.
125 Charles Longuet subsequently married Marx’s eldest daughter. Jean Longuet, son of Charles Longuet and therefore Karl Marx’s grandson, belongs to the reformist wing of the French socialists.
126 The words “as a means” were in the original English draft. In the first ill-starred French translation, made in the year 1864, these words were omitted (from fear of the police), and this led the bourgeois democrats and the Blanquists to accuse the first French internationalists of Bonapartism and of a desire to place the working-class movement under police tutelage. In the French text adopted by the Geneva Congress, and also in the incomplete report of that congress published in Geneva (see above), these words were likewise wanting. At that time the matter seemed of little moment. Not until afterwards, when the quarrel between the Marxists and the Bakuninists had flamed up, did the General Council direct attention to the inaccuracy of the French text. Thereupon the Jura delegates, not knowing what it was all about, accused the Marxists of “fraud.” Not for a long time would they admit their error. But there was something more in dispute than mere words, as we shall see.
127 In 1858, at the Brussels Congress, Eugène Dupont, the chairman, replied as follows to the advanced republicans who blamed the International for wasting its time on futilities, and for thus delaying the revolution: “If the workers despise politics in the sense in which the word is understood by those who reproach us in this way, it is because, having made two revolutions without securing any improvement in their lot, they have tried to discover the cause of their failure. They have realised that the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 were changes of form and not of content. They perceive that the very foundations of society must be changed. They know that the social problem is the real arena of the revolution. De Paepe said yesterday that kings and emperors are accidents. This is true. All existing governments are in a state of flux. We have to overthrow, not tyrants merely, but tyranny itself.” – Testut, Association Internationale, p.16.
128 In this matter, as usual, theory followed practice. The experience of the German social democracy in the political struggle was the first thing which rendered it possible clearly to understand, and to state in plain terms, the full significance of the political activity of the proletariat, and, as a specific application of this, the significance of universal suffrage as a means for working-class emancipation. Even if this was not yet the road to the conquest of power, it was a splendid means of agitation and of bringing light into the minds of the workers.
129 Testut, Livre Bleu, etc., p.168.
130 This refers to the political liberties (the right of public meeting, the freedom of the press, liberty of conscience, etc.) proclaimed by the great French revolution. The formula was somewhat inappropriate for a workers’ congress, seeing that, among the rights proclaimed in 1789, was the right of prorate property (which proletarians can hardly be said to enjoy!), whereas among the “principles of 1789” there is no mention of the right of organisation or of the right to strike.
131 At this time the more advanced among the British, German, and French workers were exchanging messages of protest against war, and were affirming the solidarity of all the workers. One such appeal from the German workers to their Parisian comrades evoked an answer from the latter. The answer was issued by the Paris committee of the International on April 28, 1867, and addressed to the workers of Berlin at a moment when there vas already a menace of war between France and Prussia. The full text is given by Fribourg (op. cit., pp.104-5). Fribourg also publishes (pp.105-7) a manifesto issued shortly afterwards by the Parisian group in the name of the International League for Disarmament, and bearing as its motto: “The army is the chief cause of war.” The document is signed by representatives of France, Germany, Britain, Belgium, Hungary, Denmark, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland. History records no further activities on the part of the International League for Disarmament.
132 If in our own day the social democrats (the reformist socialists) are willing to join hands with the bourgeois pacifists in the struggle against war – as they declared at the Hague Congress held m December, 1922, by the “Amsterdam” trade-union International – this is because some of them are “conscientious objectors” and the others have no real intention of resisting war. There are no illusions in this latter case; there is nothing but humbug.
133 Of course, the reference is to tsarist Russia! Bakunin, who was Russian delegate at the congresses of the League of Peace and Freedom, made fierce attacks on the tsarist Government.
134 Brefwechsel, vol. III., p.403
135 About the date of the Lausanne Congress, there was published in Hamburg the German original of Marx’s Capital the first volume, which provided the proletariat with a powerful weapon in the struggle for freedom. – It is well to point out that the amount of work entailed upon Marx in preparing this book for the press, prevented him (as is evident from his letters to Engels) from giving much time to the International, and even made him contemplate resigning his position on the General Council. At first, unfortunately, Capital was not so well understood as it ought to have been, so that it failed to secure a wide circulation. Considerably annoyed by the Proudhonist invasion at the Lausanne Congress, Marx made up his mind to settle accounts with the Proudhonists at the Brussels Congress. For the time being, however, he refrained from personal intervention, deciding to wait and see what effect his book would have in the socialist world. Nevertheless, as he wrote to Engels on September 11, 1867, he proposed to take the Proudhonists to task in the General Council. In the latter part of the letter he referred to the continued progress of the International. “Things are moving,” he wrote. “When the next revolution comes (and it is perhaps nearer than people fancy) we – you and I – shall have this mighty engine in our hands. Compare with this the results of Mazzini’s, etc., operations since 30 years!” (The last sentence is in English in the original.) “And all this has been done without any funds! It has been done while the Proudhonists were intriguing in Paris, and Mazzini in Italy, and the jealous Odger, Cremer, and Potter in London, and Schulze-Delitzsch and the Lassallists in Germany! We have good reason to be satisfied!” Engels, on his side, writing to Marx under the same date, referred to the immoderate influence wielded by the Proudhonists at Lausanne, and expressed the hope that at Brussels it would be possible, with the aid of the British and the North German delegates, to dam the Proudhonist flood. (Briefwechsel, vol. III., pp.406-7.) As we shall see later, this hope was fulfilled, or at Brussels a great defeat was inflicted on the Proudhonists by the communists.
136 This “Times” correspondent was no other than Eccarius, one of the General Council’s delegates to the congress. The editorial staff of the “Times” garbled his reports, but Eccarius’ original drafts were indiscreet. He forgot that the bourgeois press could put a ludicrous gloss on his account of the happenings at the congress.
137 Op. cit., pp.28-9.
138 Op. cit., p.115.
139 Fribourg, op. cit., p.116.
140 Meyer, op. cit., 1874, Vol. I., p.113
141 Op. cit., pp.116-118.
142 Fribourg, op. cit., p.119.
143 The “leaders of the International” whom Villetard has in mind here are, of course, merely the Parisian Proudhonists, whom the republicans suspected of being in the pay of the Bonapartist police.
144 Op. cit., pp.194-198; English translation, pp.178-182.
145 G. P. Cluseret (1823-1900), took an active part in political life as a revolutionary of the old school. He had a turn for conspiracies and adventures, and participated in the revolution of 1848. Returning to Paris after a period of exile, he became a member of the International. Later, he was in supreme command of the forces of the Paris Commune.
146 The term “authoritarian party” was coined by the Proudhonists, and was subsequently taken up by the anarchists. (Anarchism was, indeed, merely the second edition of Proudhonism.)
“Authoritarianism” signified an attempt to bring about a political revolution, connoting the idea of an intention to seize power (from the Proudhonist point of view, a dreadful design!)
147 Op. cit., pp.120-1.
148 For details concerning the activities of the International in France at this date consult Thomas, op. cit., pp.304 et seq.; also Weill’s before-mentioned works.
149 Fribourg, op. cit., pp.121-2.
150 Zasulich, op. cit., Vol. I. p.294.
151 Zasulich, op. cit., Vol. I., p.296.
152 Villetard, op. cit., p.313.
153 The Bonapartist Government had been inclined to look askance at the international at an earlier date. In view of the charges brought by the bourgeois republicans and the Blanquists against the first French adherents of the International (to the effect that these latter were nothing but police agents) Marx was delighted that the Bonapartist Government was beginning to show hostility towards the International (Briefwechsel, vol. III., p.357. Letter to Engels dated December 17, 1866). Another echo from the same period is found in a letter from Marx to Engels dated a fortnight later (Briefwechsel, Vol. III., 359). It begins with New Year greetings: “May the devil next year fly away with the Russians, the Prussians, Bonaparte, and the British jurymen,” and goes on “Apropos! The French government had seized some documents of ours which, after the Geneva Congress, were brought across the frontier by the French members of the International. These papers had been added to the police archives. Through Lord Stanley, the Foreign Minister, we put in a claim for the things as ‘British Property.’ In actual fact, poor Bonaparte has been obliged to hand the lot over to us by way of the Foreign Office. What a lark! He’s been bamboozled and can’t think how.”
154 In its report to the Brussels Congress, the General Council remarked: “The governmental persecution, far from killing the International, has given the organisation a fresh impetus by putting an end to the sordid flirtation of the imperial administration with the working class.” (Quoted by Villetard, op. cit., p.202.)
155 Zasulich, op. cit., Vol. I., p.29.
156 Regarding the difference between the General Union of German Workers, the Lassallist organisation, and the German Workers’ Union, internationalist in spirit, with which Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht were associated, see above.
157 Whereas in Germany the workers’ participation in the elections was crowned with success (the socialists securing six seats), in Britain, France, and Switzerland, at this date the only outcome of this form of political struggle was compromise and disappointment.
158 A Troisième congrès de 1'Association Internationale des Travailleurs. Compte-rendu officiel. Bruxelles, 1868.
159 Thus in the Russian. It is true that Becker belonged to the Swiss section, but in Testut’s reprint of the official report he appears among the German delegates a s “broom-maker, ex-colonel of the German revolutionary army, delegate of the Central Council of the Group of German branches.” – E. and C.P.
160 The Brussels Congress is the first among the congresses of the International at which we find delegates from great working-class organisations affiliated to the international, delegates representing thousands of members. Here, too, for the first time, Germany was effectively represented. Zasulich, op. cit., Vol. I., p.302.
161 It is interesting to note that Marx declared the Belgian Proposal to strike against war to be “idiotic.” (Briefwechsel, Vol. IV., p.82.)
162 At this period the system of universal military service had not been widely adopted.
163 Upon this subject, César de Paepe spoke as follows: “There are two ways of working against war. The first of these is to make a direct attack on war by the refusal of military service (applause), or, and this amounts to the same thing since the armies cannot fight without supplies, by ceasing work. The second method is indirect; it is the method of those who aim at suppressing war by solving the social problem. This latter is the method which will triumph in the end thanks to the development of the International (loud cheers). If we try the first method, we shall always be having to make a fresh start. By the second method we shall cut off the evil at the source.” (Testut, Le livre bleu de l'International, p.173). This formulation of the question recurred at subsequent congresses.
164 Of course, the League of Peace and Freedom, which was an anticipatory embodiment of the fallacies of bourgeois pacifism, did not accept this proposal, and continued to lead an aimless existence. At the Berne Congress, the section of the extreme left, under Bakunin’s leadership, seceded from the League. (See below.)
165 “Upon the educational question about half a dozen reports were presented. Against State interference in this ‘family matter,’ there came a protest from only one section, that of Liége, which quoted in support of its contention the passages from Proudhon which had already been used by the Parisian delegates in their memorial to the Geneva Congress. Other reports, among them one presented by the Parisian bookbinders, demanded State education, which was to be free and compulsory. The women’s sections supplemented this demand with a demand for the support of children of school age at the cost of the State, on the ground that, without this, compulsory education was impossible. If the children of proletarians were to be compelled to go to school instead of to the factory, in default of State aid this would impose an impossible burden on the parents, and the children would starve.” Zasulich, op. cit., p.309.
166 Once again the Proudhonists’ favourite idea cropped up... At the previous congresses, the Germans had modestly listened to the interminable arguments about credit, but on this occasion they ventured to reply .... The French, however, trained in the school of Proudhon, had already secured a majority of the votes, and were masters of the situation. (Zasulich, op. cit., p.310. – summarised.)
167 There was on that occasion much discontent with the cooperative societies, both distributive and productive. Every speaker was ready with examples of their greed, of their bourgeois instincts, and of the way in which they completely ignored theory. – Zasulich, op. cit., p.311.
168 The name of mutualism had been given to the system of Proudhon, who had advocated “mutual service,” “mutual credit,” and other forms of mutuality or mutual aid.
169 Zasulich, op. cit., pp.305-7.
170 Testut, Le livre bleu de l'Internationale, 1871, p.221.
171 Marx attached great importance to this question. “I made up my mind long ago,” he wrote to Kugelmann, on April 6, 1868, “that the social revolution must seriously begin at the very foundation, that is to say, with landed property.”
172 R. Meyer, op. cit., p.112.
173 Fribourg, op. cit., pp.109 and 111.
174 Quoted by Zasulich, op. cit., p.285.
175 Villetard, Histoire de l'Internationale, Paris, 1872, pp.124 and 125.
176 Meyer, op. cit., p.114. “Collective ownership and hostility to individual ownership, had become dogmas of the International.” ibid, p.115.
177 The Brussels Congress passed a vote of thanks to Marx for his Capital and recommended the workers to master its teachings.
178 Cf. Briefwechsel zwischen Engels und Marx, vol. III., pp.80-83. – According to Lessner, whose words are quoted by Marx (p.82 ), a considerable success had been secured by the British delegates, although the Belgians and the French greatly outnumbered them. The reason was that upon all important matters the Belgian workers, defying their leaders, had voted with London.
179 Laveley;, op. cit., pp.187-188.
180 Fribourg, op. cit., pp. 123-4,
181 They consoled themselves by attacking communism in bourgeois congresses and elsewhere. For instance, at the Berne Congress of the League of Peace and Freedom, which took place very soon after the Brussels Congress of the International, “Charles Lemonnier, Jules Barni, and G. Chaudey on behalf of the bourgeoisie, and Fribourg on behalf of the workers [!], raised their voices against such doctrines [communism] ... and declared themselves ready to fight against them wherever they might encounter them.” – Fribourg, op. cit., p.130. – These Proudhonists were the forerunners of the “social patriots” or “patriotic socialists” of to-day.
182 Zasulich, op. cit., p.312.
183 Even Villetard, the opponent of the International, is moved to remark: “There can be no doubt that, in their controversy with the mutualists, M. de Paepe and the communists have logic on their side” (op. cit., p.130). I need hardly say that Villetard wants to discredit the Proudhonists, and to show them to be masked enemies of the bourgeois regime.
184 Zasulich, op. cit., pp.315-6.
185 Testut, L'Association Internationale, 1870, p.174.
186 In its report to the Basle Congress, the General Council referred to the matter as follows: “The laurels culled by the Belgian Government on the glorious battlefields of Seraing and Frameries seem to have disturbed the slumbers of the great European powers. We need not, then, be surprised that Britain this year has wanted to boast of its massacre of the workers.” This is a reference to the Welsh miners’ strike, and to the conflict in which five persons (two of them women) were killed and a great number wounded. At the subsequent trial, the workers who had been prominent in the affair were sentenced to ten years’ penal servitude. (Cf. Testut, Le livre bleu, pp.104 and 105.)
187 Refer to what has already been said concerning the significance of these figures.
188 See above.
188 Jaeckh, The International, English translation, p.65.
189 op. cit., p.63.
190 Hillquit, op. cit., p.188.
191 Sylvia was also on the staff of the journal, and Wilhelm Lienknecht was an occasional contributor to its columns. Sorge describes Cameron as “a hopeless sort of chap.” See F. A. Sorge
Die arbeiterbewegung in den Vereinigten Staaten, 1867-77, published in “Die Neue Zeit,” 1891-92.
192 See also Testut, L'Association Internationale, p.143. - For most of the details in the text, as regards the relationships between the National Labour Union and the International Workingmen’s Association, see also Hillquit, op. cit., Part Two, Chapter Two.
193 There were, however, certain U.S. organisations which formally affiliated to the International. We shall speak of these later.
194 Report of the Fourth Annual Congress, London, 1860.
195 Among the majority were Becker, Varlin, Lessner, Lucraft, Rittinghausen, and Sentinon. They considered that “the land ought to be cultivated and exploited by solidarised communes.”
Eccarius, voicing the opinion of the General Council, advocated large-scale machine production by agricultural societies to which land was to be leased by the State. The minority, whose views were voiced by De Paepe, held that the community “ought to allow individual agriculturists to occupy the land, although the preference must be given to agricultural societies which would pay a rent to the community.” Some of the Proudhonists held closely similar views.
196 “Russo-German communism” refers to Bakunin and the German Marxists, although the latter differed from Bakunin on all other questions. The phrase recalls the contemporary term “Russo-German Bolshevism.” Fribourg may be regarded as the parent of this expression – although the honour might be contested by Mazzini.
197 Fribourg, op. cit., pp.139-140.
198 The principle of the collective ownership of land, which was adopted at the congress of Brussels in 1868, and at that of Basle in 1869, was part of the program of the left wing of the British Land Reformers: ‘Seeing that the monopoly of lauded property is the source of all evils, social, moral, and political, from which society suffers; and that the only remedy is to restore the land to its legitimate heir: the land shall be held by the State, which shall grant the use of it on conditions to be hereafter determined. The existing proprietors shall receive by way of indemnity Government stocks. The abolition of the standing army, the profits of the national bank, and a direct progressive tax, replacing all other taxes, shall furnish the necessary resources for this reform.’ Even in these extreme proposals, we may note the British respect for law. On the Continent, when there is talk of confiscating property, there is no idea of compensation.” – Laveleye op. cit., p.143.
199 We may remember that in the Communist Manifesto the abolition of the right of inheritance was the third among the ten measures enumerated as those which the proletariat would adopt, after the attainment of political power, in order to bring about the transformation of bourgeois society into socialist society.
200 Amongst those who abstained and those who voted against the proposal were the Proudhonists and the individualists, who made common cause with the anarchists against the General Council.
201 In his letter to Engels under date October 30, 1869, Marx describes the League as having been directly founded by the General Council. He goes so far as to declare that in founding the League, “the Labour Party [Arbeiterpartei] has broken away from the bourgeoisie.” Eccarius was to act as paid secretary of the League. (Briefwechsel, vol. IV., p. 19g.) In actual fact, the League soon showed itself to be only a bourgeois democratic organisation. But in the Britain of that day its formation was an advance.
202 We learn from the correspondence between Marx and Engels that Marx strongly disapproved of Liebknecht’s flirtation with the bourgeois democrats. The spineless attitude of the Eisenachers towards the Basle resolution upon the agrarian question had been very annoying. Writing to Engels on October 30, 1869, Marx said: “You must know that the workers (or, rather, their delegates) in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany are raising a lot of dust about the decision of the Basle Congress as to landed property. It is enough to make one’s hair stand on end to see how feebly Wilhelm [Liebknecht] is holding his own against the outcries of Schwabenmayer and Co. His weakness is being cleverly exploited by the Swiss. No one has yet thought of asking the Liberal clamourers whether there does not exist in Germany another sort of landed property besides that of the small peasant farmers – the estates of the great landlords, which form the basis on which feudalism survives. No one troubles to ask whether it will not be necessary to make short work in this domain in time of revolution, were it merely to put an end to the extant form of State economy – and whether this is to happen after the obsolete manner of 1789.” – In his answer to the forgoing letter, under date November 1, 1869, Engels remarks that there arc several kinds of peasants. “First of all, there are the tenant farmers, to whom it makes no difference whether they rent their land from the State or from a great private landlord. Secondly, there are those who farm their own land, and of these there are three kinds: (1) the great peasants [those who own a considerable amount of land], against whom, as reactionaries, the feelings of the agricultural labourers and the farm servants should be stirred up; (2) the middle peasants, likewise reactionary, but not very numerous; (3) the small peasants, burdened with debt, and prone to mortgage their plots of land. It is certainly not to the interest of the proletariat to challenge small-scale landed proprietership.” (Briefwechsel, vol. IV., pp.198-200). – In the foregoing passage, Engels advocates what we now regard as the solid, tactic of an alliance between the urban proletariat and the poor peasants against the great landlords, the bourgeoisie, and the rich peasants. In Russia we speak of three grades of peasants as rich peasant (or kulaks), middle peasants, and poor peasants.
203 Writing to Engels under date March 24, 1870, Marx ironically observes: “It’s a fine position for me to be in, the representative of Young Russia!” (Briefwechsel, vol. IV., p.259.)
204 Testut, L'Internationale, 1870, p.313.
205 To a considerable degree this lack accounts for the financial weakness of the International, which greatly hampered the activities of its leaders.
206 It was thus both in Switzerland and in France. I have already referred to the ill-success of the “workers’ candidates” in the early sixties. They fared no better in the later years of the same decade. The French internationalists decided to participate in the parliamentary election of May, 1869. In this election the Parisian group of internationalists (among whom were Varlin, Heligon, and Sauva) issued an electoral address, insisting upon the right of recall of members of parliament; and, by way of a temporary compromise, upon annual elections. The manifesto demanded that the standing army should be replaced by a general arming of the nation; the disestablishment of the Church; freedom of conscience; elected judges; trial by jury both in Civil and in criminal cases; full, secular, and compulsory education, with maintenance of children of school age; abolition of the privileges attaching to university degrees; the right of combination; the right of public meeting; freedom of the press; personal responsibility in the civil service; a graduated income tax, and the abolition of all indirect taxes; the expropriation of all joint-stock companies; the nationalisation, as public services, of the banks, canals, railways, and other means of communication, insurance, and mining; local self-government. (The foregoing program will be found in full in Testut’s L'Association Internationale des Travailleurs, Lyons, 1870, pp.24 and 25.) The main objets of the initiators of this campaign were to make a demonstration and to push their propaganda. Thus, on January 8, 1869, shortly before the general election, Varlin wrote to Aubry: “Our aim in participating in the elections side by side with the bourgeois republicans of all shades is to insist upon the cleavage between the people and the bourgeoisie.” (Cf. Villetard, op. Cit., p.207.) None of the workers’ candidates were elected.
207 Most of the recent literature concerning Bakunin and the struggle between Bakunin and Marx is only available in the Russian tongue. There is also a large manuscript work by Max Nettlau, in three volumes, Michael Bakunin. Twenty-five lithographed copies are extant, and one may be consulted in the British Museum Library. The following books may also be recommended: James Guillaume, L'Internationale; Georg Stekloff [the author of the present work], Michael Bakunin, Stuttgart, 1913; Fritz Bruhbacher, Marx and Bakunin, Munich, 1913; Marc de Préandau, Michel Bakunine, Le collectivisme dans l'Internationale, Paris, 1912. See also an article on Marx and Bakunin in “L'Humanité Nouvelle,” for March, 1900. An abridgement of Nettlau’s biography (also in German) was published as a 64-page pamphlet, Max Nettlau, Michael Bakunin, Berlin, 1901. Prefixed to the 7-vol. French edition of Bakunin’s works (Paris, 1907, et seq.) is a biographical sketch by James Guillaume.
208 Bakunin had played a vigorous part in the revolutionary movements of 1848 and 1849. In the latter year, having been concerned in the Dresden rising he was arrested and sentenced to death. He was reprieved and handed over to the Austrians, who likewise inflicted a death sentence, reprieved the offender, and sent him back to Russia for Tsar Nicolas to deal with. He was three years in the fortress of Peter and Paul, and three years more in Schüsselburg Prison, where he lost all his teeth during an attack of scurvy (due to the prison diet). From 1857 to 1860 he was in exile in Siberia, but escaped thence, and reached London in 1861, by which time the reaction following the defeats of 1848 and 1859 had spent its force. He joined the International in 1868. – E. and C.P.
209 Herzen [Michael Bakunin and the Polish Affair – In the collection of Herzen’s posthumous works].
210 When Bakunin was in London during 1861, he had avoided a meeting with Marx, owing to a misunderstanding which is not relevant to the present history. There are several allusions to it in the Marx-Engels correspondence, and it is also mentioned in the “Private Communication” of which more will be said presently.
211 Marx expected much assistance from Bakunin in the struggle with the influence of the Mazzinists in Italy, and in helping on the work of the International. Writing to Engels under date May 1, 1865, he said: “You know that the Italian organisation has not cut loose from the Association, but has merely withdrawn its delegates from the General Council ... If they don’t promptly appoint some new delegates, Bakunin must see if he can find us a few live Italians.” (Briefwechsel, vol. IV., p.252.)
212 See the collection [The Historical Development of the International], published in 1873 by the Bakuninist refugees. See also Dragomanoff [The Letters of Bakunin to Herzen and Ogarieff] published in 1892, and, in an abbreviated form, Petersburg, 1907; Nettlau, op. cit.; St. Guillaume, M. A. Bakunin, Byloe, August, 1906.
213 Memoire adressé par la Féderation jurassienne de l'Association internationale des Travailleur’s a toutes les federations de l‘Internationale, Sonvillier , 1873. The program is also printed in full by Guillaume, L'Internationale, vol. I, pp.132-133.
214 As soon as he became acquainted with the plans of the Alliance and with the designs of Bakunin, Marx felt compelled to break off friendly relationships with his old acquaintance. Now (in a letter to Engels under date December 18, 1868), Marx was ready to agree that Borkheim – always inclined to discover “Muscovite” and “panslavist” intrigues, and at whom Marx and Engels were generally inclined to laugh on this account – was right for once. Marx recognised that Bakuninism was a danger to the International, and decided to combat it remorselessly. Engels replied reassuringly, to the effect that the Bakuninist movement was purely local – a Genevese affair – and would soon collapse. Before long, Marx agreed with him. (Briefwechsel, vol. IV., p.124 et seq.)
215 In his interesting work L'Internationale, James Guillaume tries to show that the talk about a secret Alliance from 1868 onwards represents a romance created by the vivid imagination of Marx and his “clique”. Now, it is quite possible that Malon and Guillaume were not members of the Alliance; but Bakunin’s letters afford evidence that in the year 1872 the Alliance existed in Italy, Spain, France, and Switzerland. See for instance Bakunin’s letter to Francisco Mora mentioned below.
216 From the beginning of the eighteenth century down to 1848, except for a brief interval during the Napoleonic wars, Neuchâtel was an appanage of the crown of Prussia, though from 1815 onwards it was also part of the Swiss Confederation, of which it become the twenty-first canton, while remaining under Prussian suzerainty. There was still a royalist or monarchist party in Neuchâtel for a long time after the final separation from Prussia, and the monarchists had actually attempted a forcible restoration of Prussian suzerainty about ten years before the date to which Stekloff refers in the text. – E. and C. P.
217 Guillaume’s voluminous history, L‘Internationale, is a partisan defence of Bakuninism, and in this respect forms an interesting counterpart to the equally partisan work by Jaeckh, whose bias is precisely the opposite. Guillaume repeatedly shows how the Swiss Internationalists, and especially the Genevese, deferred to the middle-class prejudices of the working masses, refrained from disclosing all their program, kept the idea of the social revolution in the background, and even avoided making any attack on private property. On the other hand, the Bakuninists (says Guillaume) carried on an open campaign on behalf of reactionary socialism, regardless of the feelings of the backward strata of the proletariat, and paying no heed to the indignation of the petty bourgeois radicals. He declares that it was orgy thanks to the efforts of Bakunin and the latter’s friends that the Swiss became acquainted with communist ideas. This may be true. But we must not forget that the dispute between the factions soon assumed a very different character, taking on the form of a struggle between communism and anti-political anarchism. It was very unfortunate for the Jura members of the International that the only socialist teaching with which they became intimately acquainted was of a muddle-headed character, being that of Coullery and other middle-class politicians on the one hand, and that of the anarchists and insurrectionists on the other.
218 In these words, as will be seen, there is no manifestation of “supreme contempt,” but merely a statement of historical facts.
219 The whole history of Italy from the close of the eighteenth century onwards, bears witness to this. Both in Naples and in the Papal States, the absolutist-ecclesiastical reaction made use of the lumpenproletariat to fight the revolution, to organize pogroms, and so on. The same thing happened in Spain. (It is obvious that the authors of the Communist Manifesto, published in February, 1848, had in mind the facts of Italian and Spanish history.). It happened also in France. Consider, for instance, the June days of 1848, when the proletariat was defeated with the assistance of the “gardes mobiles” (“Cavaignac’s butchers”), recruited from the Lumpenproletariat. Once more, during the Second Empire, the police levied its “blouses blanches” from among the slum-dwellers.
220 This letter to Mora appears as in appendix to the pamphlet L'Alliance de la démocratie socialiste, pp.135-37. – Parts of it are printed by Guillaume, op. cit., vol. II, p.288.
221 These views were already outlined in William Godwin’s An Enquiry concerning Political Justice, London, 1793; to some extent in Fourier’s writings; also in those of Proudhon, and especially in Qu'est ce que la proprieté? Solution du problème social, Idées révolutionnaires. La révolution sociale démontrée par le coup d'état, Idées generales de la revolution, Du Principe federatif, Confessions d'un révolutionnaire, La justice dans la révolution et dans l'église, Systems des contradictions économiques. In a more revolutionary form they connection are expounded in pamphlets and articles by the working-class revolutionists Weitling, the German journeyman tailor, and Joseph Déjacque, the French anarchist, and in the writings of Ernest Coeurderoy (the two last-named had to flee from France after the revolution of 1848); also in Felix Stirner’s well-known book The Ego and his Own; but, first and foremost, in the pamphlets, articles, lectures, speeches, and letters of Bakunin. ,
222 Cf. Bakunin, Lettres à un français, in Oeuvres, 6 Vols., Stock, Paris, 1895-1913, vol. II, p.113. – There is something to be said for this idea of Bakunin’s. But the Russian revolution has shown that the new social organisation can only develop after the conquest of power by the proletariat, and the establishment of the dictatorship of the working class.
223 In his numerous letters, Bakunin has hardly a word to say concerning this struggle for a shorter working day (which plays so prominent a part in the history of the proletarian movement), or concerning the significance of trade-union organisation to the working class. These matters quite escaped the notice of the anarchist agitator – yet another proof, if one were needed, of his complete failure to understand the ideology of the contemporary proletariat!
224 See, for instance, Engels’ letter to Marx under date Manchester, July 6, 1869 (Briefwechsel, vol. IV., p.175): “That is a brilliant idea of Wilhelm’s, that the workers must neither accept nor even enforce concessions from the ‘existing State.’ He'll he able to do a fat lot with the workers along such lines!”
225 In this connexion it may be mentioned that Marx and Engels were never enthusiastic about universal (manhood) suffrage. They even uttered warnings about the illusions that are apt to be entertained regarding its efficacy. But this does not mean that they had a preference for another electoral system in capitalist society.
226 Does not this seem to throw light on the fact that so many working-class anarchists pass over to the extreme right wing of the working movement? As far as an earlier generation is concerned, it will suffice to mention Paul Brousse, Benoît Walon, and Andrea Costa. Among our contemporaries we think of Jouhaux, at one time a “revolutionary syndicalist,” and many others of the sort.
227 Italics not used in the original.
228 Communist Manifesto. Italics not used in the original.
229 This is the concluding paragraph of a “private circular” issued by the General Council, and printed at Geneva in 1872. It was entitled Les prétendues scissions dans l'Internationale The Alleged Split in the International, and was signed by the whole Council. It was, presumably, penned by Marx.
230 See below the resolution adopted at the Anarchist conference in Sonvillier.
231 At the outset of the struggle within the International, Marx did his best to hold the scales equal. Thus in his letter to Engels dated February 19, 1870, after mentioning the expulsion of Albert Richard by the Lyons branch, Marx went on: “Except for his slavish devotion to Bakunin and his inclination to take a rather exalted view of his own sagacity, I have nothing against the young man. Our last circular seems to have made a great sensation and the hunt is up against the Bakuninists both in Switzerland and in France. But moderation is desirable, and I shall see to it that no injustice is done.” (Briefwechsel, vol. IV., p.248). The circular to which Marx refers was a private one, for the branches only, adopted by the General Council at the full session of January 1, 1870. Actually written by Marx, it had been elaborated by a sub-committee consisting of all the corresponding secretaries of the various countries. The document satisfactorily dealt with the reproaches raised by the Bakuninists (in especial the statements made in the Geneva paper “Egalité” which had temporarily fallen into the Bakuninists’ hands). As corresponding secretary for Germany, Marx sent the circular to Kugelmann in order that the latter might transmit it to the Brunswick committee of the German social democrats. At the beginning and at the end of the official communication, Marx appended information relative to Bakunin; though the information was based on facts it was not altogether accurate. Such was the famous “confidential communication” which formed the basis of the fierce attacks made by the anarchists upon Marx. Though they did not know the exact tenor of the document until it was published more than thirty years afterwards, in the “Neue Zeit,” they charged him with slandering Bakunin. (A full German translation of the confidential communication was published in the “Neue Zeit” of July 12, 1902, as part of the reprint of some of Marx’s letters to Kugelman.). The substance of this confidential communication was afterwards incorporated in another “private circular” issued by the General Council as a counterblast to the Bakuninist agitation. This was printed as a pamphlet, dated London, March 5, 1872, and entitled Les prétendues scissions dans l'Internationale [The Alleged Split in the International].
232 What has been said in the text shows that Rudolf Meyer, in general a shrewd and intelligent writer, was very far from having understood the fundamental difference between the Marxists and the Bakuninists when he wrote: “Both the Internationals, the two that have existed since the split at the Hague Congress in 1872, have the same economic and political principles, in so far as in all lands they march under the device ‘the free people’s State.’ All that the secessionists object to is the dictatorship of Marx.” (op. cit., p.160.)