History of The First International by G. M. Stekloff
285 The anarchists, at the climax of the fight with the Marxists, declared that the words “as a means” had been subsequently added by the Marxist “clique,” thus implying that the Marxists had committed a kind of forgery. But in Bakunin’s article, “Réponse d'un international à Mazzini,” which appeared in the “Liberté” of Brussels on August 18 and 19, 1871, i.e., at the height of the struggle between the Bakuninists and the Marxists, this very paragraph is quoted (Cf Bakunin’s Oeuvres, Vol. VI., p.127). Here is the phrase in the original French: “L'émancipation économique des classes ouvrières est le grand but auquel tout mouvement politique dolt être subordonné comme simple moyen.” If we leave unconsidered the fact that Bakunin has inserted the word “simple” [mere], then we have the Marxist version of the passage, with this difference: that the political movement is not characterised as “a means” but as “a mere means.” It is interesting to note that the sixth volume of Bakunin’s Works was issued under the editorship of fames Guillaume. We find the same words used in the essay “Protestation de l'Alliance” (same volume, pp.77 and 92). No accusations or observations on the part of Guillaume can alter the fact. In his L'Internationale, Guillaume found it necessary, though with rather a wry face, to acknowledge the anarchists’ mistake in this matter – in the matter of the text, I mean, not in the matter of the significance of the political struggle!
286 Subsequently, the tactics of the social democrats went far to justify Bakunin’s forecast. But this has absolutely no force as against the tactics of the communists (the Marxists), and does nothing to impair the significance of the political struggle of the proletariat when that political struggle has assumed a revolutionary form.
287 In the subsequent evolution of the Social Democratic Party, especially its right wing, never a word was uttered against the political tasks of the proletariat. But, in practice, the social democratic opportunism proved to be a distortion of communist tactics, just as practical (and theoretical) anarchism had proved to be a distortion though from a different angle.
288 See above, Marx’s speech after the Hague Congress.
289 Guillaume, as we have seen was the personal friend of Bakunin. He died in Paris in 1916. To the end of his days he cherished a hatred towards Marx and Marxists. During the war he published a pamphlet intended to prove that Marx was not an internationalist but a Pan-German.
290 Briefe und Auszüge, etc., pp.138-139.
291 Malatesta is still alive. For a long time he lived as a refugee in London. In later years he returned to Italy, where he devoted his energies to anarchist propaganda, his faith in these principles having remained unshaken. Costa was subsequently to renounce his anarchist principles. He was one of the founders of the Italian Socialist Party, and as fate would have it, like a great many other erstwhile Bakuninists, he took his stand at the extreme right of this party. He died some twenty years ago. Cafiero (who sacrificed the whole of his fortune to the revolutionary cause), was at first on excellent terms with Engels, though subsequently he adhered to the anarchist doctrines. Then he became disenchanted with anarchism, and returned to the Marxist fold. He died in the early eighties.
292 Despite his anarchist views and his personal friendship with Bakunin, Fanelli was a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. He helped Bakunin in various schemes, and, among them, in the foundation of the anarchist Alianza in Spain.
293 Briefe und Auszüge, etc., pp.64-5.
294 Utin was a former member of the Russian organisation Zesmlya i Volya (Land and Freedom), and was a disciple of Chernysheffsky. He emigrated from his homeland in the early sixties, and became a member of the International. He took the lead in a fierce campaign against Bakunin among the Romand Federationists in Switzerland. Later, the tsarist government granted him a pardon, and he returned to Russia. He took no further active part in the movement.
295 In a letter to Kugelmann under date May 11, 1869, Marx had written: “You are quite right. All this talk of a St. Bartholomew massacre of the Belgians will not do. But you yourself have not recognised the importance and the peculiar significance of this event. You must know that Belgium is the only country in which the sword, the musket, year in and year out, and with the utmost regularity, have the last word in every strike.”
296 Kropotkin is in error here. The Spanish anarchists, on principle, did not support the movement in favour of a federal republic, esteeming this movement to be a “bourgeois” affair. (Cf. Malon, L'Internationale, “La Nouvelle Revue,” February 15, 1884.) Bakunin was himself opposed to such tactics on the part of his disciples.
297 Eccarius was of German extraction, but had settled in England. A tailor by trade he was also a writer and had penned a notable refutation of John Stuart Mill’s political economy.
298 It is interesting to note that these dissentients entered a special protest against the characterisation of the trade-union bureaucracy given by Marx at the Hague Congress, when he declared that in England there were no acknowledged leaders of the working class worthy the name, seeing that the so-called leaders were sold to the liberal bourgeoisie. Despite their indignation, it must be admitted that their every deed only served to corroborate Marx’s characterisation.
299 The trade unions put forward a few “workers’ candidates,” and two of these, miners’ leaders, were successful. They were the first working-class M.P.’s, but sat, of course, as liberals
300 Engels’ letter to Sorge under date January 4, 1873.
301 By this Engels meant the Lassallists who, down to 1875, conduced a fierce campaign against the Marxists (or Eisenachers) throughout Germany, and endeavoured by every means to guide opinion against them. Curiously and characteristically enough, the Lassallists never allied themselves with the Bakuninists in their struggle with the Marxists, although the Bakuninists would gladly have rallied to so worthy a cause! As a matter of fact, the Lassallists might with greater accuracy have been described as it authoritarians and so forth than even the Marxists.
302 Wilhelm Weitling, one of the pioneers of the communist movement, took part in the anniversary festival organised by these three sections in January, 1871.
303 For an account of the activities of the International in the United States, cf Morris Hillquit, History of Socialism in the United Sates, pp.175 et seq.; also, John R. Commons and Associates, History of Labour in the United States, two vols., New York, 1918, passim.
304 One Dutch delegate appeared, with a mandate to demand a reconciliation with the Bakuninists, but he was refused a hearing and vanished from the scene.
305 Cf. Rudolf Meyer, op. cit., vol. I., p.171. It is a remarkable fact that the Bakuninist congress of Brussels adopted an almost identical resolution, the main difference being that the congress did not make any “recommendation” or offer any “advice” as to the “line of political behaviour.” See below, at the close of Chapter Six.
306 Jaeckh has very little to say about the International after the Hague Congress, and what he says is full of inaccuracies. Thus, on p.169, referring to the anarchist International, after a reference to the Bakuninist conference at Geneva in 1873, he writes: “The next ... congress of the year 1874 in Brussels was the last of its kind.” As a matter of fact, the Anarchist International subsequently held congresses in Berne, Verviers; etc. Concerning the Marxist congress at Geneva, the congress that was such a hopeless fiasco, he solemnly writes (p.169): “There is a bold, hopeful strain throughout the whole proceedings. The yearly report of the General Council speaks in the old proud tones. From Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, France, progress was reported, and hope was expressed of better things. The old progressive countries had remained true to the old International, the lands in which the labour movement became stronger from year to year, and became a political power.” This is a preposterous assertion, unpardonable in a historian. There is no doubt that in some of the countries named by Jaeckh the working-class movement was actually gaining strength. This was the case in Germany and Switzerland. But the old International did not benefit thereby. On the contrary, we may say that in proportion as in these countries the working-class movement grew stronger, the workers drew away from the International (though, of course, only for a time). To write in such a strain about the Geneva Congress of 1873 was utterly ridiculous.
307 Engels wrote to Marx under date September 21, 1874: “In New York the brawlers and swelled-heads have secured a majority on the General Council. Sorge has resigned ... All the better. We have no further responsibility for anything that happens. What luck that all the minutes are in our hands!” Briefwechsel, Vol. IV., p.368.
308 Unfortunately Engels was mistaken. The Second International did not fulfil his hopes. There was not to be a communist International until the foundation of the Third International, after the world war and the Russian revolution.
309 An account of the proceedings was published in Lavroff’s “Vperiod” [Forward], a Russian periodical issued in London.
310 In Philadelphia from July 19 to 22, 1876, was a held a “consolidation conference,” at which the internationalists were represented by two delegates, Sorge and Weydemeyer. The Social Democratic Working Men’s Party of North America, with a membership of 1,500; the Labor Party of Illinois, with a membership of 593; and the Socio-Political Labor Union of Cincinnati, with a membership of 250, were the constituent parties at the convention. As a result of the consolidation, there was formed a new party, under the name Working Men’s Party of the United States. In December, 1877, at the second convention of the party held in Newark, N.J., the name was changed to Socialist Labor Parry of North America. Thus was achieved the creation of a national workers’ party.
At the consolidation conference, the delegates of the sometime International repeatedly advised that the new organisation should avoid premature participation in the electoral struggle, and a resolution to this effect (too long to quote) was actually passed. The wording of the resolution strongly reminds us of the views of the Bakuninists. The main difference is that the Bakuninists repudiated participation in the electoral struggle whereas the newly formed Socialist Labor Party decided against “premature” participation. The passing of this resolution gave occasion to Guillaume to remark sarcastically: “Thus American Marxism culminated in that very abstention from electoral activity which, according to Hepner’s dictum at the Hague Congress, ‘leads directly to the police station.” (Op. cit., Vol. IV., p.50.)
311 Compte-rendu officiel du sixième congrès general de l'Association Internationale des Travailleurs, Locle, 1878. – Cf. also Guillaume, op. cit., pp.108 et seq.
312 This was Van den Abeele, who also functioned as one of the Belgian delegates. He was the man who, as previously related, put in a brief appearance, as a Dutch delegate, at the Marxist Geneva Congress on September 8, 1873.
313 Compte-rendu officiel du septième congrès general de l'Association Internationale des Travailleurs, Verviers, 1875. Cf also Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. III., pp.210 et seq.; also Lavroff, [Chronicle of the Working-Class Movement] in “Vperiod” [ Forward] , Vol. III., London, 1874.
314 Engels wrote to Sorge as follows under date London, September 12 and 17, 1874 (Briefe und Auszüge, pp.139 et seq.): “The Belgians and Bakuninists are now holding their congress in Brussels ... There are 14 delegates: 1 German (Lassallist), 1 Frenchman, 1 Spaniard, 1 Schwitzguébel, the rest Belgians. General disagreement about essentials, masked by the fact that there is no real discussion, nothing but orating and listening... The Italians announce their practical secession, on the ground that the public existence of the International can do them nothing but harm. In future, they want to confine themselves to conspiratorial activities. The Spaniards are taking the same trend. In general, they all stuff one another up with lies about the immense expansion of the movement, and continue to cherish the hope that some one will believe them.” – To Marx, under date London, September 21, 1874, Engels wrote, referring to the Brussels Congress: “It was a miserable failure: fourteen delegates, all Belgians, except two German Lassallists, Schwitzguébel, Gomez, and Eccarius.” (Briefwechsel, Vol. IV., p.367.)
315 De Paepe’s memorial was published in full as part of the official report of the Brussels Congress (pp.74-163). A Russian translation was published in 1875 at the office of “Vperiod,” under the title [The Organisation of Social Services in the Society of the Future]. This was reissued with an almost identical title, with preface and notes by Lavroff, by “Kolos,” Petrograd, 1919.
316 In the before-mentioned Russian translation of De Paepe’s report, published at Petrograd in 1919, Lavroff, comparing the Geneva report with De Paepe’s report, writes as follows:
De Paepe’s report frankly regards the State as a directing social group in the society of the future; the Geneva report no less frankly repudiates any kind of State ... De Paepe openly introduced a State element into his construction; beyond dispute, he demanded power, the right to use compulsion in many circumstances for various groups of his future society; those who penned the Geneva report, on the other hand, while they were prepared to tolerate whatever kind of organisation for social purposes you cared to suggest, would not call it a ‘State,’ for the word was hateful to them.”
317 Lavroff obviously has in mind the forcible suppression of the counter-revolution.
318 In his Bibliography of Anarchism, Nettlau justly remarks that De Paepe’s report cannot be regarded as an anarchist document.
319 At the Lausanne Congress and the Basle Congress, where there was a sharp divergence of opinion between the advocates of private property and the advocates of collective ownership.
320 Compte-rendu, pp.178-180.
321 This was especially true at that epoch. The German party was in the phase of heroic struggle, and had not yet become a prey to “conciliation” or to “parliamentarist cretinism.”
322 Paul Brousse, who at the time we are now dealing with, was one of the anarchist leaders, subsequently became a moderate possibilist, while retaining all his old enmity for Marxism. In 1882 he published an interesting pamphlet entitled Le marxisme dans l'Internationale. In this he acknowledged that in 1871 and 1872 the Marxists championed good ideas, but he said that they did so by bad means, consequently retarding the triumph of these ideas. “From the theoretical outlook, the Marxists were right,” in the matter of the political struggle and in that of the conquest of political power. He gave a lucid explanation of the “abstentionist” policy. “In Russia, Italy, and Spain, where electoral activities on the part of the workers were impossible because they did not possess the right to vote, a purely revolutionary activity became a natural necessity.” (Op. cit., pp.11, 14, and 16.) And yet the explanation takes us only half way. “Purely revolutionary activity” is by no means identical with anarchism.
323 This term “economism” has a specific meaning in relationship to the Russian socialist and revolutionary movement. It must be remembered that under the tsarist regime in Russia, even the bourgeoisie was revolutionary, and that all the anti-tsarist movements tended to have a socialist complexion. The theory of the revolutionary bourgeoisie was that there was to be a division of labour; that the political struggle was pre-eminently the affair of the “intelligentsia” (which, of course, meant the bourgeoisie), while the working class should confine its attention to securing higher wages, a shorter working day and so on. The proletariat therefore was to devote all its energies to the economic, or as we prefer to term it in Britain the industrial struggle. Those who held this view were called the “economists”, among whom some of the most notable were Struve, Tugan-Baranovsky, and Potresoff. A considerable part of Lenin’s life work was concentrated in the fight against this “economist” trend within Social Democratic Party. Lenin called the bourgeois ideologues “economists” because of the stress they laid on the economic (industrial) struggle as the peculiar function of the proletariat. He drew close and instructive parallels between their position and that of the liberal trade unionists in nineteenth-century Britain. The struggle with “economism” was one of the active factors in the hammering out of the Bolshevik Party, now the Russian Communist Party, which has always held that this division of functions as between the “intelligentsia” and the proletariat plays into the hands of the bourgeoisie, and is, therefore, counter-revolutionary. The foregoing considerations throw light, not only on the italicised phrase to which this note is appended, but also on the italicised phrase a little lower down in the text, to the effect that the anarchist program of the anti-authoritarian International was “merely a hotchpotch of British trade unionism and Proudhonist good will” – the latter term meaning reliance upon the good will of “enlightened and humane” members of the possessing classes, instead of upon force wielded by a dictatorship of the proletariat and the revolutionary peasantry. – E. and C.P.
324 Of course, the Bakuninists took the same view of every insurrection, however small!
325 Cf Vandervelde, La Co-operation neutre et la co-operation socialiste, Paris, 1913.
326 see letter from Paul Brousse, dated Paris, May 22, 1877, published in the “Bulletin,” and reproduced by Guillaume, op. cit., Vol. IV., p.202.
327 Guillaume, op. cit., vol. IV., p.146.
328 Some influence was exercised in this matter, of course, by echoes of the recent popular struggles for national independence and unity, for these struggles had produced in the Italian masses a habit of insurrection.
329 Compte-rendu officiel du huitième congrès général, Berne, 1876, p.10; Malatesta is speaking on behalf of the Italian Federation.
330 In a letter published by the “Bulletin de la Federation Jurassienne” on June 10, 1877, Malatesta declares that these weapons were worthless (“hors d'usage”). This was quite in keeping with the rest of the affair.
331 A man sixty years of age (cf. Guillaume, op. cit., VOL IV., p.184). The insurgents were not more than thirty in number, and were under the leadership of Cafiero.
332 The attitude of these parish priests towards the insurgents finds its explanation in the hostility of the Roman Catholic clergy towards the Italian monarchy. In 1870, only seven years before the Benevento “putsch,” the Italian royalist forces had seized Rome and had definitively abolished the temporal power of the Pope, who thenceforward became “the Hermit of the Vatican.” The Roman Curia and the clergy under its spiritual jurisdiction were for the most part hostile to the “godless” and “predatory” Italian government. Naturally, therefore, they were willing to make common cause with the enemies of that government. Thus the feeling of the Catholic parish priests towards these men who had taken up arms against the crown was dictated by purely reactionary and clericalist sentiments.
333 Cf: Laveleye, Le socialisme contemporain, 1888, pp.258-9 English translation, Socialism of To-day, pp.222-3.
334 Writing to Marx under date February 23, 1877, Engels, commenting on the intention of the new organisation “to fight upon the platform of universal manhood suffrage,” remarks with great satisfaction that, as far as Italy is concerned, this makes the first breach in the wall of the Bakuninist fortress. He declares that the industrial districts of Northern Italy are important, not merely as a strategic centre, but in virtue of the influence they exercise over the whole labour movement in a peninsular whose inhabitants are mainly peasants. (Briefwechsel, vol. IV., p.386.)
335 Ryazanoff points out that this was contributed by Engels. Its substance is reproduced in the “Neue Zeit,” XXXII., I., (October 3, 1913), pp.11 to 13. We learn from the Briefwechsel, vol. IV., p.388, that it was written at Marx’s prompting.
336 Compte-rendu officiel du huitième congrès général de l'Association International des Travailleurs, Berne, 1876, pp.33-37.
337 Ibid, pp.38-39
338 Compte-rendu officiel du huitième congrès général de l'Association International des Travailleurs, tenu à Berne du 26 au 30 Octobre, 1876, Berne, 1876.
339 August Reinsdorf, a compositor from Leipzig, and at this date a member of the Jura Federation, became a terrorist, and in 1883 organised some successful terrorist outrages in Germany. He was executed in 1884. – Cf: Mehring, Geschichte der deutschen Sozialdemokratie, 1830 to 1891, Dietz, Stuttgart, 1897-1898, Zweiter Theil, p.471.
340 A reminder of mortality.
341 In Bakuninist circles there had already been talk of the desirability of uniting all socialists, whether they were in favour of “voluntary federation” or of the “people’s State.” In the “Volksstaat,” Wilhelm Liebknecht published a paragraph to the effect that no one could be more eager than the social democrats to bring about such a reconciliation. Marx dissented vigorously from Liebknecht’s attitude. (See his letter to Engels under date June 26, in (Briefwechsel, Vol. IV., p.380.) Writing to Marx under date July 25, 1876, with reference to a new move towards reconciliation made by Liebknecht, Engels says: “How absurd to suppose that such a ‘drawing together’ could lead to anything. What is to happen when the two parties have drawn together? But if, as things now are, these folk want to play at being an International once more, let them jolly well please themselves about it.” (Briefwechsel, vol. IV., p.380.)
342 This tactic of expropriation (the seizure of private property for revolutionary purposes) was practised during the early ’eighties by the Austrian and German anarchists, and during the late eighties and the early nineties by the Belgian and the French anarchists. “Expropriations” of the same kind were also fairly common in Russia during 1905 and 1906.
343 No official report of this congress was published. An account of the proceedings will be found in the “Bulletin de is Fédération Jurassienne” for September 23, 1877, and in Guillaume, op. cit., vol. II., pp257-265.
344 In September, 1877, in view of the results of the political crisis of May 16 in France, and when the parliamentary elections of October 14 were close at hand, Brousse and his comrades published over the signature of Pindy and in the name of the “Committee of the French Federation of the International Workingmen’s Association,” a manifesto which was secretly circulated in a few French towns. Couched in the familiar anarchist style, this manifesto, which recommended that the unified bourgeois parliamentary republic should be replaced by a republic of federated communes, was represented as a warning by the monarchist newspapers. Having thus drawn attention to the intrigues of the “incendiaries,” these papers, in the name of “the salvation of society,” urged their readers to vote for Marshal MacMahon.Cf Alexandre Zévaés, De la semaine sanglante au Congrès de Marseille, Histoire des partis socialistes en France, second edition, pp.8 et seq.
345 The reference in the text is to the C.G.T. as it existed from 1895 down to the outbreak of the world war in August, 1914. During the war, most of the “revolutionary syndicalists,” headed by Jouhaux, supported the bourgeoisie and hoisted the patriotic flag. A left-wing minority gradually formed itself within the C.G.T., and in 1921 founded a distinct organisation, the Confederation Generate du Travail Unitaire (C.G.T.U.). The old C.G.T., while continuing from time to time to mouth the whilom syndicalist phrases, has really become a quasi-political clique, allied with the bourgeoisie and supporting the right-wing socialists. Within the new organisation, the C.G.T.U., there are two factions. One of these, led by Monmousseau, is communist in outlook, recognising the necessity for establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat, and advocating collaboration with the Communist Party. The other, smaller than the first, tries to maintain the old anarchist tradition, but is really playing a counter-revolutionary role owing to its attacks on the communists and on the Russian revolution. Some of the members of this latter section are, indeed, becoming reconciled with the old C.G.T., which is in favour of class collaboration.
346 Compte-rendu des séances du congrès socialiste tenu à Gand 9-16 septembre, 1877. This was privately printed, having no date on the title-page, nor giving any place of publication. There was not even a publisher’s name. The congress had, in fact, decided not to publish an official report of its proceedings. This seems puzzling. Guillaume makes no mention of the printed report, and evidently had no knowledge of it. There are discrepancies between the account it gives and the one to be found in his L'Internationale, Vol. IV., pp.265-280. The resolutions passed at the Ghent Congress were published in the last (fifth) volume of the periodical “Vperiod.” See also the “Bulletin de la Fédération Jursasienne,” September 23, 1877.
347 Barry subsequently became a conservative.
348 A refugee from the Paris Commune. He was delegated to Ghent by a French group in London.
349 It must not be supposed from this characterisation of Malon’s “integralism” that the latter has any kinship with communism, although the communists like the integralists insist upon the need for fighting upon all fronts, and upon the importance of uniting all forms of proletarian activity. What Benoît Malon termed “integral socialism” was formulated by him in the early eighties. It was an “eclectic” system, being a mixture of all kinds of incongruous doctrines. Substantially, however, it was an attempt to provide a theoretical justification for a policy of reformism and class collaboration. Malon must really be regarded as the spiritual father of the “independent” French socialists, the right wing of the French social democracy. Like many other noted anarchists, Malon soon deserted anarchism, and became a moderate opportunist.
350 Writing to Sorge under date September 27, 1877, Marx said: “The Ghent Congress has done one good thing, anyhow, for Guillaume and Co. have now been quire forsaken by their old associates.” – Briefe und Auszüge, etc., p.156.
351 Manifestly, this wording is borrowed from the Preamble to the Provisional Rules of the First International and from the similar resolution passed at the Hague Congress of 1872.
352 L'Internationale, vol. IV., p.279.
353 Brousse, Le Marxisime dans l'Internationale, p.15.
354 Only during the later years of his life did he contribute once more to working-class newspapers, writing for the revolutionary syndicalist organ “La Bataille Syndicaliste” and for “La Vie Ouvrière”, and showing marked hostility to socialism, and above all, to Marxism. While in Paris, Guillaume devoted a great deal of his time to studying the history of the revolutionary movement especially the history of the great French Revolution. When the imperialist war broke out in August, 1914, his attitude was that of the French anarchist jingoes. He died in Paris in 1916.
355 L'Avant-Garde” was issued at La Chaux-de-Fonds as “the organ of the French Federation of the International Workingmen’s Association,” during 1877 and 1878. Kropotkin was then living at La Chaux-de-Fonds, but does not mention the periodical in his Memoirs of a Revolutionist. From a reference in Guillaume, op. Cit., vol. IV., p.203 and footnote, it would appear that Paul Brousse was the editor, and that Kropotkin contributed the “international bulletin,” and “German correspondence.” – E. and C. P.
356 Concerning these two congresses (the first was not called a “congress” but a “general reunion,” but both were styled meetings of the International Workingmen’s Association), consult the file of “Le Révolté,” October 18 and November 1, 1870, and October 17, 1880.
357 These “socialist revolutionaries” must not be confounded with the Russian “Social Revolutionaries” (also known as the “S.R.’s” or “Essers”), who never adopted the anarchist theory.
358 The name of Zasulich was suggested in vain. This is obvious from the fact that Paul Axelrod, who shared her special outlook, was not present at the anarchist congress in London, but attended the socialist congress at Chur (see below).
359 Italicised in the original.
360 Kropotkin, at any rate, was less easily led by the nose than the author implies in the text. See Memoirs of a revolutionist, 1906 edition, pp.445-446 – For a cynically frank account of the affair from the outlook of the arch-provocative agent, see Louis Andrieux, Souvenirs d'un Préfet de Police, Rouff, Paris, 1885, vol. I., pp.337-344. – E. and C. P.
361 In the “Voix de l'Ouvrier” there appeared an article signed L. B. (presumably Louis Bertrand), protesting against the summoning of two socialist congresses, and blaming the anarchists on this account. The Belgian anarchists thereupon pointed out that they had proposed the summoning of the London Congress a good while before, having mooted the question as early as September, 1880.
362 The reference is to the execution of Zhelaboff, Peroffskay, Kitalchich, Mihailoff, and Rysakoff for the assassination of Tsar Alexander II.
363 Of course, the Federal Bureau was meant, for the Anarchist International had never had a General Council.
364 Most of the anarchists disapproved of this frank admission, for they stubbornly maintained that the International still existed.. That was their guiding fiction.
365 For the furtherance of their conspiratorial aims, the delegates passed by numbers instead of names. But what was the use of a conspiracy when the agents of Prefect Louis Andrieux were among the conspirators?
366 The proletariat of the slums, the tatterdemalion proletariat. – The Lumpenproletariat, the petty bourgeoisie, and the peasantry, together with the revolutionary Youth, comprise the sections of the population upon which Bakunin chiefly relied. See his Gosudarstvennost i Anarchia, [Government and Anarchy], passim.
367 “La Revolution Sociale,” No. 33, July, 1881. – Kropotkin was outraged by this assertion, and omitted it from the report published in “Le Révolté” on August 6, 1881.
368 Number Twenty-Six, whose declamatory utterances would seem at the first glance to reveal the provocative agent, was apparently sincere, for there can be little doubt that he was Malatesta, a veteran in the Italian movement. The general tenor of the speeches is characteristic of Malatesta, and especially characteristic is the delegate’s contention that the mass proletarian movement has a reactionary trend. We remember that at the Berne Congress, Malatesta had declared that trade unionism was a reactionary institution – an assertion which even Guillaume had regarded as outrageous.
369 “Morale” in the French. In the official English version of the Preamble, the term used is “mental,” not “moral,” so that the anarchists’ addendum applies to the French version only. – E and C. P.
370 “Se declare l'adversaire de la politique parlementaire.” No official English report of the London Congress being accessible, we give a literal translation of the French text in “Le Revolte” of July 23, 1881. The meaning obviously is that the congress declared its policy to be one of abstention from all forms of parliamentary activity - Another clause of the addendum provides for the formation of an International Informational Bureau consisting of three members. – E. and C. P.
371 At one time some of the anarchists, influenced by the Russian revolution, wavered. The moral impetus of the Communist International made itself felt, even in their camp. A good many anarchists, some of the Italian revolutionary syndicalists (such as Bordiga), and some of the Spanish revolutionary syndicalists (such as Pestana), actually joined the Third International. But they soon resumed their old tactic of war to the death against communism. We have already referred (see note 345) to the Confederation Generale du Travail Unitaire in France. The anarchists in the Italian and Spanish trade unions even broke away from the Comintern [the Communist International ] and the Profintern [the Red Trade Union International]. Notwithstanding the concessions made to the anarchists by the Profintern in the hope of preserving the unity of the revolutionary trade-union movement, in December, 1922, at the Berlin Congress, the anarchists founded a trade-union international of their own – a sort of anarchist international. The whole history of anarchism shows that such a union of free lances cannot be long lasting. But while it does last, it will play a counter-revolutionary role, and will be a recruiting ground for fighters against the communist workers’ movement. Indirectly, it will help the cause of the international bourgeoisie and of all those who favour class collaboration.
372 Accounts of the Chur Congress appeared in many of the socialist periodicals of the day. There was a brief report in Kropotkin’s “Revoke”; and a long one, signed by Malon, in Henri Rochefort’s “Intransigeant.” A report will also be found in the Zurich “Sozial-Demokrat,” the central organ of the German Social Democratic Party, published in Switzerland on account of police persecution in Germany.
373 Thus, as far as France was concerned, the Marxists (the Guesdists) were not represented, but only the possibilists (the conciliators or class collaborationists).
374 Varinski was one of the founders of the party known as “The Proletariat”; he died in the prison-fortress of Schlüsselberg. Limonowski, a member of the Polish Socialist Party, is still living; he is a member of the Polish Diet, and a social patriot (jingo socialist).
375 This was born in France, where a trade union is called a “syndicat.” The French word “syndicalisme” may, according to the context, mean either “trade unionism,” or what we in England now generally understand by the name of “syndicalism.” The French usually avoid the ambiguity by prefixing the adjective “revolutionary” in the latter case. – E and C. P.