We Do Not Fear Anarchy—We Invoke It: The First International and the Origins of the Anarchist Movement

We Do Not Fear Anarchy—We Invoke It: The First International and the Origins of the Anarchist Movement

Robert Graham

Language: English

Pages: 369

ISBN: B01K3JHEF6

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


From 1864 to 1876, socialists, communists, trade unionists, and anarchists synthesized a growing body of anticapitalist thought through participation in the First International—a body devoted to uniting left-wing radical tendencies of the time. Often remembered for the historic fights between Karl Marx and Michael Bakunin, the debates and experimentation during the International helped to refine and focus anarchist ideas into a doctrine of international working class self-liberation.

"This book is a breath of fresh air in a stuffy room. At long last, anarchists enter the history of socialism by the main door!"
—Davide Turcato, author of Making Sense of Anarchism: The Experiments with Revolution of Errico Malatesta, Italian Exile in London, 1889–1900

"Brimming with thought and feeling, richly textured, and not shy of judgment, Graham’s book marshals a compelling argument and issues a provocative invitation to revisit—or perhaps to explore anew—the story, the struggles, and the persisting ramifications of this pioneering International."
—Wayne Thorpe, author of The Workers Themselves: Revolutionary Syndicalism and International Labour, 1913–1923

"With impressive and careful scholarship, Robert Graham guides us on a complex journey that reflects his command of the material and his ability to express it in a clear and straightforward way. If you were to think this is some dry history book, you couldn’t be more wrong."
—Barry Pateman, historian and archivist with the Kate Sharpley Library

Robert Graham has been writing about anarchism for thirty years. He recently edited the three-volume collection Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas.

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International was therefore to have: a. the freedom of philosophical and social propaganda; b. political freedom, so long as it does not interfere with the freedom and rights of other sections and federations; c. freedom in the organization of national revolution; [and] d. freedom of association with sections and federations of other countries.142 Similar positions were to be endorsed by the antiauthoritarian sections of the International at the Saint Imier Congress. The Hague Congress at the

http://blog.bakuninlibrary.org/bakunin-to-karl-marx-december-22-1868/ (last accessed October 25, 2014). 40 Ibid. Despite Bakunin’s explanation for the use of this infelicitous phrase regarding the equalization of classes and Marx’s own acknowledgement that Bakunin’s use of the phrase was “a mere slip of the pen” (General Council, 1868–1870, 311), in his subsequent attacks on Bakunin, Marx continued to refer to Bakunin’s reference to the equalization of classes as proof that Bakunin was a

did not attend the Brussels Congress, he had joined the Geneva section of the International in July 1868 and, shortly after the congress, he applied for his Alliance of Socialist Revolutionaries (also known as the Alliance of Socialist Democracy) to be admitted into the International.80 De Paepe read a letter from Bakunin, the “Russian socialist,” to the delegates, conveying his regrets; and, toward the end of the congress, the principle points of Bakunin’s program of “Russian Socialist

described the International as containing “within itself the seeds of social regeneration… it holds the embryo of all future institutions.”127 In March 1870, a regional federation of Rhône workers affiliated with the International was founded at a meeting attended by Richard, Palix, Varlin, Bastélica, and Schwitzguébel, with Varlin acting as honorary chairman. Bakunin sent his regrets, warning the workers not to be “duped by bourgeois radicalism” and advising them not to participate in bourgeois

(1771–1858), and the Chartist labor movement in Britain (1838–1848), by the time the International was founded in 1864, he had long since faded into obscurity.51 By then, what little was known about Godwin and his work was that he was the subject of Thomas Malthus’s attack in the latter’s “An Essay on the Principle of Population” (1798), in which Malthus argued that food production could not keep up with population growth, such that any attempt to create a more equitable society could only lead

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