Saving the future
The roots of Malatesta’s anti-militarism
in Anarchism, 1914–18
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Anti-militarism, the refusal to support or join a government's military effort, is today an unquestioned mainstay of anarchism. This chapter discusses the reasons for Errico Malatesta's anti-militarism and their roots in his theoretical principles. Malatesta's anti-militarist arguments against Peter Kropotkin bear striking similarities to the anti-parliamentarian arguments he made in opposition to Francesco Saverio Merlino in 1897. Malatesta elaborated this methodological stance through a number of arguments in support of anti-parliamentarism. It is striking how closely each of them was mirrored by a parallel argument opposed to Kropotkin in support of anti-militarism almost two decades later. Kropotkin's views on anti-militarism had already raised concerns among anarchists almost a decade before the First World War's outbreak. The controversy over intervention revolved around conflicting interpretations of the shared ideas of internationalism and anti-militarism.

Anarchism, 1914–18

Internationalism, anti-militarism and war

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