The French anarchist movement and the First World War
in Anarchism, 1914–18
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This chapter examines the ways in which the anarchists' varied attitudes to the national war effort largely determined their differing responses to the two Russian revolutions of 1917. The progress of pacifism and working-class anti-militarism in the run-up to the First World War went hand in hand with France's war preparations, which accelerated greatly after 1902. Anti-militarism and anti-patriotism were key anarchist themes from the movement's formal emergence in the late 1870s and remained so in the 1880s, when anarchism entered its 'heroic period'. There were many prominent anti-militarists among the French anarchists. From 1905 onwards, Peter Kropotkin had been forthright in declaring his attachment to France, which he saw as the land of the revolution. The Temps nouveaux group did not share the libertarian, spontaneist interpretation of the Russian Revolution common to the 'sovietists' and most other anarchist communists.

Anarchism, 1914–18

Internationalism, anti-militarism and war

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