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Internationalism, anti-militarism and war

Anti-militarism is today an unquestioned mainstay of anarchism. This book presents a systematic analysis of anarchist responses to the First World War. It examines the interventionist debate between Peter Kropotkin and Errico Malatesta which split the anarchist movement in 1914. The controversy revolved around conflicting interpretations of the shared ideas of internationalism and anti-militarism. The book analyses the debates conducted in European and American movements about class, nationalism, pacifism and cultural resistance. Just as Kropotkin's position was coherent with his anarchist beliefs, it was also a product of his rejection of the main assumptions of the peace politics of his day. Malatesta's dispute with Kropotkin provides a focus for the anti-interventionist campaigns he fought internationally. Contributions discuss the justness of war, non-violence and pacifism, anti-colonialism, pro-feminist perspectives on war and the potency of myths about the war and revolution for the reframing of radical politics in the 1920s and beyond. The collaboration between the Swiss-based anarchists and the Indian nationalists suggests that Bertoni's group was not impervious to collaboration with groups whose ideological tenets may have been in tension with the ideology of anarchism. During the First World War, American anarchists emphasised the positive, constructive aspects of revolutionary violence by aestheticising it as an outgrowth of individual creativity. Divisions about the war and the experience of being caught on the wrong side of the Bolshevik Revolution encouraged anarchists to reaffirm their deeply-held rejection of vanguard socialism and develop new strategies on anti-war activities.

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Matthew S. Adams and Ruth Kinna

Franco-German hostility.3 Historians have explained the failure of this initiative to prevent the outbreak of war in 1914 in different ways, among which 2 Anarchism, 1914–18 ­ rganisational paralysis, the inability to overcome deep-seated pero sonal animosities, sectarianism and the apparently irresistible force of national patriotic appeals are frequently emphasised. Political miscalculation also played an important part: it is a commonplace to present the image of a socialist movement caught unawares by the outbreak of war in 1914. There is, however, general

in Anarchism, 1914–18
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The anti-colonial roots of American anarchist debates during the First World War
Kenyon Zimmer

The Italian anarchist newspaper L’Era nuova of Paterson, NJ, declared, ‘The anarchists … are not afraid to express their complete solidarity’ with the perpetrators, but also noted that the assassination ‘did not have an anarchist character. It was of a nationalist character.’ Berkman later clarified that the man who had shot Ferdinand, Gavrilo Princip, was in fact a ‘Serbian patriot who had never heard of Anarchism’.2 Yet this was not quite true, either; the nationalist Princip had read works by the anarchist thinkers Mikhail Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin, and one of

in Anarchism, 1914–18
The anarchist movement from the fin de siècle to the First World War in Germany
Lukas Keller

4 Beyond the ‘people’s community’: the anarchist movement from the fin de siècle to the First World War in Germany Lukas Keller This chapter focuses on the anarchist movement as a political phenomenon at the margins of imperial German society. Drawing on government and police records as well as contemporary press coverage, it concludes that anarchism’s ideology, goals and means placed it ‘beyond’ the sphere of politics. This development reached its peak during the First World War, when anarchists found themselves outside of the ‘people’s community’ – the project

in Anarchism, 1914–18
Anarchism, militarism and the lessons of the First World War
Matthew S. Adams

11 Mutualism in the trenches: anarchism, militarism and the lessons of the First World War Matthew S. Adams In June 1930, Richard Aldington wrote to Herbert Read asking whether he agreed with ‘this talk that the “War book” is dead’. Aldington answered his own question, judging that, based on subscriptions for his short story ‘At All Costs’ (1930), there was plenty of life left in the form, and adding: ‘I mention this in case the anti War [sic] book stunt has discouraged you from continuing the novel you mentioned to me.’1 Although Read never completed a novel

in Anarchism, 1914–18
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The roots of Malatesta’s anti-militarism
Davide Turcato

1 Saving the future: the roots of Malatesta’s anti-militarism Davide Turcato Anti-militarism, the refusal to support or join a government’s military effort, is today an unquestioned mainstay of anarchism. Is it an essential or a disposable feature, though? The First World War was the historical juncture where the question was most dramatically posed. Anarchists split on the issue of intervention, with the two great figures Peter Kropotkin and Errico Malatesta taking opposite sides. Despite their irreconcilable differences, both claimed to be following the First

in Anarchism, 1914–18
Indian nationalism, Italian anarchism and the First World War
Ole Birk Laursen

6 ‘The bomb plot of Zurich’: Indian nationalism, Italian anarchism and the First World War1 Ole Birk Laursen In June 1919, the Indian nationalists Virendranath ‘Chatto’ Chattopadhyaya and Abdul Hafiz of the Berlin-based Indian Independence Committee (IIC) were on trial in Switzerland alongside a group of Swiss-based Italian anarchists led by Luigi Bertoni and Arcangelo Cavadini for their involvement in the so-called ‘bomb plot of Zurich’. The Attorney General of Switzerland accused Chatto and Hafiz of collaborating with Bertoni and Cavadini, and with the German

in Anarchism, 1914–18
Constance Bantman and David Berry

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’. The anarchists were also the most vocal and virulent anti-militarists of the pre-war period. After a slight lull in the 1890s, these themes were revived, encompassing various ideological causes and activities, and anti-militarism emerged as a cohesive movement and ideology in the decade leading up to the war. Anarchist antimilitarism was at the intersection of labour protest and proletarian internationalism. ‘Workers

in Anarchism, 1914–18
Ginger S. Frost

legal equality. Those couples who could not marry lived together discreetly or formed platonic partnerships. The fin-de-siècle period (1880–1914) was different. Socialism and anarchism gained adherents and made numerous public statements against ‘bourgeois’ marriage. The feminist movement, though always leery about sexual experiments, explored alternatives to marriage. Novelists and essayists challenged the status quo on such issues as divorce and illegitimacy. The number of cohabiting couples remained small, but a growing minority publicly dissented from marriage and

in Living in sin
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Daniel Laqua

anarchism’s internationalist legacy: in 1907, the Groupement Communiste Libertaire in Belgium co-organised an International Anarchist Congress in Amsterdam and subsequently prepared a Bulletin de l’Internationale Libertaire. However, such efforts proved short-lived and lacked support from French anarcho-syndicalists.59 The boundaries between anarchists and other groups were sometimes fluid. With regard to the mid-nineteenth century, the ‘intimate relationship of anarchism to radical federalist and international republicanism’ is worth noting.60 Furthermore, in fin

in The age of internationalism and Belgium, 1880–1930