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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.

From the ‘Red Week’ to the Russian revolutions
Carl Levy

3 Malatesta and the war interventionist debate 1914–17: from the ‘Red Week’ to the Russian revolutions Carl Levy This chapter will examine Errico Malatesta’s position on intervention in the First World War. The background to the debate is the anti-militarist and anti-dynastic uprising which occurred in Italy in June 1914 (La Settimana Rossa) in which Malatesta was a key actor. But with the events of July and August 1914, the alliance of socialists, republicans, syndicalists and anarchists was rent asunder in Italy as elements of this coalition supported

in Anarchism, 1914–18
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Matthew S. Adams
Ruth Kinna

internationalist radical Left’ in the latter decades of the nineteenth century,6 and all of the belligerents hosted anarchist groups and dissidents of varying levels of organisational acumen and practical strength. This volume takes a first step towards filling this gap. It looks closely at the bitter dispute over intervention between two of European anarchism’s most important figures, both marooned in British exile, Peter Kropotkin and Errico Malatesta, which split the global anarchist movement in 1914. In turn, it examines the politics of internationalism and anti

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
Kathy E. Ferguson

signatories rejected ‘all wars between peoples’ and endorsed wars of liberation ‘waged by the oppressed against the oppressors, by the exploited against the exploiters’.46 Goldman reprinted the International Manifesto, as well as Errico Malatesta’s critique of the Italian government’s entry into the war, in part to keep up the pressure against Kropotkin’s pro-war position.47 Her essay ‘The Promoters of the War Mania’, published one month before the USA entered the war, called on ‘every liberty-loving person to voice a fiery protest against the participation of this country

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

victory for either the Allies or the Central Powers – drew on shared pre-war anti-colonial experiences and discourses. Most writings on anarchism and the war attribute the attitude of Kropotkin and others who supported the Allied cause to a peculiar 176 Debates and divisions ‘Francophilia’ and anti-German sentiment, totally inconsistent with lifetimes of anarchist activism. Yet the ‘pro-war anarchists’ had not so much ‘forgotten their principles’, as Errico Malatesta famously charged, as developed an anti-imperialist argument for why defeating the German (or, in

in Anarchism, 1914–18
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Matt York

has proved to be a prominent and recurring theme in the writings of many anarchist theorists and activists. Gustav Landauer claimed that love ‘sets the world alight and sends sparks through our being’, and that it is the ‘deepest and most powerful way to understand the most precious that we have’. 4 And similarly Errico Malatesta claimed that anarchists ‘seek the triumph of

in Love and revolution
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James Crossland

embraced the militarist chauvinism that swept through France in the 1890s and, with it, a belief in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories – the once notorious revolutionary died peacefully in his own bed in 1900. 4 Even those who tried to pick up the baton of Cluseret’s brand of ambitious insurrection gave the authorities little to worry about. During the 1870s, a Bakunist named Errico Malatesta led a series of uprisings in the Italian countryside that aped both Cluseret’s revolutionary style and his less than spectacular track

in The rise of devils
Colin Craig

paramount over the public good in a libertarian society? How would we ‘police’ such a policy, given our natural reluctance to exert power over others? The Infinite War Even as far back as the early twentieth century, Errico Malatesta, responding to the concerns about cocaine in his era, concluded that we might be better off liberalising the trade in cocaine and using taxation to fund the treatment of those who develop dependency. Spanish anarchists in the 1930s had a far less laissezfaire attitude: in Barcelona following a defeat of Franco’s rebels during the Spanish

in Changing anarchism
Open Access (free)
Why anarchism still matters
James Bowen
Jonathan Purkis

Bakunin, Errico Malatesta, Emma Goldman or Alexander Berkman means that there are still issues and principles that, despite different contexts, are still worthy of debate. Amidst the uncertainties of globalisation and its culture of consumerism, people chance upon discourses of resistance: the accessible practicality of Colin Ward; the gentle reason of Noam Chomsky; the challenge of the anticivilisational critique of John Zerzan; and the enduring appeal of the Situationist International. Ecological activists interested in permaculture make connections with social

in Changing anarchism