Title: The International Anarchist Congress

Subtitle: Held at the Plancius Hall, Amsterdam, on August 26th-31st, 1907

Authors: Freedom (ed.)

Date: 1907

Topics: 1907, Amsterdam, anti-militarism, congress, general strike, international, organization, syndicalism

Source: Taken from Original. Freedom, ed. The International Anarchist Congress: Held at the Plancius Hall, Amsterdam, on August 26th-31st, 1907. London: “Freedom” Office, 1907.
The resolutions are taken from: [London?]: Anarchist Congress. Resolutions Passed at the Anarchist Congress Held at Amsterdam, August 24–31, 1907. International Bureau, 1907.

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Various Authors

The International Anarchist Congress

Held at the Plancius Hall, Amsterdam, on August 26th-31st, 1907

The International Anarchist Congress.
Amsterdam, 1907.

The Congress opened on Monday morning, August 26, 1907, present about a hundred, including eighty delegates, FUSS AMORÉ presiding. Several suggestions were at once put forward for the identification of those present, FRIEDEBERG proposing a list of groups represented, and NACHT the identification of individuals by mutual acquaintance at the tables. The latter was adopted and carried out. Discussion of the agenda was then taken, it having been proposed by several comrades that the item “Anti-Militarism” be struck off because the Anti-Militarist Congress was announced for Friday of that week. Some were inviting the Anti-Militarist Congress to join the Anarchist Congress for the discussion of this important matter, others for taking it immediately, others again for adjourning while the other Congress was sitting in order that all might attend. The sitting was suspended for ten minutes, after which it was agreed to make clear the Anarchist views of Anti-Militarism on the Friday morning, and then to adjourn for the Anti-Militarist Congress.

Reports of delegates were then called for.

THONAR, for Belgium, described the movement in that country was awakening to a new activity in sympathy with the rousing of the masses. The groups were not actually federated, but it had been found necessary to form a central fund for building up a circulating library and a large stock of literature. This was carried about the country, and pamphlets sold broadcast. The central fund was also used for the important work of helping deserters.

VOHRYZEK, for Bohemia, reported that the movement had been in existence many years, and that four years ago organisation had been found necessary. The groups at present numbered about forty-two: they supported eight newspapers, one of which had a circulation of 12,000, and they had also published fifty to sixty pamphlets. The most important work at that time was among the peasants, to whom they were preaching Syndicalism [1] as a means of emancipation. Anarchism was very wide spread in the workers’ Syndicates; in fact, the two most important Syndicates in the country, the Miners’ and the Weavers’, had an Anarchist majority, and were conducted on Anarchist principles—that is, by voluntary subscriptions.

SAMSON, for the Dutch Federation of Anarchist Communist groups, gave a list of many pamphlets published by them, and of six newspapers with an average circulation of over 1,000. Besides these there were six other more or less revolutionary organs in the country, one published by Domela Nieuwenhuis, one Humanitarian Anarchist, one Anti-militarist, one Syndicalist, one Christian Anarchist, and one for Land Nationalisation through Direct Action. They found that the best means of propaganda in the towns was to take a stall in the market and sell literature like vegetables.

A Dutch comrade, who rose to supplement this report, declared that there were seventy-two groups in Holland not included in the Federation. He also maintained that the Federation only supported on out of the six papers, the other five being run by non-federated groups.

DUNOIS, on behalf of the comrades of French-Switzerland, described the movement as unorganised in that country up to 1906, when a Congress was called which resulted in the formation of the present Anarchist Communist Federation. Every group has a secretary, whose business is entirely correspondence, and who is constantly in touch with the same (and the only) “officer” of the Federation. The Swiss Anarchists are finding their chief sphere of action in the Syndicates. They were influential in the great strike of the chocolate workers, which, beginning as a sectional strike on behalf of one man, developed into a general strike of such importance that the police and the army were useless, and the Government finally had to beg the capitalists to give in. The comrades enter the Syndicates in order to bring on such strikes and to push them towards expropriation, and at the same time they organise among themselves for the success of revolution.

BAGINSKY, for the foreign movement in the United States, began by remarking that an Anarchist Congress in that country, the politically freest country in the world, would now be impossible. The movement may be said to date from the Congress held in 1884, although for some time it was purely intellectual and middle-class. The condition of the proletariat was scarcely considered. Attention was called to the discontent and unrest among them by the action of Czolgosz. He was absolutely unknown to Anarchists, yet their attempt to discuss his action, without praising it or blaming it, was used against individuals and the movement. The organ of the movement, Freiheit, was carried on by German comrades when Most died, and has at present a circulation varying from 3,500 to 4,000. The main lines of propaganda are Syndicalism and the General Strike.

EMMA GOLDMAN, for the American movement, brought a long account of the situation in the United States, which she thought advisable not to read as so much time had been taken with reports. (This paper is now being printed in Mother Earth.) She described how in her three journeys across the American Continent, visiting twenty-eight States, she found Anarchists groups all over the country, speaking every language from Dutch to Japanese. But the purely American movement is very young in spite of the strong foreign involvement in its midst, the Yiddish comrades, for example, who recently started a daily paper. More than anything else the famous Haywood trial has stimulated the purely American movement, and helped to bring the middle-class Tolstoyans into touch with the brute facts of the social conditions. Besides Mother Earth, with a monthly circulation of 3,000 to 4,000, there is the Demonstrator, published by the Home Colony, and Liberty, which is still devoted to the individualist side of Anarchism. As to the fighting organisations of the proletariat, their hope in the Workers’ Federation is dead. It is now from the Western Miners’ Union that the beginning of a revolutionary movement may be expected. The East is absorbed in commercial and political greed, but the essential characteristic of the West is its revolutionary spirit. Touching on the difficulties of Anarchist propaganda in the East, she instanced the Criminal Anarchy Law of New York, under which any person preaching Anarchism is liable to imprisonment for ten years and 5,000 dollars (£1,000) fine, and anyone letting or allowing a hall to be used for Anarchist meetings can be sent to prison for two years.

At this point telegrams were read bringing greetings from the Workers’ Friend Group and Germinal Group of London, and from groups in Denmark, Westphalia, Geneva, Italy, and Portugal.

RAMUS then gave a report on the Austrian movement, covering the period from 1894 until to-day. The movement suffered severely for some time from the crushing severity of the police, and from the malicious denunciations of the Social Democrats. Anarchists were imprisoned and expelled for the most absurd trifles, and the opposition sections and tendencies which arose within and separated themselves from the ranks of Social Democracy had nothing of Anarchism in them, but competed with the official party for the conquest of power over the workers. So it came about that during the period 1899–1904 there was practically no Anarchist movement among the German Austrians. Since then there has been a distinct revival, and especially during the past year, which has seen the formation of numerous groups. These young groups are just about to publish their own German Anarchist weekly.

LANGE, for Germany, described the movement as federalist, the only way to arouse interest being through the advocacy of such organisation. Die Revolutionär, with a circulation of 5,000, and Der Anarchist, with 1,800, represented the two lines of propaganda in Germany. But no revolutionary movement could be looked for in that country while the power of the Social Democrats remained what it is. It lies like a dead weight on the people, but there are already plentiful signs of its coming disruption

ROCKER, for the Jewish movement in England, reported that seven provincial and four London groups took an active part in the life of the Jewish Trade Unions, of which there were eleven, regarding always Syndicalism as a revolutionary means of emancipation. The best known paper, the Workers’ Friend, had a circulation of 2,500, and had been clearly Anarchist for sixteen years. Another more popular paper was Germinal, printed in 48 pages, with 4,000 copies as an average issue. Besides these they trusted a great deal in pamphlets, of which over 30,000 had been sold. Their position was often made difficult by the fact of their being foreigners, and on account of the exaggerated prejudice of the English press and public regarding Anarchism. Nevertheless they had been able to give valuable assistance to Russian comrades, and now they had solved the difficulty of the constant visitations of spies by taking two attached houses on a 21 years’ lease, in one of which was a room capable of holding 800 people. The Social Democratic and the Zionist movements are of very little importance among the Jews of England.

WALTER, for the English movement proper, reported on the activity of the Freedom group of London, which continued to publish the monthly paper of the name (circulation about 1,500), started 21 years ago. The group had also a good sale of pamphlets, a number being at present in print and others projected. Another group had been formed for the weekly publication of the Voice of Labour, circulation about 2,000. The object of this paper was to infuse the Labour movement with the spirit of direct action, and it appealed alike to Unionists and non-Unionists. [Unfortunately, it has since ceased publication owing to lack of support.] There were also several provincial groups who kept up the old traditions of street-corner propaganda, and recently an attempt to organise regional Unions for skilled and unskilled workers had resulted in what practically amounted to an Anarchist Federation of seven or eight groups.

ROGDAEFF, for Russia, explained that the movement only became visible in that country five years ago, groups in Odessa and Bielostock being among the first, together with that of Ekaterinoslav, now one of the strongest. There were the widest differences and tendencies with regard to tactics, the Ural Congress, for instance, admitting Syndicalism, while the Polish movement was all for secrecy. Taking the country as a whole, the secret organisations are by far the strongest. Then there are groups formed for special purposes, for agitation against taxes or against the Army. The Baltic provinces are particularly strong in anti-militarist groups. There is also a strong organisation for propaganda in the Navy. All of these are well supplied with literature that includes translations of all the best foreign writers. But the Syndicalist or non-street activities in the towns have been and are very important. In St. Petersburg and Moscow there are Unions of unemployed, who force the Government to give them work, and attack the shops if this is not forthcoming; and at such times there is, of course, an intense propaganda of wholesale expropriation. In the country also this principle is at work; in Georgia, for instance, where the village of Goulgouly became purely Communist and remained so for ninety days.

MUNTZICH described how the work of the Proudhonists and Bakuninists in Servia and Bulgaria was choked by the advent of Marxism after the Turco-Russian War. Newspapers have been started in both countries, and in spite of their short lives they will shortly reappear, for the movement is distinctly increasing. Also in Dalmatia there is an Anarchist movement of great promise.

MALATESTA declared that Socialism in Italy was born Anarchist. The number of Anarchists in some districts is surprising. In Ancona and Massa Carrara the majority of inhabitants may safely be said to be Anarchists, and this year has seen a great reaction against the Social Democracy of the Socialist Party, which reaction has created a new Syndicalist movement, in which Anarchists are taking part, and which is in many respects Anarchistic.

The French report was held over for the following day, as it dealt mainly with the question of organisation. It was agreed that no more reports should be taken owing to the amount of time necessitated by the translations.

Tuesday, August 27th. Second Day.

LANGE presiding.

ANARCHISM AND ORGANISATION.

DUNOIS (France).—The question of organisation comes first on our agenda owing to the pressing necessity of an international understanding among Anarchists. A great change has taken place in the movement during the last decade. Before that period individual action was considered sufficient in itself to bring about the emancipation of the people; but this idea has faded as the movement has come into closer touch with the workers. It was for want of this intimate contact that the early Anarchist groups, really no more than groups for social study, became merely idealistic. The two main causes of this change in France have been the example of foreign countries and the “affaire Dreyfus.” The result of the first was Syndicalism, of the second Anti militarism. At the same time, and by these means, Anarchism has become a practical revolutionary theory based on the spontaneous action of the workers. It is true that there are still a few Individualists in the country who sear by Rousseau that every possible form of society is bad. But Anarchism insists on the organisation of society, organisation minus authority. Even Marx defined it so, looking forward to the transformation of government into administration. For Anarchism is not simply Individualist; it is essentially Federalist. It has been said that there lies a danger to the movement in Syndicalism. We acknowledge it is so for those who feel it so; but for most of us this danger is more than compensated by the new world it opens to Anarchist activities, and by the sight of a new basis of society. We must see to it that this new basis is Anarchist. We must not remain together, “initiates.” Everywhere we see the corporative conceptions of the mass movement giving way to the class conception. But that is not enough; we must supply the means and the object to the energised proletariat. And compare our position with that of the Social Democrats. They receive inspiration for action in the Syndicates from their party, they feel the strength of their party behind them, something to refer to as a common ground of inspiration. In the same way we would gain by federation. Besides helping each other and keeping the revolutionary spirit alive and earnest, we have to remember that there can be no revolution without the mass of the people. Propaganda must still be our first object, and for this we need federation of all who agree in principles and methods. His motion read:—

“The Anarchists assembled in Congress at Amsterdam,

Considering that the ideas of Anarchism and of organisation, far from being incompatible, as has often been supposed, complete and explain each other, the whole principle of Anarchism being the free organisation of productive workers;

That individual action (important as it is, and at certain moments and in certain countries even of greater importance than collective action) cannot fill the want of collective action, of united movement;

That the organisation of the militant forces would give new life to the propaganda, and would help forward the penetration into the working classes of the ideas of revolutionary federalism;

That organisation founded on identity of interests does not exclude organisation founded on identity of aspirations and ideas; and

That, without establishing between them any useless, nay, possibly harmful connection, they have both a specific activity and a well-defined different but complementary object;

Recommend the comrades in all countries to put on their agenda the formation of Anarchist groups and federation of groups.”

EMMA GOLDMAN (America).—We are often accused of a desire to annihilate society, we are constantly called the enemies of organised society, and there have been some who, calling themselves Anarchists, have put forward an ideal of society without organisation. But this merely destructive conception of Anarchism rests on the fallacy of considering present society as organised. That is not so. The State is not a social organisation; it is an organisation born of despotism and maintained by force, and imposed by force on the masses. Industry is not organised for the sake of industry, it is simply an exploiting organisation, exploitation being the basis of profit. The Army is not a social organisation; it is a cruel instrument of blind force. The Schools are not organised for education, but everywhere they are still barracks wherein to drill the human mind into submission to social and moral spooks, and so facilitate the perpetuation of the present system of exploitation. For us, organisation is a natural organic growth, and the test of such organisation must be that it shall increase and liberate our own individuality, the very contrary of all the so-called organisation of to-day. Certainly we do not want such an organisation of non-entities, but an organisation of self-conscious individualities.

Before the morning sitting was closed, THONAR (Belgium), on a point of order, wished to observe that although this was an Anarchist Congress, we had voted [on the order of the day]. This was surely most unreasonable.

MALATESTA (Italy) requested that this matter be at once taken into consideration as bearing directly on the question of organisation.

MONATTE (France) insisted on the difference between Parliamentary voting and free voting. The one was an expression of power, the other of opinion.

CORNELISSEN (Holland) thought it was obvious that any voting in this Congress left the minority absolutely free. It was simply a convenient method of grouping and defining different opinions.

MARMANDE (France) did not wish to take up any theoretical discussion on the point. We want to show each other how we think. If there is a better means of doing so, we shall discover it.

Other speakers having expressed similar opinions, the matter was allowed to drop.

Afternoon.

ANARCHISM AND ORGANISATION (continued).

CROISET.—In dealing with this question we have got away from first principles. We must go back to them. Comrade Dunois seemed to forget that the first necessity of Anarchism is individual liberty. However much we may talk about Anarchist Communism—and he (Croiset) was a confirmed Anarchist Communist—we cannot get away from the fact that the principle of life is, “Me first and then the rest.” We do not want any hypocritical altruism here. Life is always the individual struggle against necessity, and it is only necessity that forces us to co-operation. Anarchist Communism means the most advantageous compromise between individual freedom and necessary organisation. When any form of organisation or any system of co-operation becomes permanent, it inevitably becomes despotic.

NACHT was not in sympathy with the previous speaker. He was not only in favour of Syndicalism as already defined by others, but also of Anarchist Syndicalism existing alongside the other Syndicalism. He felt that the merely propagandist groups were entirely useless. He should make straight for active expropriation.

THONAR (Belgium).—The Congress itself was a sign of evolution towards organisation of some kind. The necessity of the moment was to unite all over the word so that when anything is to be done we could act together. He declared himself a Syndicalist as well as an Anarchist, in spite of the Syndicates not being Anarchist. And he did this because he recognised that the practical and effective movements of the world are mass movements. We, too, must push forward as a mass movement.

VORHYZEK (Bohemia) could not see that even extreme Individualism necessitated a denial of organisation. He did not know that the Individualists wrote against organisation—Stirner certainly wrote in favour of it. He held that the popular saying was true in this as in everything else: extremes meet. Obviously we must avoid any form of organisation which might breed authority, but he saw no danger in federation provided that no executive was appointed or allowed to grow up. He would like to insist on the necessity of keeping clearly apart the Anarchist International and the Revolutionary Syndicalist organisations, while at the same time encouraging every form of mutual aid between them. He should like to touch on another point by the way. Possibly the Congress might later on define its opinion of expropriation as it was at present being practised in Russia. He would like to make the personal declaration that however much the individual might be devoted to the cause, he could not consider expropriation for individualist uses a clean method of life.

GOLDMAN (America).—Fifteen years ago there seemed to be an antagonism between Individualism and Communism; not it is impossible to separate them. The liberty of the individual depends on individuality. What we are working towards is a state of society in which social, economic, or sexual subordination will be impossible. She had known Anarchist groups in which objections used to be made to the personal habits of individuals, their manner of dressing or of wearing their hair, or smoking and so forth. This disappears as we learn how to live together and to understand the Communist principle of toleration. As to expropriation, this must be judged entirely according to individual cases. It would be obviously absurd to strike off a member of a group because he had been forced to steal for his immediate needs.

The Congress then adjourned till next morning.

Wednesday, August 28th. Third Day.

LANGE presiding.

ANARCHISM AND ORGANISATION (continued).

MALATESTA.—The misunderstanding about Individualism and Collectivism is entirely one of terms. Some of us mean one thing by these words, and some another; and we do not always use them in the same way. For himself, he would define two kinds of Individualism. There is that of the individual who thinks of nobody but himself, of developing his individuality without consideration of others, or else at their expense; that is the Individualism of the capitalist and of all oppressors,—bourgeois Individualism. And there is the Individualism of others who, for their own happiness, must be assured of the happiness of others,—who desire the well-being and integral development of all individuals; that is the Individualism of the Anarchists. And in order to realise this, organisation is necessary. True freedom is only in voluntary organisation. The very reason that we are not free is because we are not organised and the capitalists are. How can a single individual peasant free himself? He can only do it by organising with his fellows.

As to the desirability of organisation in the Anarchist movement itself, the lack of it is a constant reproach to us. Take only as an instance what happens when one of us is threatened with imprisonment. Is it the Anarchists who organise those monster demonstrations which by sheer weight of public opinion force the authorities to withhold the sentence? No; we left it to the Freethinkers and the Socialists to liberate Ferrer. What is wanting among us is primarily the spirit of action. When that comes we shall organise, and no fear of authority creeping into our organisations will daunt us. While we do nothing it is only natural that our organisations fade, but when we see what there is to be done, and set out to do it, then the International will become a reality. It is not for propaganda that it is wanted—with or without international organisation the propaganda grows—but we need it for action. Whenever there is a revolutionary movement anywhere in the world, international organisation becomes necessary.

(At this point various telegrams of greeting were read, and a letter from a Chinese delegate expressing his regrets for his enforced absence through sudden illness.)

RAMUS, though entirely in agreement with those who had spoken in favour of the principle of organisation, felt more in sympathy with the viewpoint of Croiset than with that of Dunois. We must not say that only now do we begin to understand Anarchism; we are simply utilising the inheritance of the pioneers. An Anarchist International must be a voluntary association of groups and federations founded on the basis of freedom for the individual. He wished to protest against the idea that it should learn and teach “technical means” for the benefit of the Syndicalist movement. It must be the means of furthering the propaganda of Anarchist ideas, for only inasmuch as the Syndicalist movement is a means to this end does Anarchism concern itself with Syndicalism.

BAGINSKY held it absurd to imagine that individual liberty and organisation are antagonistic. We do not want Kropotkin only, or Stirner only, but both at once. We must unite them and Ibsen too. On the other hand, we cannot regard the State as an organisation; in every manifestation of itself it proves to be simply an institution for the application of blind Force. An Anarchist organisation would naturally be without that force, authority. Nor do we want similarity in our organisation, but, on the contrary, the greatest possible variety, so that it may respond to the needs of the greatest possible number of different individualities.

CORNELISSEN felt strongly that all Anarchist organisations must be independent of all other organisations. He felt that we had heard too much of Individualism, and that some comrades carried it so far that the strongest individual Anarchist would end by becoming a moral despot. The despotism of personality is a thing we must guard against. We have still to discover the form of organisation that would leave the individual free while at the same time safeguarding us against this.

BROUTCHOUX was not so sure of the necessity of isolating Anarchist organisations. He was proud to say that he was attending the Congress as delegate of an Anarchist group and a Miners’ Union, which had combined for that purpose. He did not see why there should have been so much talk about Individualism and freedom. The liberty of the individual is only limited by the liberty of others. When two individuals begin to interfere with each other, there is no liberty for either.

CHAPELIER rose to reply to what Cornelissen had said regarding the despotism of personality. It was obvious that while there existed men eminently more active, more intelligent, and more capable than others, this moral authority would continue. The only way to abolish that authority is to educate all so that each one may find his special sphere of activity and freely develop his personal capacities.

SAMSON did not see that the question was so much one of finding a suitable form of organisation. There would always be discontented individuals in any form of organisation, but if the organisation is really busy their discontent will not upset it. Besides, they are always as free to leave as they were to join.

It was then agreed to close the discussion as the afternoon was required for a private sitting at which the same question would be treated from the practical side. The above resolution (Dunois) was carried unanimously together with the following addition suggested by Vohryzek and Malatesta:—

“An Anarchist federation is an association of groups or individuals in which no one can impose his will or limit the initiative of others. It has for object to change the moral and economic conditions of present society, and to this end it employs all adequate means.”

Afternoon (Private).

THE ANARCHIST INTERNATIONAL.

As a result of the afternoon sitting, the following resolution was handed to the press:—

“The Anarchists (individuals and delegates of groups and federations) assembled at Amsterdam declare that:

The Anarchist International is constituted.

It is composed of existing organisations, and of individuals, groups, and federations who shall adhere.

Individuals, groups, and federations shall remain autonomous.

An International Bureau is constituted, composed of five delegates.

The Bureau will found international Anarchist archives, accessible to all comrades.

It will put itself into communication with Anarchists in all countries, either directly or through three comrades chosen by the groups or federations of those countries.

For individual affiliation to the International, the individual must be identified by an organisation, by the Bureau, or by comrades known to the Bureau.

The expenses of the Bureau and archives will be covered by the affiliated federations, groups, and individuals.”

Evening.

ANARCHISM AND SYNDICALISM.

MONATTE.—Before dealing with the general question of the relations between Anarchism and Syndicalism, let us see what is meant by the latter in France. The revolutionary Syndicates are composed of men who, while they are by no means all Anarchists, are all anti-Parliamentarians. The basis of Syndicalist organisation is one Union for each trade in each locality. These Unions, or Syndicates, are grouped together locally by the Bourses du Travail, which are unfortunately subsidised by the municipality. The Syndicates are also federated nationally by trades, these federations at present numbering sixty-four, with headquarters usually in Paris. Out of these and the Bourses du Travail is formed the Confederation—that is, one delegate from each Bourse and each national Syndicate. This dual organisation has been found most effective, and it now remains only to strengthen it by supplementing the Bourses du Travail by about seventy regional organisations, thus linking up the whole country. The whole history of the movement shows the mistrust of the workers for Parliamentary action. Over and over again the politicians have tried to win them, and for this reason they were for a long time shunned by Anarchists. But with the political success of Millerand the atmosphere cleared. Then came the union of all revolutionists, and the Anarchists shows that they were organisers. There are still a few Syndicates outside the Confederation—the Miners, for example—but they will soon join. The Syndicalist movement is the workers’ movement, and for that reason alone all Anarchists should join their Syndicates.

Direct Action is the one principle of Syndicalism, and the strike is the most important form of action in the Syndicates. Some Anarchists might say to him: We do not want strikes; we want revolution. But he would ask them: How is the revolution to come before the workers know their power? Every strike is a lesson in revolutionary action. A strike is also the best means of propaganda. Until a great strike aroused that province, Brittany was the most backward part of France. Since the strike the number of Syndicates there has grown to over a hundred. To have taken part in a serious strike brings to each man a total change of mentality. He must clear up one popular misunderstanding about the movement in France. It was often imagined that the business of the Confederation was to order strikes, and that Syndicates could not strike without referring the question first to the Confederation. This is entirely a mistake. The Syndicates and their sections are absolutely autonomous and strike when they think fit, simply advising the Confederation of the fact.

In putting the case for Syndicalism he would point out that the General Strike, to have any permanent effect, is obviously more complicated an affair than any merely political revolution. It would have to be carried out with a clear understanding of what was wanted, and with an absolute confidence in the organisations. Anarchists had begun to lose confidence in the coming revolution in France, Syndicalists had restored it. He would not deny that there were serious dangers in the movement, besides that most serious one of the subsidising of the Bourses du Travail. There was the danger of centralisation, which naturally chokes individual initiative to a certain extent. Here was work for Anarchists—and in fighting against this they would find many Socialists with them. Then there was the danger of officialism. It was inevitable that the man who had been sitting in a secretary’s armchair year after year should begin to take a different view of the movement to what he did when he was working in the mine or the shop. Every Anarchist in the Syndicates would naturally oppose this dangerous principle of re-electing officials. Finally, he would warn Anarchists against joining Syndicates simply to use them as fields of propaganda. Let them join as exploited workers pure and simple first, as men of noble opinions after.

Thursday, August 29th. Fourth Day.

LANGE presiding.

ANARCHISM AND SYNDICALISM (continued).

LANGE, in declaring the sitting open, pointed out that while several of the Dutch daily newspapers were giving good long reports of the Congress, the current number of Vorwärts had no mention of it.

A FRENCH COMRADE.—Nor has Humanité!

A BELGIAN COMRADE.—Nor Le Peuple!

Amidst much laughter MALATESTA rose to congratulate the Social Democrats on having adopted a policy of silence in place of their old one of misrepresentation.

LANGE reminded the Congress that before noon of the next day the three questions, Syndicalism, the General Strike, and Anti-Militarism, had to be disposed of.

It was unanimously agreed to take the first two together. The discussion on Syndicalism and the General Strike was then declared open.

ROGDAEFF was in favour of Anarchists entering their Syndicates. Where the conditions of the people were different, the movement was naturally different. It was to be expected, therefore, that strikes would be fiercer in Russia than in France. The recognition of the class was is the basis of Syndicalist propaganda in Russia, and the real basis of all the great strike movements—even of those supposed to be political—was economic. The famous revolt of the ‘Potemkin’ was in reality a sympathy strike carried to its logical conclusion of expropriation. The Anarchist position in the Syndicalist movement should be simply that the workers’ movement should be cleared of all politicians. At the present time practically all the Syndicates in Russia are anti-Parliamentarian. The Government had started the formation of some Syndicates for its own end, but in the strikes of 1903 things went so far that it had to act against its own pet organisation. There were very few Anarchists in Russia who did not sympathise with the Syndicalist movement.

CORNELISSEN felt that Monatte had not spoken as an Anarchist, but as a Syndicalist. At the same time he agreed with him that there was good work to be done inside the Syndicates. Besides the dangers already mentioned, there was that of the Syndicates becoming merely co-operative and an authority in their trade. Another evil of the movement was shown in America, where the patriotic influence of the Unions was used in exciting hatred of the Japanese.

OBERSLAGEN said that Anarchists had been very active in the Syndicalist movement in Holland, and consequently the movement was in a very hopeful condition.

Afternoon.

MALATESTA expected some comrades would be surprised to hear him speak against Syndicalism and the General Strike, against a certain conception of the General Strike, a pacifist conception that seems to be growing popular among Syndicalists. But first he desired to make it quite clear that he as much as any one regretted the isolation that is the fate of Anarchists who do not participate in the Labour movement. In the propaganda of Anarchist ideas we must, of course, support the mass movement. He was so far entirely in agreement with previous speakers. But he felt that the other side of the question had not been fairly put, so he would limit himself to bringing out what he considered the essential differences of opinion between Anarchists and Anarchist Syndicalists. He had himself been such a strong advocate of entering the Syndicates that he had even been accused of being a Syndicate-maker. That was all very well at one time, but now we are confronted with “Syndicalism,” the doctrine. He would have nothing to say against it if he could believe that Syndicalism alone could, as was claimed for it, destroy Capitalism. But who could expect to overthrow Capitalism while remaining a servant of capitalist production? Together with a solution of the unemployed problem, they might do it; but the fact of the matter was that as the Syndicalist organisation grew nearer and nearer to perfection, the number of unemployed grew greater and greater. Certainly, Syndicalism in this way can emancipate a part of the workers, but not all. It is only too obvious that the Syndicates make a serious division of the workers, and often enough without doing any harm to the capitalists.

Do not let us make any mistake about what we mean by “solidarity of the workers.” It is often used as if there existed some natural economic solidarity among the exploited workers. But this class solidarity even is only an abstraction. The material fact of life under existing conditions is the personal antagonism between all workers. Solidarity is an aspiration, and in that alone lies its importance to the workers. It is an aspiration that is capable of transforming the economic conditions of a nation, for the differences of economic conditions are not due to financial causes, but to the varying spirit of the people in the different countries. Indeed we may as well confess at once that the purely economic struggle is not sufficient; it must be based on an intense moral struggle, for changes in economics conditions soon readjusted themselves where the moral conditions of the people remain unaffected.

Of one point about Anarchists in Syndicates he was quite certain,—that no Anarchist could take an official position in a Syndicated without placing himself in a false position. Indeed, he was not sure whether even the plain Anarchist member of a Syndicate would not before many years find himself in a false position, for he was only accepted until the Syndicates bocame really strong, and then he would be asked to go. He did not see why France should consider herself in a novel condition; English Trade Unionism began in just the same revolutionary tone, and look at it now!

He should like, in passing, to clear up a misunderstanding of terms. He often heard political action referred to as if it involved Parliamentarism. This was a great mistake. What, for example, was Bresci’s act? Was it economic? No; it was political. Marx was responsible for this confusion. He approached the whole question from the economic viewpoint, and sometimes almost takes it for granted that the peasant enjoys paying rent to his landlord. This is manifestly absurd. No peasant—and no other worker for that matter—likes paying rent; he does so simply because of the force—the political force—that is behind the landlord.

He now came to the General Strike. What he objected to was the idea, so freely propagated by some Syndicalists, that the General Strike can replace insurrection. Some people fondly cherish the idea that we are going to starve the bourgeoisie. We should starve ourselves first. Or else they go so far as to admit that the General Strike involves expropriation. But then the soldiers come. Are we to let ourselves be shot down? Of course not. We should stand up to them, and that would mean Revolution. So why not say Revolution at once instead of General Strike? This might seem only question of words, but it goes deeper than that. The advocates of the General Strike make people think they can do things without fighting, and thus actually spoil the revolutionary spirit of the people. It was propaganda of this kind that brought about such illogical positions as that taken up by the strikers recently at Barcelona, where they did fight the soldiers, but at the same time treated with the State. This was because they were under the delusion that it was only an economic question.

He considered that some of the pamphlets published on the General Strike did nothing but harm. In the first place, it was a fallacy to base their arguments, as some of them do, on a supposed superabundance of production. Not being much of a hand at statistics himself, he once asked Kropotkin what was the real position of England in this respect, and he was told that England produces enough for three months in the year only, and that if importations were stopped for four weeks everybody in the country would die of starvation. The modern possibilities of transport make it undesirable for capitalists to accumulate food. It was estimated that London was never provisioned for much over three days, in spite of all her warehouses.

In dealing with this question of the General Strike we must begin by considering the necessity of food. This is a more or less new basis for the conception. A peasant strike, for instance, appeared to him as the greatest absurdity. Their only tactics were immediate expropriation, and wherever we find them setting to work on those lines it is our business to go and help them against the soldiers. And then he had read somewhere that we ought to go and smash the railway bridges! He wondered whether the advocates of such foolishness ever realised that corn has to come the same way the cannons come. To adopt the policy of neither cannons nor corn is to make all revolutionists the enemies of the people. We must face the cannons if we want the corn.

Let us realise that the General Strike is only one means of fighting the capitalists, and let us find out how it works in practice, how really to use it. If the Governments have perfected the arms of repression, we must set to work to perfect those of revolution. We need more knowledge; we want new methods of fighting; we need a technique militaire. In his own early days when hey talked about the General Strike for the first time, every man had his own rifle and revolver, his plan of the town, of the forts, arsenals, prisons, Government buildings, and so forth. Nowadays nobody thinks of these things, and yet they talk on glibly about revolution. Look at what happened in South Italy. The Government shot down peasants by the hundred, and the only soldier that was hurt fell off his horse by accident. (it was this massacre that made Bresci take extreme action. He believed a telegram which was sent him from Rome saying that the King himself had ordered the soldiers to shoot without mercy.)

If we talk about revolution, then, let us at least be prepared for it. Unfortunately, the fight must be brutal. He would like to think otherwise—but how could it be? We cannot let ourselves be killed. These are a few of the things he would recommend the comrades to ponder and discuss.

BROUTCHOUX thought the two tendencies were now clear. He was himself of opinion, and he was delegated by Anarchists of the opinion, that Syndicalism was in itself enough to break up Capitalism. Anarchism is a question of opinion; Syndicalism is a party of material interests. He wished, moreover, to point out that if we did not want the Syndicates to support the Social Democrats, we must join and use our influence to the fullest extent. All workers—opinions apart—should enter the Syndicates.

FRIEDEBERG expressed himself in favour of Syndicalism as a means of direct action. Anarchists should enter the neutral (non-political) Syndicates, and where these do not exist, should set to work organising them.

VOHRYZEK considered Syndicalism only one form of economic action. He was very doubtful of the utility of some of the agitations carried on by the Syndicates. For instance, what was the use of agitating for higher wages when the cost of living automatically rises with any increase of cost of production?

RAMUS felt that the two extremes of the question had been fully represented by Monatte and Malatesta. The fact that Monatte treated the question entirely from the Syndicalist viewpoint proves that there is a danger of Syndicalism absorbing and stifling Anarchism—in France, at any rate.

MONATTE contended that the cost of living does not increase in proportion to the rise of wages. He could not agree with Malatesta as to the necessity of Anarchists refusing to take official positions in the Syndicates. Such positions were a tremendous help in propaganda. Nor was the talk of the General Strike addressed to the gallery, as had been suggested. Syndicalists were in earnest all right. A General Strike will never be made with their hands in their pockets. They knew it was no simple, easy matter; but they held that life in the Syndicates will give the necessary technical training and organisation.

The following resolutions were then read and accepted, approximately the same amount of support being given to all three:—

(a) SYNDICALISM.

“The Anarchists assembled at Amsterdam, considering—

That the present condition of society is characterised by the exploitation and slavery of the producing masses, thus causing an unavoidable antagonism of interests between them and those who profit by their labour;

That the Syndicalist organisation founded on the basis of economic resistance and revolt, all questions of political doctrine put aside, is the specific and fundamental organ of this conflict between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie and all bourgeois institutions;

That it is desirable for a revolutionary spirit to be infused into this organisation in order to guide it towards the expropriation of the capitalists and the suppression of all authority;

That none but the workers themselves being able to expropriate and take collective possession of the instruments and produce of labour, the Syndicate will eventually transform itself into a productive group, thus having in itself the living germ of the society of to-morrow;

Advise the comrades in all countries, without forgetting that Anarchist action cannot be entirely contained within the limits of the Syndicate, to take an active part in the independent movement of the working classes, and to develop inside the Syndicates the ideas of revolt, individual initiative, and solidarity, which are the essence of Anarchism.”

(b) THE GENERAL STRIKE.

“The Anarchists assembled at Amsterdam declare that the General Strike with Expropriation is a remarkable stimulus to organisation and the spirit of revolt when advocated as the manner in which the total emancipation of the proletariat can be accomplished.

The General Strike is not to be confounded with the political General Strike, which idea is nothing but an attempt of the politicians to use the General Strike for their own ends.

By the extension o strikes to whole localities, districts, or trades, the working class moves towards the General Strike with Expropriation, which will mean the destruction of society as it now exists and the expropriation of all the instruments and means of production.”

(c) SYNDICALISM AND THE GENERAL STRIKE.

“The International Anarchist Congress considers the Syndicates as organisations fighting in the class war for the amelioration of the conditions of labour, and as unions of productive workers which can help in the transformation of capitalist society into Anarchist Communist society.

The Congress also, while admitting the eventual necessity of the formation of special revolutionary Syndicalist groups, recommends the comrades to support the general Syndicalist movement.

But the Congress considers it the duty of Anarchists to constitute the revolutionary element in these organisations, and to advocate and support only those forms of direct action which have in themselves a revolutionary character, and tend in that manner to alter the conditions of society.

The Anarchists consider the Syndicalist movement as a powerful means of revolution, but not as a substitute for revolution.

They recommend the comrades to take part in a General Strike even if proclaimed with the aim of capturing the political power, and to do all they possibly can to make their Syndicates put forward questions of economic rights.

The Anarchists further think that the destruction of capitalist and authoritarian society can only be realised through armed insurrection and expropriation by force, and that the use of the General Strike and Syndicalist tactics ought not to make us forget other means of direct action against the military power of governments.”

Friday, August 30th. Fifth Day.

LANGE presiding.

ANTI-MILITARISM.

MARMANDE thought this was a subject on which we were all entirely agreed, so we could briefly define our position towards the general Anti-Militarist Congress then opening. Anarchists had been largely instrumental in starting the agitation, and had always recognised the value of desertion and propaganda with revolutionary action inside the army.

MALATESTA would like to point out the difference between Anarchists and some other Anti-Militarists. Some of the latter take simply the financial or economic viewpoint of the agitation; others would like to abolish armies but not the police.

The following resolution was then accepted unanimously without further discussion:—

“The Anarchists, desiring the integral emancipation of humanity and the absolute liberty of the individual, are naturally the declared enemies of all armed force in the hands of the State,—army, navy, or police.

They urge all comrades, according to circumstances and individual temperament, to revolt and refuse to serve (either individually or collectively), to passively and actively disobey, and to join in a military strike for the destruction of all the instruments of domination.

They express the hope that the people of all countries affected will reply to a declaration of war by insurrection.

They declare it to be their opinion that the Anarchists will set the example.”

This practically closed the Congress, Saturday morning being devoted to private sitting. In the afternoon, a short discussion on a resolution presented by CHAPELIER took place, in which he advocated Esperanto for Anarchist international communications. The following resolution was finally accepted without opposition:—

“The Congress expresses the hope that all Anarchists will study the problem of an international language.”

The Congress then closed with regrets that no time had been found available for the discussion of other subjects on the agenda—Alcoholism, Productive Associations, and the Integral Education of Children.

Resolutions Passed at the Anarchist Congress Held at Amsterdam, August 24–31, 1907

We publish herewith the resolutions approved by the Anarchist Congress held in Amsterdam (August 24–31, 1907) at which the ANARCHIST INTERNATIONAL was constituted.

For those who are used to consider Congresses as legislative bodies that can dictate to the members of a party the official doctrine and the methods which should be used, it will seem strange that more than one resolution, more or less different between themselves, were taken on one and the same subject. But for the comrades, this will look nothing but quite natural.

The Amsterdam Congress, being a Congress of Anarchists, could not, and should not, have had the pretension of making laws for others: he simply desired to express the opinions of the comrades present, as well as of the groups represented, and to propose these opinions to the discussion and, possibly, the approbation of all anarchists.

It might have occured that radically contradictory opinions should have manifested themselves—they would, all, have an equal right to publication and discussion. As a matter of fact, there was, as will be seen by the resolutions, no other difference than the more or less great importance which each member attributed to some method or other of action or propaganda—so that many congressists could, without contradiction, equally vote for the different resolutions. And it was that fact of fundamental agreement which persuaded all of us that it was necessary to establish between ourselves a permanent bond which, without diminishing anyone’s liberty, facilitates our relations and our co-operation in the common work.

We hope that all comrades will decide in the same direction.

ORGANISATION.

The anarchists, meeting in Amsterdam, Considering—that the idea of anarchy and of organisation, far from being contradictory, as sometimes pretended, complete and explain each other, the principle of anarchy residing in the free organisation of the producers;

that individual action, however important it may be, could not be sufficient without common action, just as common action could not be sufficient without individual action;

that organisation of the militant forces would give a new impetus to the propaganda and could only hasten the penetration of the ideas of revolutionary federalism in the working class;

that the workers’ organisation, based upon identity of interests, does not exclude organisation based upon identity of aspirations and ideas;

Are of opinion that the comrades of all countries should discuss, as a matter of vital importance, the creation of anarchist groups and the federation of the groups already in existence.

The anarchist federation is an association of groups or individuals, where no one can either impose his will or diminish the initiative of others. It has, in the present society, the concrete duty of changing all the moral and economical conditions, and in this direction, it supports the struggle by all adequate means.

ANARCHIST INTERNATIONAL.

The anarchists (federations, groups represented and individuals) having met in Amsterdam, declare the Anarchist International constituted.

It will comprise the organisations already existing, the groups and individuals who will adhere later on.

The individuals, groups and federations remain autonomous.

An International Bureau is instituted. It will be composed of 5 members.

In case on of the members of the I.B. finds himself in absolute impossibility of fulfilling his duty, the remaining members, by a unanimous agreement, will have to replace him by another comrade.

The Bureau has, for its duty, the creation of international anarchist archives accessible to all comrades.

The Bureau gets into communication with the anarchists of different countries, either directly, or through 3 comrades chosen by the federation or groups of the countries in question.

To be members of the International as individuals, the comrades will have to be identified, either by an organisation, by the Bureau, or by comrades known to the Bureau.

The expenses of the Bureau and archives should be covered by the adhering federations, groups or individuals.

Three copies of each publication (journals and pamphlets) should be sent to the International Bureau (Archives) who will place them, if necessity arises, at the disposal of federations, groups or individuals who might want them as documents

ANARCHISM AND SYNDICALISM.

Considering—that the present legal and economical régime is characteristic of the exploitation and slavery of the great mass of producers, and determines between them and those who reap the benefit from the present régime, and antagonism of interests absolutely irreducible which gives rise to the class-struggle;

that the syndicalist organization uniting the resistances and the revolts on the economic ground, without doctrinary preoccupations, is the specific and fundamental organ of this struggle of the proletariat against the middle-class and all the bourgeois institutions;

that it is necessary that a revolutionary spirit, always more daring, should direct the efforts of the syndicalist organization in the path of capitalist expropriation and the suppression of all power;

that the expropriation and the taking collective possession of the instruments and the products of labour, being only able to be accomplished by the workers themselves, the syndicate is called upon to transform itself into a producing group, and is therefore, in the present society, the living nucleus of to-morrow’s society;

The anarchists recommend the comrades of all countries, without leaving out of sight that anarchist action is not entirely contained within the limits of the syndicate, to actively participate in the autonomous movement of the working class and to develop, in these syndicalist organisations, the ideas of revolt, individual initiative and solidarity—which are the essence of anarchism.

ANARCHISM, SYNDICALISM, AND GENERAL STRIKE.

The International Anarchist Congress considers the syndicates as fighting organisations in the struggle with a view of bettering the conditions of labour, as well as unions of producers being able to help to the transformation of the capitalist society in an anarchist communist society.

Thus, the congress admitting the eventual necessity of creating separate revolutionary syndicalist organisations—recommends the comrades to support the general syndicalist organisations to which all the workers of one industry are equally admitted.

But the congress considers as the duty of anarchists, to constitute, in these organisations, the revolutionary element and to propagate and support only those forms and manifestations of “direct action” (strikes, boycott, sabotage, etc.) which carry, in themselves, a revolutionary character and lead to the transformation of the society.

The anarchists consider the syndicalist movement and the General Strike as powerful revolutionary means, but not as substitutes to the Revolution. They recommend also to the comrades, in case a general political strike is proclaimed, to go out in strike, but invites them, in the same time, to induce the syndicates who are under their influence to voice their economic claims.

The anarchists think that the destruction of the capitalist and authoritary society can only be realised by armed insurrection and violent expropriation, and that the use of the more or less general strike and the syndicalist movement must not make us forget the more direct means of struggle against the military force of governments.

ORGANISATION.

The anarchists, meeting in Amsterdam, Considering—that the idea of anarchy and of organisation, far from being contradictory, as sometimes pretended, complete and explain each other, the principle of anarchy residing in the free organisation of the producers;

that individual action, however important it may be, could not be sufficient without common action, just as common action could not be sufficient without individual action;

that organisation of the militant forces would give a new impetus to the propaganda and could only hasten the penetration of the ideas of revolutionary federalism in the working class;

that the workers’ organisation, based upon identity of interests, does not exclude organisation based upon identity of aspirations and ideas;

Are of opinion that the comrades of all countries should discuss, as a matter of vital importance, the creation of anarchist groups and the federation of the groups already in existence.

The anarchist federation is an association of groups or individuals, where no one can either impose his will or diminish the initiative of others. It has, in the present society, the concrete duty of changing all the moral and economical conditions, and in this direction, it supports the struggle by all adequate means.

GENERAL STRIKE.

I.

The class-war and the emancipation of the proletariat are not identical with the ideas and aspirations of anarchism which desires—over and above the immediate aspirations of classes—the economic and moral emancipation of the human personality, the society without authority, and not a new power—the power of the majority over the minority.

Anarchism considers nevertheless, the abolition of class-oppression, the suppression of the economic dependancy of the majority of human beings, as an absolutely necessary and essential step on the path to the final object.

Anarchism must however be opposed to the struggle for the emancipation of the working class being conducted by certain means contradicting the idea of anarchism and being an obstacle to the precise object of this movement. Anarchism is therefore opposed to engage the struggle by the methods propagated by the marxist socialism, i.e., by parliamentarism and by a corporative syndicalist movement having only in view the bettering of the conditions of the working class—these two methods being only able to help to the development of a new bureaucracy, of an intellectual authority—may it be patented or not—and to lead to the oppression of the minority by the majority. The anarchist methods for the suppression of the class-oppression being only those that derive directly from the affirmation of the individual personality: “direct action” and the “non-consent” of the individual—i.e., the active and passive individuality either of one person, or of a whole mass penetrated with a common will.

The Anarchist Communist Congress rejects, therefore, the strike for political rights, (Politischer Massenstreik) the object of which is inacceptable to anarchism, but recognises, in the revolutionary general strike, i.e. in the refusal to work of the whole proletariat as class, the means capable of disorganising the economic structure of the present society, and of emancipating the proletariat from the wage-slavery. To realise the General Strike, the penetrations of the syndicates by the anarchist idea must be considered as indispensable. A syndicalist movement imbued with the anarchist spirit can, by means of a revolutionary general strike, destroy the class oppression and open the path to the final object of anarchism—the accession of a society without any authority.

II.

The Anarchist Congress in Amsterdam declares that the expropriating general strike is a remarkable stimulent to the organisation and the spirit of revolt in the present society, and it is the form under which can be accomplished the integral emancipation of the proletariat. The General Strike cannot be confounded with the Political General Strike (Politischer Massenstreik) which is nothing else but an attempt of the politicians to divert the general strike from its economic and revolutionary ends.

By strikes generalised to localities, to regions, or to entire professions, one will progressively raise the working class until it will come to an expropriating general strike which will comprise the destruction of the present date of society and the expropriation of the means of production as well as of the products.

ANTIMILITARISM.

The anarchists desiring complete liberty of all individuals, the integral emancipation of humanity, are naturally, essentially, the outspoken enemies of any armed force in the hands of the State (army, police, magistracy etc.). They engage the comrades,—and in general all men aspiring for liberty—to struggle by all possible means, according to their temperament and the circumstances—individual revolt, refusal of military service, individual or collective, passive or active disobedience,—for the radical destruction of all instruments of domination.

They express the hope that all nations concerned will answer by an insurrection to any declaration of war.

They declare that the anarchists should give the example, the more so that they spread these ideas in the syndicates.

RUSSIAN REVOLUTION.

The representatives of the Anarchist Communists of Russia, N. Rogdaeff and Wl. Zabrejnev propose the congress to accept the following resolution:—

The congress—considering

  1. that with the development of the russian revolution, it is more and more noticed that the russian people—the artisan and the peasent—will never be satisfied by the conquest of a vain political liberty. It requires the complete suppression of the economical and political slavery and employs these means of struggle which were always propagated by the anarchists as the only efficient. The russian people does not expect anything from above, but rises to arrive to the realisation of his demands by new direct action.

  2. that the Russian revolution has not only a local and national importance, but that the near future of the international proletariat depends on it.

  3. that the middle-class of the old and new world has united to defend its privileges so as to retard the moment of its destruction, and that it has given its moral and material help to the greatest support of the reaction—to the government of the tsar which it has helped with money and ammunition against the will of the Russian people; that at the critical moment it is always ready to support them with its guns and rifles (as it is the case with the Austrian and German governments);

  4. that the intellectual help is translated by the complete silence over the struggle lead by the Russian people, as well as over all brutalities of the autocracy.

The congress recognizes that: The proletarians of all countries must oppose the most energetic action of which the Workers Anarchist International is capable against all the agressions of the Yellow International composed of united capitalists and governments of all sorts: monarcho-constitutional or republican-democratic; by this action they will prove their solidarity to the Russian proletariat in revolt. In their own interests, they must categorically refuse to take part in anything that might stifle the strikes and insurrections in Russia. Never should the foreign proletariat in uniform lend his hand to whatever action against his russian brother.

If the industrial proletariat, at the moment of a strike in Russia, could not have the possibility of declaring a general strike in the corresponding industry because of local conditions, he should then take up all other means of struggle—the sabotage, the destruction or deterioration of products sent to the common enemy, the destruction of railway lines, ships etc. The congress recommends persistently all those who are of his opinion, the largest propaganda in favour of all means by which one could help and support the Russian Revolution.

ESPERANTO.

The Congress recognizing the utility of an international method of communication, declares itself incompetent to judge on the proposed international language (Esperanto), but proposes to the comrades who are able to do so, to study the question.

The Congress has also passed the following resolution:—

The Congress ascertains that the Republican Government acts towards the working men as all governments have never ceased to act.

Sends his fraternal greetings to comrades Yvelet, Marek, Lévy, Bousquet, Corton, Lorulot, Berthet, Clementine, Delmott, Gabrielle Petit; to the twelve antimilitarists now detained in Paris and to all Comrades who are in the Republican jails.

The Congress sends, in the same time its hearty salutations to all the defenders of liberty who are in the prisons of the Worldly Capitalism and invites the International Bureau to defend and support all our imprisoned friends—as one of the first acts of its labours.

ANARCHIST INTERNATIONAL.

The International Bureau being unable 1) to know all anarchists of all countries who wish to become members of the International, 2) to loose too much time in trying to enquire about the always increasing number of groups and comrades desiring to join the International—

Notifies all comrades, groups, and federations wishing to join the A.I., that no account will be taken of any letter from comrades seeking adhesion unless it contains a recommendation or an introduction of the comrade or group in question signed by a group already belonging to the A.I. or by a comrade known to the Bureau.

The comrades will readily understand why the Bureau felt compelled to publish the above note.

[1] This expression is used throughout as being less cumbersome than “Revolutionary Trade Unionism.”