Pensiero e Volontà
Reply by the “Pensiero e Volontà” Group
to an invitation to join the International Anarchist Communist Federation
Translator’s introduction: Following publication of the Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists by the Group of Russian Anarchists Abroad, a series of discussions were held in Paris to discuss the setting up of a new Anarchist Communist international. Italy was represented by several groups and individuals, the most prestigious of which was the group representing the journal “Pensiero e Volontà”: Fabbri, Berneri and Fedeli. Fedeli, in fact, presided over a meeting held in Paris on 12th February 1927 which called an international conference to discuss the setting up of the international which, however, never came into being. The following letter was the group’s reply to the invitation by the Provisional Secretariat of the International to join.
Our “Pensiero e Volontà” Group has examined and discussed the various programmatic points upon which the proposed “Anarcho-Communist International” should be based and has reached the conclusion that for now it would be impossible to join your initiative.
Though it may be the case that much of our disagreement with you is due to questions of form, it seems to us that there exists among you a spirit which is quite distant from that which underlies our way of conceiving an international anarchist organization, that is one which is open to the greatest number of individuals, groups and federations who agree with the principles of struggle organized in an anarchist way against capitalism and the State, on a permanent national and international basis, but all this without any ideological or tactical exclusivism and without any formalism that could impede the autonomy or freedom of the individuals in the groups or of the groups themselves in the various national and international unions.
You know that our Group is already a member of the “Unione Anarchica Italiana” and it is our belief that for the time being the best road to follow is the one which, in four years of public life, the UAI has laid out for itself by means of its theoretical Programme, its internal Pact of Alliance and the deliberations of its first three Congresses (Florence 1919, Bologna 1920 and Ancona 1921). It is our impression that the spirit which pervades the UAI does not correspond well enough with that of your ideological and tactical proposals; in our doubt, we feel obliged to refrain from joining something which could engage us in a different direction. You yourselves say that it is necessary, for the work begun by you, to have “ideological and tactical unity”, and as this does not seem as complete as would be wished, it is better not to force each other into something that could create problems both for you and for us.
Naturally, it may be that we are wrong, but you can be sure that the moment we realize that, we will not delay in joining you. Furthermore, our abstention does not in any way signify hostility or opposition at all costs, and it will not prevent us from co-operating with you freely, from without, in every part of your work with which we consider ourselves in agreement.
If you wish, we can set out, either in writing or verbally through a representative of yours, the most important observations we have made on your ideological and tactical bases, and you could then perhaps deduce from these suggestions which may not seem entirely useless to you, independently of our present decision. We will not, however, insist on this.
Please believe, dear comrades, in the most heartfelt solidarity we feel with you for the cause of Anarchy.
the “Pensiero e Volontà” Anarchist Group