Wednesday 4 April 2018 8.30 - 10.30M-1 - ELI01 : Anarchism and Republicanism: Elites
PFC/02/017 Sir Peter Froggatt Centre
The early Dutch socialist movement, a federation was founded in October 1880, aligned itself with the German movement, but with some notable differences. Although it adopted the Gotha Programme, it decided not to include passages about acquiring state power in order to establish a socialist society. On the other hand ... (Show more)
The early Dutch socialist movement, a federation was founded in October 1880, aligned itself with the German movement, but with some notable differences. Although it adopted the Gotha Programme, it decided not to include passages about acquiring state power in order to establish a socialist society. On the other hand it added a clause about equal rights for women. In 1885 it decided to base itself on trade unions, thereby acquiring a proto-syndicalist character. In other words it was one of the origins of Dutch anarchism. It also positioned itself in many ways in the European republican tradition: members calling each other 'burger' ('citoyen'), singing French revolutionary songs (La Marseillaise (with different Dutch words), the Carmagnole etc.).
In 1882 its republicanism was sharpened politically by the refusal to give the organization royal recognition (which severely hindered its activities). This resulted in a more critical stance of the socialists regarding the monarchy and the Dutch state in general. During the second half of the 1880s three processes of lèse majesté were conducted against socialists. It may be no coincidence that these socialists were or were to become anarchists: Bart van Ommeren (one of the first Dutch anarchists), Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis and Alexander Cohen.
In my contribution I will investigate the influence of the broad European republican tradition on early Dutch socialism. Furthermore I will analyze the three cases of lèse majesté and their impact on the ideology of the early Dutch socialists and anarchists. (Show less)
Federico Ferretti : Anarchism and Republicanism: James Guillaume, Elisée Reclus and the ‘true’ République
Recent scholarship on the relation between early anarchists and the 1789-1848 French revolutions has shown an ambivalent attitude toward the French “Republican” and “Revolutionary” tradition. On the one hand, anarchists refused the official République, on the other they claimed for anarchism as the ‘true’ republic of workers and of equality. ... (Show more)
Recent scholarship on the relation between early anarchists and the 1789-1848 French revolutions has shown an ambivalent attitude toward the French “Republican” and “Revolutionary” tradition. On the one hand, anarchists refused the official République, on the other they claimed for anarchism as the ‘true’ republic of workers and of equality. It is worth noting that, before the Swiss and Italian federations of the Anti-Authoritarian International adopted formally the label of “anarchist communists” in the mid-1870s, most of the future anarchists defined themselves as Republicans. Many of them were acquainted with the international networks of Giuseppe Mazzini and with the French republican opposition to the Second Empire (1852-1870). It was the case of Elisée Reclus (1830-1905), who maintained his wishes for an ideal ‘Republic’ all his life long. Another of the ‘Founding Fathers’ of anarchism and a scholar of the 1789 French Revolution, James Guillaume (1844-1916), was even involved in the Republican movement for popular and secular education led by Ferdinand Buisson since he moved from Switzerland to France in 1878.
My main argument is that there is a privileged link between the anarchist and the republican traditions, which took both inspirations from the historical experiences of free communes, free cities and free republics in Europe between the Middle Ages and the early modern period, and from the seventieth century English revolutions and the 1789 French one. Between the nineteenth and the twentieth century, anarchists were empathetic towards the most radical components of the republican movements and especially with their federalist and anticlerical components. Anarchists and Republicans shared common struggles against monarchies (such as in the case of the Italian Risorgimento and of French republican opposition from 1848 to 1871), against empires (in Eastern Europe, Ireland and in the extra-European colonised world) and finally against fascism (the most striking example being the transnational movement Giustizia e Libertà in Italian, French and Spanish anti-fascist resistance).
This allows seeing anarchism not as a “derivation” or “dissident branch” of Marxism, but as a major political thinking inserted in a secular European tradition, which finds its roots in the idea that Philip Pettit calls ‘freedom as non-domination’, which anarchists elaborated then in a radically equalitarian and cosmopolite way.
As an example and a major case study, I analyse the texts and the archives of two important intellectuals and activists like Guillaume and Reclus in order to understand their references to the concepts of republic and republican freedom and their importance for the respective political agendas. (Show less)
Jose Gutierrez : Anarchist Views: Britain-based Activists and Irish Republicanism (1886-1922)
This paper is the first presentation of an ongoing research on the views transnational anarchists based in London held about Irish anticolonialism and republicanism during the Age of the Empire. The main source that we analyse for this first step of our work is the collection of the journal Freedom, ... (Show more)
This paper is the first presentation of an ongoing research on the views transnational anarchists based in London held about Irish anticolonialism and republicanism during the Age of the Empire. The main source that we analyse for this first step of our work is the collection of the journal Freedom, founded by Pyotr Kropotkin, Charlotte Wilson and other activists in 1886, and representative of the English-speaking networks of anarchist-communists at that time. The period we chose for our investigation goes from the year of the journal’s foundation until 1922, when the Free State was established in Ireland.
Our main argument is that anarchists expressed radical anti-colonial views at the Age of Empire, which intersected with republican discourses on national liberation. Anticolonialism was not displayed as the main point of anarchist propaganda because the main focus of most activists was the social question: nevertheless, anarchist “anticolonial imagination” was widespread in discourses challenging both “external” and “internal” colonialisms. These discourses intersected with Irish republicanism through links of mutual solidarity between anarchist activists and the more radical Irish fighters. The common strife for freedom and against the British Monarchy was the strongest point in common in their dialogue, though the anarchists never gave up their critique of the state and of class oppression. They generally argued that for Irish workers and peasants the problem was full emancipation rather than the choice between a British master and an Irish one, or an imperial state and a national one. Thus, this case allows appreciating the complex dialectics between anarchist and republican freedom, their similarities ad their differences.
In our paper, we show how the numerous references to the Irish question and the correspondences from Ireland published in Freedom confirm what stated above. Intended to target specific collaborative funding, this project will continue with the analysis of other journals and printed materials produced by transnational anarchists settled in Britain at the time of the struggles for Irish freedom. We are likewise going to work on the activists’ archives in order to reconstruct the common networks of Irish and anarchist militants, a work which has been inaugurated by recent historical scholarship on transnational anarchism and Irish republicanism, and which is now worthy of been deepened and completed. (Show less)