Anarchy and Organization: The Debate at the 1907 International Anarchist Congress

Authors: Amédée Dunois, Emma Goldman, Errico Malatesta, Max Baginski
Translations by Nestor McNab are taken from Studies for a Libertarian Alternative: The International Anarchist Congress, Amsterdam, 1907, published by the Anarchist Communist Federation in Italy (Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici — FdCA); paperback edition available from AK Press.

Amédée Dunois: Anarchism and Organization

It is not long since our comrades were almost unanimous in their clear hostility towards any idea of organization. The question we are dealing with today would, then, have raised endless protests from them, and its supporters would have been vehemently accused of a hidden agenda and authoritarianism.

They were times when anarchists, isolated from each other and even more so from the working class, seemed to have lost all social feeling; in which anarchists, with their unceasing appeals for the spiritual liberation of the individual, were seen as the supreme manifestation of the old individualism of the great bourgeois theoreticians of the past.

Individual actions and individual initiative were thought to suffice for everything; and they applauded [Ibsen’s play] “An Enemy of the People” when it declared that a man alone is the most powerful of all. But they did not think of one thing: that Ibsen’s concept was never that of a revolutionary, in the sense that we give this word, but of a moralist primarily concerned with establishing a new moral elite within the very breast of the old society. Continue reading “Anarchy and Organization: The Debate at the 1907 International Anarchist Congress”