Anarchism, Marxism and the Lessons of the Paris Commune

Nalini Malani, In Search of Missing Blood II, 2012_2017.


A Marxist approach is guaranteed to (at best) ignore or (at worst) distort anarchist involvement in the analysis of events.

“On March 17th, the communist government completed its “victory” over the Kronstadt proletariat and on March 18th, it celebrated the martyrs of the Paris Commune. It was evident to everyone who was a mute witness to the outrage committed by the Bolsheviks that the crime against Kronstadt was far more gigantic than the massacre of the Bolsheviks. Communards, in 1871, for that was done in the name of the Social Revolution, in the name of the Socialist Republic” (Emma Goldman. My Disillusionment in Russia).[I]

There are some certain things about reading history books. The first, and most obvious, is that you usually know how it ends (badly, in the case of the Paris Commune). What matters is what you learn from the events discussed. Second, when it is a Marxist approach, it is guaranteed to (at best) ignore or (at worst) distort anarchist involvement in the analysis of events. In this sense, Donny Glukstein's Leninist approach to the Paris Commune[ii] does not disappoint: it either ignores key aspects of anarchist criticism as distorts the parts it treats.

The Paris Commune is a significant influence on all revolutionary socialists, anarchists, as well as Marxists. This should be well recognized in libertarian circles, so there is no need to discuss its history to any extent. Not only were there “among the Communards anarchists and syndicalists of various kinds”[iii], as Mikhail Bakunin and Pyotr Kropotkin saw the Paris Commune as a notorious confirmation (both in a positive and negative sense) of anarchist ideas. Karl Marx produced his classic Civil War in France immediately after the fall of the Commune and added what he considered its key lessons – “the working class cannot simply take over the state machine automatically and wield it for its purposes”[iv] – to the following preface of the Communist Manifesto. Lenin placed them as the heart of his State and Revolution and proclaimed that while the "anarchists tried to claim it" [the Commune] as "a corroboration of their doctrine" in reality they "completely misunderstood its lessons and Marx's analysis of those lessons".[v] More recently, Leninist Paul Blackledge used this work to suggest that "the problem for Bakunin was that Marx was palpably correct" insofar as "the Commune was a new form of government and indeed a new form of state" and , thus, Kropotkin would have produced “an immanent critique of Bakunin's analysis of the Paris Commune”.[vi] We will use Gluckstein's book as a way to explore the lessons of the Commune, to show how anarchist ideas are distorted and how the standard Marxist interpretation he systematizes is flawed. This will reaffirm the anarchist influences on the Commune, the Commune's place in anarchism and the anarchist critique of it. We will also show how implausible Leninist attempts to appropriate it for their tradition are, since while Gluckstein (2006, p. 53) hails the Commune for introducing “workers' control of production” and “democracy from below”, he fails to mention the inconvenient fact that the Bolsheviks abolished both.

Proudhon, Marx and exploitation

While Marx, in The Civil War in France, fails to mention any intellectual influences on the Commune, presenting it as something that appeared out of nowhere, Gluckstein (2006, p. 85) correctly points out that “with all its bold and progressive ideas” it was not “written on a sheet of paper”. in blank". He follows most historians of the Commune in dividing its political influences into three: Jacobin, Blanquist and Proudhonian. The former were radical republicans, inspired by the Jacobins of the Great French Revolution, and primarily sought political change, with the social issue coming later. The Blanquists followed their eponymous hero, Louis Auguste Blanqui, in favor of a party of professional revolutionaries that would seize power in a coup and implement socialism from the top down. The Proudhonians were inspired by the federalist socialism of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the first people to call themselves anarchists, and were a mixed bunch that Gluckstein correctly divides into right and left wings.

It goes without saying that the Commune was heavily influenced by Proudhon's ideas, and the best that can be said of Gluckstein's (2006, p. 82) approach is that he at least recognizes this – claiming that Marx “played a significant role” in the First International, he says, “it does not mean, however, that the French section was full of Marxists. Here the Proudhonians were the most influential current”. However, his discussion of Proudhon's ideas is a caricature. To be generous, she simply repeats standard Marxist analyzes of the Frenchman's ideas. So your approach is not breaking the distortion barriers. Considering how regularly this nonsense is repeated, it's worth contrasting Gluckstein's approach with what the "father of anarchism" actually stood for.

The usual Leninist equation of a market economy with capitalism is repeated, with Gluckstein (2006, p. 72) stating that Proudhon's “criticisms of the failings of capitalist society were accurate” but he “did not reject the market system as a whole ”. Confusing capitalism with the market allows one to present Proudhon as an advocate of wage labor and claim that he maintained that market exchanges under capitalism are based on freedom and equality. “Consequently, since selling labor power was itself a form of commercial operation, when employees went to work for their employers they were not being exploited because 'any man's labor can buy the labor it represents'” .

Significantly, Gluckstein quotes Marx by quoting (mistakenly) Proudhon. Indeed, he rarely quotes Proudhon directly, suggesting a lack of familiarity with the source material, for if he were even remotely familiar with Proudhon's ideas, he would know that anarchists explain how property - wage labor - "violates equality through right of exclusion and growth, and freedom through despotism”, resulting in the exploitation of the worker by the capitalist who employs him.[vii] Ironically, in the passage that Marx plucks out of context and that Gluckstein regurgitates, Proudhon is teasing bourgeois economists about why the surplus value produced by labor was not enjoyed by the workers who produced it:

Why do not economists, if, as it seems, believe that everyone's labor should leave a surplus, do not use all their influence to spread this truth, so simple and so illuminating: Every man's labor should buy only the value he contains, and is this value proportional to the services of all other workers?[viii]

Proudhon explains why this does not happen under capitalism, how selling your labor and its product ensures that workers are exploited by their employers, how wage labor produces this result. So if the “exchange of goods through a market system” was for Proudhon “fundamentally fair”, this not implies that “the sale of labor is a form of commercial operation, where the employees… are not being exploited”. Showing his complete ignorance on the subject, Gluckstein states that “Karl Marx, who studied Proudhon's work carefully, had a very different analysis that placed exploitation at the very heart of the capitalist productive process” (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006 p. 72). Indeed, Proudhon argued that this was the case from 1840 onwards. He was perfectly aware that workers produced more value than they received in wages:

Whoever works becomes the owner... I don't simply mean (as our hypocritical economists do) the owner of his income, his salary, his salary, - I mean owner of the value that he creates and from which the boss profits alone … the worker retains, even after he has received his wages, a natural right of ownership over the thing he has produced.[ix]

Contrast this with the “Marxist” approach that Gluckstein (2006, p. 72) presents, in which the worker “will normally create during a working day more value than his daily wage with which the capitalist bought his labor power. At this point, Marx was reproducing Proudhon rather than presenting a different analysis.

I demonstrated that every job must leave a surplus; so that, supposing the worker's consumption to remain constant, his labor must create, in addition to his subsistence, an ever-increasing capital. Under the property regime, surplus labor, which is essentially collective, passes entirely... to the owner.[X]

This is obviously a theory of surplus value being generated in production, as recognized by more informed Marxists such as John Enrenberg who points out that Proudhon's ideas "anticipated what Marx and Engels would later call the appropriation of surplus value". ”.[xi] This is part of the reason why "property is theft", the other being that the appropriation of the means of livelihood by the few has put the rest in the position of having to sell their labor (and also their product) to the first. (“We who belong to the proletarian class: property excommunicates us!”).[xii] Thus, the theft of the land and workplaces needed by all to produce and live allowed the theft, by the owner, of the product and surplus created by the work.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gluckstein fails to mention an essential part of Proudhon's analysis, namely his concept of "collective force". This was “one of the reasons Proudhon had given for rejecting” property, that “collective efforts produced an additional value” that was “unfairly appropriated by the owner".[xiii] Edward Hyams, whom Gluckstein quotes to support his incorrect approach, sums it up well enough, even if he did not use the term: “The (capitalist) owner… betrays [his workers] abominably: for he pays nothing for their collective effort, only by the individual effort of each”.[xiv] This is on the page previous the one that Gluckstein (2006, p.72) quotes from Hayman's book: as well as the notion that Proudhon thought that “the crime [of theft] did not occur in the work process”. Marx, incidentally, repeated Proudhon's analysis of the role of "collective force" in The capital, in essentially the same way, but without the recognition.[xv]  Gluckstein (2006, p. 73) explains the “Marxist” theory of exploitation in terms of “the difference between the value created by the workforce once put to work and the value of the workforce itself”. Yet Proudhon raised this issue in 1846, when he noted that work "is a thing vague and indeterminate by its nature, but qualitatively defined by its object - that is, it becomes reality through its product."[xvi] Marx, ironically, “made disparaging remarks about this passage”, yet it “anticipated an idea that Marx was about to develop as one of the key elements in the concept of workforce, in other words, as a merchandise, labor does not produce anything and exists independently of and prior to the exercise of its potential to produce value as labor active".[xvii] Whereas Marx is cited with the "despotism of capital over labor" of 1871, Gluckstein, however, fails to mention Proudhon's "property is despotism" of 1840.[xviii] This is unfortunate, because it was this despotism that allowed exploitation to take place as workers “sold their arms and parted with their freedom” when they became employees.[xx] Proudhon, then, was acutely aware of the oppressive nature of wage labor:

Thus property, which should make us free, makes us prisoners. What am I saying? It degrades us, making us each other's servants and tyrants.

Do you know what it's like to be a salaried worker? Working under a boss, mindful of his prejudices much more than his orders... having no thoughts of his own... knowing no stimulus beyond his daily bread and the fear of losing his job!

The salaried worker is a man to whom the owner who hires his services addresses the following speech: what you have to do is not your concern at all: you do not control it.[xx]

In addition, he relates the growth of inequality to the exploitation produced by the hierarchical relationship created in the capitalist workplace:

I showed the entrepreneur, at the birth of industry, negotiating on equal terms with his comrades, who henceforth became his workers. It is clear, indeed, that this original equality was about to disappear through the advantaged position of the boss and the dependence of wage workers.[xxx]

Proudhon clearly sees exploitation taking place in the workplace and so his “position that property is theft places a fundamental antagonism between producers and owners at the heart of modern society. If direct producers are the only source of social value that the owners of capital are exploiting, then exploitation must be the fundamental cause of… inequality”.[xxiii] Indeed, he links his analysis of how exploitation takes place within production – through the appropriation of “collective force” by the capitalist – with his calls for both association (“By virtue of the principle of collective force, workers are equal and associated in their leaders”[xxiii]) and for socialization (“All human work being the result of collective force, makes all property, for the same reason, collective and indivisible”).[xxv] 

Gluckstein (2006, p.75) recognizes, in passing, Proudhon's true position pointing out that the big capitalists “should be excluded from the production of commodities through mutualism, or workers' cooperatives”. If Proudhon really thought that exploitation didn't happen in the workplace then why did he defend cooperatives? Why did he consistently argue for the abolition of wage labor? Simply because, contrary to what Gluckstein suggests, Proudhon knew that the “industrial democracy”, in which “all positions are elective, and the statutes subject to the approval of the members”, could guarantee that “the collective force, which is a product of the community, ceases to be a source of profit for a small number of managers” and becomes “the property of all workers”. Thus “workers' associations… are full of hope both as a protest against wage labor and as an affirmation of reciprocity” and its importance lies “in the denial of the capitalist regime”. Its aim was “to stop capitalist and landlord exploitation everywhere, abolition of wage labor, guaranteed equal and fair exchanges”.[xxiv]       Even a basic awareness of these ideas would have been enough to recognize that Gluckstein's (2006, p. 72) claim that, for Proudhon, exploitation "does not take place in the labor process" then "it must come from outside commercial relations or capitalists, through force and fraud” is nonsense. The notion that Proudhon was not against wage labor simply cannot be sustained even on a superficial view of his work.[xxv]

Proudhon and Associative Socialism

Like Marx[xxviii], Proudhon was perfectly aware that the “market system” was not the same as capitalism, that “capitalist society” was marked by wage labor, and that such an economic system was not the end of social evolution.[xxviii] Like Marx, he repeatedly called for the abolition of wage labor (hence his consistent support for co-operatives).

Gluckstein (2006, p. 197-198) masks this with his erroneous approach to the Associative Socialism then prevalent within the French labor movement. He is eager to attribute the idea of ​​cooperative-based socialism to Louis Blanc, who he claims was the one who "originally promoted" this idea. His ideas were “attractive to people in small workshops operating with minimal machinery”, as in these cases it was superficially plausible that co-operatives “could win by competing with the capitalist system”. This is dismissed as "classical reformism" and doomed to failure because "industrial development [has] made it impossible to outcompete capitalism". Marx is approvingly quoted as indicating that a "workers' government" was needed to feed national production based on a common plan.

This is wrong for three reasons. The first is that Blanc did not think that co-operatives on their own could outcompete capitalism. He was of the opinion that it was “necessary to use the full power of the State” to achieve the organization of work because “what the proletarians lack for their liberation are the tools of work” and “this the government must provide for them”. The State “must place itself resolutely at the head of industry” and “must constitute itself, eventually, as master of industry and in place of monopoly we will obtain… association”.[xxix] It is odd that Gluckstein seems unaware of Blanc's real position, as is well established in the secondary literature. Even more so if he had to consult Proudhon's writings, he would have discovered repetitive criticism of Blanc's system because it was governed and funded by the state. This centralized form of association was denounced as a new form of wage labor that simply meant replacing capitalists with bureaucrats. As history shows, Proudhon was right.[xxx] 

The second is that other socialists recognized the need for associations to replace wage labor. Proudhon also popularized the idea of ​​workers' associations (cooperatives) as the basis of socialism from the 1840s onwards, when he stated that managers "must be chosen from among the workers, by the workers themselves".[xxxii] although in The General Idea of ​​the Revolution, from 1851, this is particularly strong, this can be seen in almost all of his works.[xxxi]  For Proudhon, the workplace must be ruled by "industrial associations, small workers' republics" and then "industrial democracy must succeed industrial feudalism".[xxxii] As Dorothy Douglas correctly noted, "the co-operative movement... syndicalism... guild socialism all bear traces of the kind of self-governing industrial life that Proudhon sought."[xxxv]     

The third and most important reason is that Blanc, like Proudhon – did not originate the idea of ​​workers' associations. Just as Gluckstein swaps the publication dates of Blanc's influential work, The Organization of Work, 1840 instead of 1847[xxxiv], the fact is that “Associativism” was born during the wave of strikes and protests triggered by the 1830 revolution. supporters, for example, producing a newspaper (L'Artisan: Journal de la class ouvrière) who suggested that the only way to stop being exploited by a boss was to form cooperatives. During the strikes of 1833 this was replicated by other skilled workers and so co-operatives were seen by many workers as a method of emancipating wage labor long before Blanc put pen to paper.[xxxiv]   

In other words, Blanc and Proudhon simply took ideas expressed by workers and interpreted them in different ways. This is important because simply acknowledging that other socialist thinkers raised the idea of ​​workers' cooperatives as an alternative to wage labor still lends credence to Lenin's notion that the working class cannot achieve socialist ideas on its own.[xxxviii] It is the opposite with Proudhon, for example, choosing the term Mutualism from the workers of Lyon in the early 1840s and his ideas of credit, exchange and cooperative production influencing him as he influenced the workers of Lyon. There was thus “close similarity between Proudhon's associative ideal… and the program of the mutualists of Lyon”; “It is likely that Proudhon was able to articulate his political program more coherently because of the example of the Lyon silk workers. The socialist ideal he championed was already being realized to some extent by such workers.”[xxxviii] 

Then there is the usual Marxist nonsense that “Proudhon wanted society to return to an earlier golden age” (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 73). In reality, he didn't want to and advocated the association precisely to accommodate the development of industry and large-scale production.[xxxix] What's more, he was also acutely aware that in the France of his time, artisans and peasants predominated, and thus any serious socialist movement and theory would have to recognize this fact. Gluckstein (2006, p. 69) knows this, as he admits, in 1871, “older forms of production predominated” as well as “the preponderance of craft and manufactured production” in Paris and elsewhere in France. Yet this does not prevent Gluckstein – like Engels before him – from characterizing Proudhon as anachronistic, despite his having advocated ideas applicable to the economic framework in which he lived rather than those which, as with Marx, would only become dominant decades after the your death. Rather than looking to the past, Proudhon shaped his ideas to the economy he was faced with. As Daniel Guérin summarized a long time ago:

Proudhon really walked with time and realized that it is impossible to go back in time. He was realistic enough to understand that "small industry is as stupid a culture as it is insignificant" and he recorded this view in his IDs. As far as modern large-scale industry demanding a large workforce is concerned, he was resolutely collectivist: "In the future, large-scale industry and general culture must be the fruit of association." “We have no choice in the matter”, he concludes, and it is revolting that anyone would dare to suggest that he was against technical progress.

In his collectivism he was, however, categorically opposed to statism. Property must be abolished. Community (as understood by authoritarian communism) is oppression and bondage. So Proudhon sought a combination of property and community: this was association. The means of production and exchange must be controlled neither by capitalist companies nor by the State… they must be managed by workers' associations.[xl]

Indeed, this could be Proudhon speaking when a club meeting in Paris proclaimed that the commune "will allocate its contracts to the workers' associations which will replace the big bosses, the big companies (especially railway companies...)" and "organize the Republic social and democratic” (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 104). After all, as Proudhon recalled in 1851:

I said one day, in February or March, 1849, at a demonstration of patriots, that I rejected the construction and management of railways by capitalist enterprises and the State alike. In my opinion, the railways are in the field of workers' companies, which are different from the current commercial companies, as well as they must be independent from the State.[xi]

While grudgingly acknowledging that “Proudhon's critiques of the failures of capitalist society were accurate and won him many supporters”, Gluckstein (2006, p. 72) also asserts, with casual insouciance, that Proudhon's ideas are “easily recognizable as precursors of today's neoliberal economics. But Proudhon's ideas were situated in a different context and thus took on a much more radical form when adopted by the artisan class. Since when did neoliberalism refrain from using the State to impose its reforms and manipulate the market in favor of the capitalist class? When did the capitalist state ever leave working-class people alone when they acted for themselves? In the same way, when a defender of neoliberal economics has already argued that the laissez-faire Does capitalist mean “the victory of the strong over the weak, of the haves over the have-nots”? Or did he denounce capitalist enterprises because they result in “the worker [being] subordinated, exploited: his permanent condition is one of obedience” and thus people relate as “subordinates and superiors” to “two… castes of bosses and wage workers, which is repugnant to a free and democratic society” and urged cooperatives to replace them? Or he suggested that “the workers' association will remain a utopia as long as the government does not understand that it should not carry out public services on its own account or convert them into corporations, but entrust them by means of a fixed-value fixed-term contract to companies of united workers”. and accountable”?[xliii]    

Like Marx, Proudhon was keenly aware of the role that economics played in defending, justifying and rationalizing capitalism: "Political economy – that is, proprietary despotism – can never be wrong, it must be the proletariat."[xiii] Unsurprisingly, Proudhon had nothing but disapproval for the neoliberals of his time, and they for him.[xiv]   Considering that Gluckstein seems to rely almost exclusively on secondary sources to craft his take on Proudhon's ideas, it is no surprise that he uses a quote from Proudhon via the unreliable J. Salwyn Schapiro[xlv] to suggest that Proudhon was against "common property" when, in reality, his source intentionally mistranslates the word community (community) (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 75). What Proudhon means by "community" is very well known, as are his reasons for opposing it (although Gluckstein fails to mention both); he not was opposed to common property and yes to the state control that nationalization had created.[xlv] This can be seen when he argues that mutualism is "association, which is the annihilation of property" insofar as "the use" of wealth "must be divided" as the "property [is] retained indivisible” and thus “land [is] common property” and capital is “common ou collective".[xlv] As he put it during the Revolution of 1848: “under universal association, ownership of land and instruments of labor is property social… We want democratically organized workers' associations … this vast federation of companies and societies woven into the social fabric of the democratic and social Republic”.[xlviii]

So Proudhon was also in favor of associations of associations. Fifteen years later, in 1863, he called this system an “agribusiness federation” in Of the Federative Principle and this "systematized" all his economic ideas "developed over the last twenty-five years".[xlix] Even Gluckstein cannot ignore this, pointing out that for Proudhon "the many small[l] economic units would be federalized... grouped into local communes... and then, further afield, into regional and, finally, national federations” (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 75). Yet he manages to do better than Engels who proclaimed that Proudhon "saw association as positive hate" and thus "combining all these associations into one great union" was "the complete opposite of Proudhon's doctrine".[li]

In short, Proudhon was in favor of workers' cooperatives (or associations) insofar as he was perfectly aware that the bosses kept part of the value produced by the workers. That Gluckstein does not know this basic fact demonstrates his superficially critical nature. Dependent on a selective reading of secondary sources, he ironically confirms the comments of a certain author he cites: “since [The Poverty of Philosophy, by Marx] no good Marxist has had more to think about Proudhon. They had exactly what they needed, a judgment ex cathedra".[liiii]

Proudhon and the State

Gluckstein's use of secondary sources ensures that he caricatures Proudhon on a number of topics beyond his economic theories. In terms of your political ideas, an unwillingness to discuss why Proudhon held these views adds to the problems this approach inherently creates. As an example of this, Gluckstein (2006, p. 74) uses Schapiro's hostile and imprecise article to offer his readers a quotation from Proudhon: “All this democracy disgusts me… What would I not give to navigate this mob with fists? closed!”. Already on consulting the letter to which this passage belongs, it quickly becomes clear that Schapiro wants to quote Proudhon out of context to reinforce his absurd suggestion that he was a “precursor” of fascism. In reality, Proudhon was lamenting that others on the left were attacking him as "a false democrat, a false friend of progress, a false republican” due to his critical position on Poland's independence. Unlike most of the rest of the left, Proudhon was opposed to the creation of a Polish state as it would not be democratic, but rather governed by the nobility, thus: "Catholic, aristocratic [and] divided into castes".[iii] The context shows that Proudhon is making an ironic comment about those on the left who violate their own claimed democratic principles in support of the creation of such a feudal regime. Likewise, “this mob” does not refer to “the people” as Schapiro and Gluckstein seek to suggest, but to a group of critics of Proudhon. Schapiro does not attempt to indicate a change of subject or even a change of page![book]  

He relies on other false claims from Schapiro's hostile and inaccurate article, none other than the idea that Proudhon "supported the war"[lv] (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 216) when in fact, the work in question (The War and the Peace of 1861) sought to explain how the war could be ended once and for all, ending with the appeal: “HUMANITY DOES NOT WANT ANY MORE WAR”.[lv] He uses Schapiro in the same way, to synthesize Proudhon's position on Louis Napoleon Bonaparte's coup, pointing out that his position was “bizarre” and was expressed in “a pamphlet with the extraordinary title The Social Revolution Demonstrated by the Coup d'état” (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 74-75), when what is “bizarre” and “extraordinary” is judging a book (not “a pamphlet”) by its title. It must be said that Gluckstein's synthesis leaves much to be desired (like Schapiro's[lviii]). For Proudhon, the coup "demonstrated" the Social Revolution only insofar as it showed that the situation prior to December 1851 not could be maintained and that some kind of change was possible, either positive or negative. This, in turn, meant that Louis Bonaparte had two options – to embrace social and democratic revolution (and thus end his personal power) or to embrace reaction (and thus maintain his personal power).[lviii] Or, in the words of its final chapter: “Anarchy or Czarism”.[lix] Louis Bonaparte's choice of the latter option was perhaps not surprising. While this is hardly Proudhon's best work, its arguments are not even systematized by Gluckstein, who clearly only read its title.

While highlighting the dangers of insufficient research – or doing as little research as necessary to confirm your prejudices – it also exposes a key weakness in Gluckstein's approach to both Proudhon's ideas and the anarchist critique of the Commune. Simply put, it doesn't explain why Proudhon opposed the state and argued against political action. Considering that the reasons he held these positions lead directly to anarchist criticism of the Commune, it is doubly inopportune that this is not discussed.

Gluckstein (2006, p. 74) quotes Proudhon as arguing that “the social question can only be resolved by you and you alone, without the help of power”.[lx] So why does Proudhon emphasize self-organization and change from below? Because he recognized that the state (“power”) was governed by capital. As he put it, to "conduct this offensive and defensive war against the proletariat, a public force was indispensable" and this "makes it inevitably linked to capital and against the proletariat".[lxi] Forgetting that Proudhon was successful in running for election, Gluckstein (2006, p. 74) uses quotations out of context to reinforce the claim that “the idea of ​​political involvement by the working class outraged him”. However, their experiences in parliament are relevant when we seek to understand and explain their positions – particularly when Proudhon uses them explicitly to confirm his earlier analyzes of the class nature of the state, as he did in his 1849 work, Confessions of a Revolutionary.[lxii]  Thus, his critique of the State was built upon a clear understanding of its classist nature and basis, that the republic “is nothing but the offensive and defensive alliance of those who have against those who have nothing”, a “coalition of the barons of property, commerce and trade”. and industry against the disinherited lower class”. A centralized, unitary and indivisible republic creates the division between rulers and ruled, and thus “the citizen has nothing but the power to choose his rulers by majority vote”. Thus, France was a “semi-democratic republic”, in which citizens

[…] are authorized, every three or four years, to elect the legislative power first and the executive power second. The duration of this participation in the Government for the popular collectivity is brief… the president and the representatives, once elected, are the masters; everything else obeys. they are the subjects to be governed and charged incessantly.[lxiii]

It hardly arises and creates an interest of its own, separate and often contrary to the interests of the people, because, acting then in this interest, it transforms public officials into its own creatures, resulting in nepotism, corruption and little by little their transformation into a official tribe, enemies of both work and freedom.[lxiv]

The centralization (unit, unity) of the “indivisible republic” was not a neutral form of social organization, but rather “the cornerstone of bourgeois despotism and exploitation”.[lxv] It was necessary to ensure bourgeois control:

And who benefits from this scheme? The people? No, the upper classes… unity… is simply the form of bourgeois exploitation under the protection of bayonets. Yes, political unity in large states is bourgeois: the positions it creates, the intrigues it causes, the influences it stimulates, all this is bourgeois and for the bourgeoisie.[lxvi]

Considering that even democracy is linked to capital and could not be captured, Proudhon turned to the economic self-organization of the working class so that “a new society was founded in the heart of the old one”, in order to “fight and reduce power, to place it in its proper place in society, [for] it is no use changing the holders of power or introducing some variation in its functioning: an agricultural and industrial combination must be found whereby power, now the ruler of society, becomes your slave”.[lxv]

This is something that Gluckstein, in theory, is aware of. He points out that “the Communards they had no doubt of the limitations of suffrage operating where the capitalist economy was dominant” (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 46). Which is exactly why the various types of “Proudhonians” were both opposed and hesitant to support the elections. As history shows, Social Democracy failed to live up to Marx's hopes and became as reformist as Bakunin had warned.[lxviii] Gluckstein himself points out that these parties “end up managing the capitalist system” (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 204) and, thus, “sink into the state machine, the British Labor Party being an example of this. These movements thought they could use existing power structures to bring about the changes they wanted” (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 63). However, he fails to link this end to the means used, with the inconvenient fact that these parties followed Marx's call to take part in "political action" and organize themselves as a political party, rather than a militant trade union movement as desired. by the “collectivists” in the International.

Likewise, Proudhon was not convinced that any centralized structure of the socialist state could be anything other than state capitalism: “We do not want the expropriation, through the state, of mines, canals and railways; this is still monarchy, wage labor”.[lxix] Again, this was the case with the nationalization of labor and, of course, it was also the case under Lenin, Trotsky and then Stalin. As he predicted, if government replaces private ownership, then “nothing has changed beyond shareholders and management; moreover, there is not the slightest difference in the position of the workers”.[lxx] Replacing the private boss with a public bureaucrat did not create socialism.

For this reason, Proudhon defended political, economic and social federalism, so that “we no longer have the abstraction of popular sovereignty as in the 1793 constitution and in others that followed it; and as in Articles of Incorporation by Rousseau. Instead, it becomes an effective sovereignty of the working masses who rule and govern... they?".[lxxi] As well as economic association and federalism, Proudhon also defended communal federalism, and Gluckstein admits that a “federation of communes” – “Free France, which is Communal France in federal form” (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 52) , as a commonard had put – “it would replace the State, as Proudhon had predicted” (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 101). However, at the same time, he states that “Proudhon's approach focused only on the economic” and “the State had to be disregarded” (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 74). Proudhon, however, was not indifferent to the state and sought ways to weaken it to the point where it disappeared – he simply recognized that political action rather than popular pressure and economic transformation from below would never result in real change. Considering the subsequent history of capitalism, he seems to have a point.

Thus, it is simply false to claim that Proudhon “avoided dealing with the center of the system – the exploitation at the heart of the capitalist-worker relationship, and the State that exists to protect this process of exploitation” (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 76). He was perfectly aware that the state was a capitalist tool and that wage labor led to exploitation.

Left Proudhonians or Collectivists?

Rather than opposing Associative Socialism, Proudhon was one of its most influential advocates. His ideas found expression in working-class circles, both during and after his lifetime, and when Proudhon expressed support for workers' association as the basis of libertarian socialism he was not expressing new ideas, but expressing a common perspective, developed within the circles of the working class, and this was later reflected in the Continental European sections of the First International and also within the Commune.

It is not surprising, therefore, that during the Commune, numerous workers pressed the Council to promote co-operatives as a means of solving the "social question". The Communal Council itself decreed that workshops whose owners had fled should be given to “cooperative associations of workers who were employed in them” (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 30). Like Proudhon, this raised the possibility of all large workplaces were transformed into workers' associations. However, the Commune (like Proudhon) was fundamentally gradualist in its approach. This failure to take a revolutionary approach was highlighted by Bakunin and later libertarians as the key to the Commune's downfall.

Gluckstein seems not to contradict himself by directing some praise at Proudhon, pointing out that the "strengths of Proudhon's approach – his anti-authoritarianism and emphasis on self-organization by the working class – was adapted" by his followers. This is a significant improvement over Engels, who considered "anti-authoritarianism" to be complete bullshit and inapplicable to modern society.[lxxiii] He also points out that “Proudhonism has deep roots in the working-class movement and places emphasis on action from below” (GLUCKSTEIN, 2006, p. 83). This is an improvement on Lenin, who argued that "the organizing principle of Social to proceed from the top down".[lxxiii]    After Proudhon's death, militants influenced by him revisited and developed many of his ideas. Based on their experiences, many became (like Eugène Varlin) organizers of unions and strikes, while rejecting their patriarchal notions. Gluckstein (2006, p. 134-135) classifies them as “Left Proudhonians”, but a much better term would be “collectivists” – as Bakunin initially called his politics before adopting the term anarchist. Like the French militants, Bakunin preferred collective ownership, economic struggles and strikes, the expropriation of capital by trade unions, and a decentralized and federal organization of communes and workplace associations. But this is hardly as radical a starting point as it might appear at first sight, as these militants sought to extend Proudhon's "agricultural and industrial combination" from simple credit unions and workplaces to trade unionism. That Proudhon rejected this position is not to deny the obvious relationships between “left mutualists” (collectivists) and their ideas.

By failing to present an accurate account of Proudhon's ideas, Gluckstein also presents a false picture of the theoretical influences within the International and inflates Marx's influence in the process. As GDH Cole points out, French internationalists, including Varlin, were: “strongly hostile to centralization. They were federalists, trying to build working-class organizations locally and then federating local federations. The free France they envisioned would be a country composed of autonomous local communes, loosely federated for common purposes that demanded action over large areas…. In this sense they were anarchists. [Varlin] had, deep down, more in common with Proudhon than with Marx [and had a] syndicalist vision”.[lxxiv]

To quote Varlin himself, trade unions have: “the enormous advantage of making people accustomed to group life and thus preparing them for wider social organization. They accustom the people not only to getting along with each other and understanding one another, but also to organizing themselves, discussing and reasoning from a collective perspective. [In addition to mitigating capitalist exploitation and oppression in the here and now, unions also] form the natural elements of the social edifice of the future; they are the ones that can easily turn into producer associations; it is they who can make the social ingredients of the work of production”.[lxxv]

While such views can be seen in Bakunin's writings, nothing similar can be seen in Marx's; so Gluckstein's (2006, p. 210) suggestion that the correspondence between Marx and Varlin “is certainly significant” in refuting the “many recent historians who feel the need to deny any Marxist influence in Paris” does not hold up. The notion that Varlin was a Marxist cannot be reconciled with his warning that "putting everything in the hands of the state, highly centralized and authoritarian... would establish a top-down hierarchical structure of the labor process." Rejecting state ownership, he suggested, like Proudhon, that "the only alternative was for the workers themselves to freely dispose of the tools of means of cooperative association."[lxxvi]   

As you can see, Varlin's position was close to Bakunin's – perhaps the fact that Marx corresponded with the Russian anarchist shows a “Marxist influence” on his ideas? This is an example of the many times Gluckstein seeks to reinforce Marx's influence in a revolution and in a section of the International where such influence has barely existed. However, the similarities to Bakunin's ideas are obvious, although they are not mentioned by Gluckstein, just as Marxists regularly ignore the obvious relationships between Bakunin's ideas and what later became known as revolutionary syndicalism.[lxxvii] It is not surprising that when Bakunin met Varlin at the Basel International Congress and "once the program of the Alliance had been explained to" Varlin, he said he "shared the same ideas and agreed to co-ordinate with his revolutionary plans".[lxxviii] “Varlin and the French Bakuninists”, George Woodcock points out, “also recognized, before the Paris Commune [as did the trade unionists], the role of trade unions in the social struggle and the general strike”.[lxxix]    Equally, Gluckstein considers Varlin's work to overthrow the Empire as contradictory to Proudhon's apolitical position. But he forgets that Proudhon set up barricades and used the skills of his trade to print the first proclamation of the Republic in the 1848 revolution and, of course, successfully run in the elections a few months earlier (although experience, as pointed out, confirmed its anti-parliamentaryism).

Likewise, anarchists are well aware that republics can offer more opportunity for activity than dictatorships, that "the most imperfect republic is a thousand times better than the most enlightened monarchy... The democratic system gradually educates the masses for public life"[lxxx] and, in this way, the “International does not reject politics of a general type; it will be compelled to intervene in politics as long as it is forced into struggle against the bourgeoisie. It rejects only bourgeois politics.”[lxxxi]. Anarchists took part in the protests that overthrew the Tsar in February 1917[lxxxii], as well as in Spain in 1931 (for example). The point is that they participated in such events to push them further, to turn them into social revolutions instead of purely political revolutions.[lxxxiii]  This was Kropotkin's position during the Russian Revolution of 1905: “United with the entire Russian people we fight against the autocracy. At the same time, we have to work to broaden our struggle and simultaneously fight against capital and the government”.[lxxxiv] This was also Varlin's position when he pointed out that "for us, the political revolution and the social revolution are interdependent" and "in the face of all the obstacles we encounter, we feel that it will be impossible for us to organize the social revolution as long as we live under a government as authoritative as the current one.”[lxxxv]

For Engels, in 1891, “the Commune was the tomb of the Proudhonian school of socialism”.[lxxxvi] However, the evidence suggests otherwise – the 'Proudhonian school' had been transformed long before March 1871 and continued to do so long after in the form of 'collectivism'. Varlin, in other words, was part of the general development of the libertarian movement from reformist mutualism towards revolutionary collectivism, from Proudhon to Bakunin (so to speak). As for Bakunin, his ideas were “Proudhonian ideas largely developed and carried out to their ultimate consequences”.[lxxxvii] However, this is not to say that without Bakunin this would not have happened, as Varlin "seems to have moved independently towards his collectivist position".[lxxxviii] In other words, Bakunin became influential because he was part of a general development within internationalist circles, ideas to which he contributed profoundly but which he was also profoundly influenced by.

So, considering Varlin's connections with Bakunin and the similarities of their policies, Gluckstein (2006, p. 84) is correct in saying that “Varlin demonstrated what could be achieved”, but not in the sense he intended to say. It was precisely the rise of “collectivism”, to which Bakunin and Varlin subscribed, which finally forced Marx to move the General Council to the United States.[lxxxix]

*Iain McKay is a writer and anarchist. Author, among other books, of Anarchism, Anarchist Communism, and the State: Three Essays (PM Press).

Translation: Ivan Thomaz Leite de Oliveira e Claudio Ricardo Martins dos Reis.

Originally published in the magazine Anarcho-Syndicalist Review.


[I]              GOLDMAN, Emma. My Disillusionment in Russia. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1970, p. 199.

[ii]            GLUCKSTEIN, Donny. The Paris Commune: A Revolutionary Democracy. London: Bookmarks, 2006.

[iii]           COLE, GDH. A History of Socialist Thought. London: MacMillan, 1961, 2: p. 167.

[iv]           MARX, Karl; ENGELS, Frederick. On the Paris Commune. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1971, p. 270.

[v]             LENIN, Vladimir. Collected Works 25, p. 481.

[vi]           MCKAY, Iain. Freedom and Democracy: Marxism, Anarchism and the Problem of Human Nature. In: PRICHARD, Alex; KINNA, Ruth; PINTA, Saku; BERRY, David (eds.). Libertarian Socialism: Politics in Black and Red. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2012, p. 26-28.

[vii]          PROUDHON, Pierre-Joseph. Property is Theft! The Pierre-Joseph Proudhon Anthology. Iain McKay (ed.). AK Press, 2011, p. 132.

[viii]         PROUDHON, 2011, p. 178.

[ix]           PROUDHON, 2011, p. 114.

[X]             PROUDHON, 2011, p. 253.

[xi]           EHRENBERG, John. Proudhon and His Age by him. New York: Humanity Books, 1996, p. 55.

[xii]          PROUDHON, 2011, p. 103.

[xiii]         VINCENT, K. Steven. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon: The Rise of French Republican Socialism. Oxford University Press, 1984, p 64-65. Proudhon's own view can be found in What is Property? (PROUDHON, 2011, p. 117-118, 212-213). And it is repeated in subsequent works, including System of Economic Contradictions.

[xiv]         Hyams, Edward. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon: His Revolutionary Life, Mind and Works. London: John Murray, 1979, p. 43.

[xv]          MARX, Carl. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Penguin Books, 1976, I: p. 451.

[xvi]         PROUDHON, 2011, p. 176-177.

[xvii]        OAKLEY, Alan. Marx' Critique of Political Economy: intellectual sources and evolution, 1844 to 1860. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984 1: p. 118.

[xviii]       PROUDHON, 2011, p. 133.

[xx]         PROUDHON, 2011, p. 212.

[xx]          PROUDHON, 2011, p. 248-249.

[xxx]         PROUDHON, 2011, p. 192.

[xxiii]        ENRENBERG, 1996, p. 56.

[xxiii]       PROUDHON, Pierre-Joseph. Systeme des contradictions économiques ou Philosophie de la misere. Paris: Guillaumin, 1846, I: p. 377.

[xxv]       PROUDHON, 2011, p. 137.

[xxiv]        PROUDHON, 2011, p. 610, 586, 558, 596.

[xxv]       Proudhon was opposed to communism, and thus, as Kropotkin discussed in “The collectivist wage system” in A Conquest of Pão and in other writings he was in favor of the wage system (ie distribution by contribution not necessity), but this is not the same as supporting workers selling their labor power to a boss.

[xxviii]      “Let's assume that the workers themselves are in possession of their respective means of production and exchange their goods with each other. These commodities cannot be the product of capital” (MARX, 1976, 3: p. 276).

[xxviii]    “The period through which we are now passing – that of machinery – is distinguished by one special characteristic: WAGE LABOR”. He denounces “the radical vice of political economy”: “calling a transitory condition a definitive state – namely, the division of society between patricians and proletarians” (PROUDHON, 2011, p. 190, 174).

[xxix]       BLANC apud VINCENT, 1984, p. 139-140.

[xxx]        PROUDHON, 2011, p. 204-206, 215-217, 296,399, 556-557.

[xxxii]       PROUDHON, 2011, p. 119.

[xxxi]      For an overview of Proudhon's ideas on associative socialism and their evolution, see Vincent's excellent account.

[xxxii]    PROUDHON, 2011, p. 780, 610. Proudhon seems to have used the term "industrial democracy" for the first time in 1852 when he pointed to "an inevitable transition to an industrial democracy". Cf. PROUDHON, Pierre-Joseph. La Révolution sociale démontrée par le coup d'Etat du 2 décembre. Antony: Tops-Trinquier, 2013, p 156.

[xxxv]     DOUGLAS, Dorothy. Proudhon: A Prophet of 1848: Part II. Zhe American Journal of Sociology 35: p. 1.

[xxxiv]      Blanc's original articles on which the book is based appear in Revue du progrés in 1839 (VINCENT, 1984, p. 138).

[xxxiv]     MOSS, Bernard H. Producer's Associations and the Origins of French Socialism: ideology from below. In: Journal of Modern History 48: p. 1.

[xxxviii]   Em What to do? (1902), Lenin argued that "there cannot be any talk of an independent ideology formulated by the working masses themselves in the process of their movement" and thus socialist consciousness "must be brought to them from without. The history of all countries shows that the working class solely by its own efforts is capable of developing only a trade-unionist consciousness... The Theory of Socialism... ”. Cf. LENIN, Vladimir. Collected Works 5: p. 384, 375. For more of this discussion, see section H.5 of MCKAY, Iain. An Anarchist FAQ. Volume 2. Edinburgh: AK Press, 2012.

[xxxviii]  VINCENT, 1984, p. 164.

[xxxix]     “M. de Sismondi, like every man of patriarchal ideas, would prefer that the division of labor, with machinery and manufactures, be abandoned, and each family return to the primitive undivided system – that is, each for itself and all against all in the most literal sense. sense of words. This would be a step backwards; it is impossible” (PROUDHON, 2011, p. 194).

[xl]           GUERIN, Daniel. Anarchism: From Theory to Practice. Monthly Review Press, 1970, p. 45.

[xi]          PROUDHON, 2011, p. 583

[xliii]         PROUDHON, 2011, p. 732, 583, 718.

[xiii]        PROUDHON, 2011, p. 187.

[xiv]        “Say's school”, Proudhon argued, was “the central focus of the counter-revolution” and “for the last ten years it seems to have existed only to protect and applaud the execrable work of the monopolists of money and necessities, deepening deeper and deeper of a science [economics] naturally difficult and full of complications” (PROUDHON, 2011, p. 587). All of this seems, unfortunately, all too applicable today.”

[xlv]         SCHAPIRO, Salwyn. Pierre Joseph Proudhon, Harbinger of Fascism. In: The American Historical Review 50: 4 Jul., 1945.

[xlv]        “The members of a community, it is true, do not have private property; but the community owns and owns not only goods, but people and wills” (PROUDHON, 2011, 131).

[xlv]       PROUDHON, 2011, p. 93, 148, 153.

[xlviii]     PROUDHON, 2011, p. 377-378.

[xlix]        PROUDHON, 2011, p. 714.

[l]              It must be psychologically significant that Leninists write about Proudhon and anarchists in general defending “small” and “tiny” workplaces. Apparently, size matters and Leninists think that their productive units are much, much bigger than anarchists. In reality, of course, anarchists advocate proper workplace sizes and are not concerned about their sizes. Marxists may fetishize large-scale production, but this does not imply that their assumption that anarchists take the opposite position of fetishizing small-scale production is accurate, rather we support the appropriate level of production based on an assessment of requirements. objectives and the social and ecological costs involved.

[li]            MARX; ENGELS, 1971, p. 31.

[liiii]           HYMANS, 1979, p. 92

[iii]          Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph. Correspondance of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Paris: A. Lacroix, 1875, X1: p. 196-197.

[book]          MCKAY, Iain. Hal Draper on Proudhon: Anatomy of a Smear. In: Anarcho-Syndicalist Review 77, Fall 2019.

[lv]           Other claims by Schapiro repeated by Gluckstein are presented in: MCKAY, Iain. Neither Washington nor Richmond: Proudhon on Racism and the Civil War. In: Anarcho-Syndicalist Review 60, Summer 2013.

[lv]          PROUDHON, Pierre-Joseph. La Guerre et la Paix, recherches surle principe et la constitution du droit des gens. Paris: Dentu, 1861, 2: p. 420.

[lviii]         Space prevents us from discussing Schapiro's many distortions beyond pointing out that he presents Proudhon as having "hailed the dictatorial Second Empire" (SCHAPIRO, 1945, p. 726) in this work, when in reality it was published before Louis Napoleon proclaimed himself emperor in December 1852. So the work was addressed to someone who was still, in theory, the democratically elected president of the Second Republic, albeit one who vastly increased the powers of his cabinet in the name of upholding universal suffrage. masculine against a parliament that had limited it. In terms of his use of state repression, although substantial, it was far less than that of several governments between June 1848 and December 1851.

[lviii]        Indeed, Louis Napoleon “would have to reform the constitution, making it more democratic” and “carry out social and economic as well as political reform” and thus “the book, strictly interpreted, excludes collaboration. The conditions laid down for collaboration were so demanding that they could not be met.” Cf. RITTER, Allan. Zhe Political Thought of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Princeton University Press, 1969, p. 187-188.

[lix]          PROUDHON, 2013, p. 174.

[lx]           Compare this to commonard who warned the people to “expect nothing from the government; do it yourself… associate with comrades in the workshop, with your neighbors in your neighborhood”. Cf. Johnson, MartinPhillip. The Paradise of Association: Political Culture and Popular Organization in the Paris Commune of 1871. University of Michigan Press, 1996, p. 135.

[lxi]          PROUDHON, 2011, p. 223, 226.

[lxii]         PROUDHON, 2011, p. 423.

[lxiii]        PROUDHON, 2011, p. 566, 573.

[lxiv]        PROUDHON, Pierre-Joseph. Regarding Louis Blanc: The Present Utility and Future Possibility of the State. In: Anarcho-Syndicalist Review 66, 2016.

[lxv]         PROUDHON, Pierre-Joseph. La fédération et l'unité en Italie. Paris: E. Dentu, 1862, p. 33.

[lxvi]        PROUDHON, 1862, p. 27-28.

[lxv]       PROUDHON, 2011, p. 321, 226.

[lxviii]     When "ordinary workers" are sent to "Legislative Assemblies" the result is that "workers' deputies, transplanted into a bourgeois environment, into an atmosphere of purely bourgeois ideas, will, in fact, cease to be workers and will become statesmen, they will become bourgeois” because “men do not make their situations, on the contrary, they are made by them. Cf. BAKUNIN, Mikhail. The Basic Bakunin: Writings 1869-1871. Robert M. Cutler (ed.). Prometheus Books, 1994, p. 108.

[lxix]        PROUDHON, 2011, p. 378. This position was first raised in What is the Property? and is critical of “community” along with ownership. He essentially argues that state communism (the only type that existed until then) would mean “the community owns and owns not only goods, but people and wills” (PROUDHON, 2011, p. 131).

[lxx]         Quoted by RITTER, 1969, p. 167-168.

[lxxi]        PROUDHON, 2011, p. 760-761.

[lxxiii]       ENGELS, Friedrich. On Authority. In: The Marx-Engels Reader. Robert C. Tucker (ed.). WW Norton & Co., 1978a, p. 730-733. For a critique of his argument see section H. 4 of An Anarchist FAQ.

[lxxiii]     Ironically, "the organizational principle of the opportunist Social-Democracy" was "to proceed from the top down, and in that way, where possible... to encourage autonomism and "democracy" driven (by the overzealous) to the level of anarchy". Cf. LENIN, Vladimir. Collected Works 7: p. 396-397.

[lxxiv]      COLE, 1961, p. 140, 168.

[lxxv]       Cited by ARCHER, Julian PW The First International in France, 1864-1872: Its Origins, Theories, and Impact. University Press of America, Inc., 1997, p. 196.

[lxxvi]      SCHULKIND (ed.), 1972, p. 63-64.

[lxxvii]    MCKAY, Iain. Another View: Syndicalism, Anarchism and Marxism. Anarchist Studies 20:1 Spring, 2012.

[lxxviii]   ARCHER, 1997, p. 186.

[lxxix]      WOODCOCK, George. Anarchism: A History of libertarian ideas and movements. Penguin Books, 1986, p. 263.

[lxxx]       Mikhail Bakunin quoted by GUÉRIN, 1970, p. 20

[lxxxi]      BAKUNIN, Mikhail. The Political Philosophy of Bakunin. GP Maximov (ed.). New York: The Free Press, 1953, p. 313.

[lxxxii]    While, significantly, local Bolsheviks opposed the initial protests (just as Marx opposed attempts at insurrection during the Franco-Prussian War).

[lxxxiii]   Kropotkin once pointed out that any French revolution must begin as a "political" revolution, as revolutions "are not made to order" but "once a revolution begins, it must not stop with a mere change of government" and "attempts to of expropriation” must begin. Cf. KROPOTKIN, Peter. The Conquest of Bread and Other Writings. Cambridge University Press, 1995, p. 211

[lxxxiv]   KROPOTKIN, Peter. Direct Struggle Against Capital. Edinburgh: AK Press, 2014, p. 461. Both Russian Marxist factions saw the events of 1905 as a “bourgeois” revolution and thus limited their aims to a purely political transformation, arguing that workers should pursue social changes once the republic had been achieved.

[lxxxv]     SCHULKIND, Eugene (ed.). The Paris Commune of 1871: The View from the Left. London: Jonathan Cape, 1972, p. 32-33.

[lxxxvi]   MARX; ENGELS, 1971, p. 31

[lxxxvii]  BAKUNIN, Mikhail. Michael Bakunin: Selected Writings. Arthur Lehning (ed.) London: Jonathan Cape, 1973, p. 198.

[lxxxviii] WOODCOCK, 1986, p. 239.

[lxxxix]   For a good account of the rise of revolutionary anarchism within the International, see: GRAHAM, Robert. We Do Not Fear Anarchy? We Invoke It: The First International and the Origins of the Anarchist Movement. Oakland/Edinburgh: AK Press, 2015.

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