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The anarchist groups on their parts put forward two alternative proposals. The first opted for an international association of trade unions, aloof from politics, to be set up in place of the IWA; and the other proposed an international trade union federation as the prototype of the future social order, to be based on the principles of decentralisation and autonomy.

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Opposing the anarchist proposals, Marx drew on the experience of the Commune to emphasise the need for the working class to carry on the political struggle, with the proletarian revolution as its highest form. The success of this revolution, the gaining of political power, was inconceivable without the proletariat being organised into a political party, he said.

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He also brought out the specific defects of the English trade unions, which represented mainly an aristocratic minority of the English working class and ignored the interests of the low-paid mass of workers. Most of the delegates voted for the official resolution and the general council was instructed to produce the final text. Authorized by the conference, the GC also issued a new edition of the General Rules incorporating the amendments passed in the Conference, thereby vastly improving the principles of democratic centralism as applicable to this particular organization at the given stage of its development.

The success of the London Conference in upholding a consistent proletarian line only raised the ideological battle to a new plane. In England, Marx expected that the foundation of an autonomous British Federal Council whose functions were previously discharged by the General Council would lay the ideological foundations for an independent working class party. But with John Hales, the main leader of the BFC, turning more and more opportunist his main political plank was to cooperate with the Liberals and to win seats in the parliament with their support and trying to mobilise the BFC against the GC, this proved well-nigh impossible.

THE BAKUNINISTS AT WORK - REVIEW OF THE UPRISING IN SPAIN IN THE SUMMER OF 1873

However, Marx fought on. At a GC meeting in January , he secured the removal from the Federal Council of all the members of petty bourgeois organisations. Among the political issues on which debates flared up, the most important was the Irish National liberation movement. Marx and Engels exposed this as a departure from the principles of proletarian internationalism, stressing once again that one of the key tasks of the English working class was to support, in the interest of its own emancipation, the Irish National liberation movement.

The GC also passed a resolution under which at least two-thirds of the membership of each section was to consist of wage labourers. Among anarchists, Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin proved to be the worst troublemaker.


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If we declare ourselves against it they will decry us as counter-revolutionaries. Marx responded to this Catch 22 situation with his characteristic ingenuity.

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He wrote back to Bakunin that the rules of the IWA did not require detailed examination of the programme of his alliance; if the latter was not opposed to the general goal of complete emancipation of the working classes, that would be considered sufficient for joining the International. Bakunin made the slight alteration in the programme as suggested by Marx, and then his organisation was merged with the IWA.


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  5. But he and his followers in different countries continued their struggle against the political and organisational principles of the International. They also established direct contacts with proletarian vanguards in Spain and Italy. In the process, the New Madrid Federation was soon established. On behalf of the GC, Marx and Engels wrote the pamphlet Fictitious Splits in the Internationalto exposethe nature and historical roots of anarchist sectarianism operating under ultra-leftist phrase-mongering and upheld the proletarian party principles. The bitterest fight against both anarchism and reformism took place in the Hague Congress September Naturally, settling scores with these conspirators became the central agenda of the Congress.

    While anarchists argued for abolishing the GC and completely decentralising the International, Marx spoke in favour of extending the powers of the GC, adding that this authority must rest on the approval and support of the entire organisation. The Congress also considered the question of the secret Alliance and, after a heated debate, resolved to expel the ringleaders — Bakunin and James Guillaume the Swiss lieutenant of the former. The split in the International was now real, and for all to see.

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    In view of the official hostility towards the IWA on the European continent in the aftermath of the Paris Commune, and also to pre-empt the possibility of a takeover of the GC by British reformists and immigrant anarchists who were well-organised and numerically quite strong in London Engels proposed that the GC should transfer its seat to New York. The move was fiercely resisted by Blanquists and reformists, but the Congress ultimately passed this resolution and also elected a new GC.

    Also, he didn't clarify his own theoretical ideas; most of what he wrote is either short pamphlets or is incomplete. When Bakunin's train broke down, he saw a crowd of peasants outside a castle.

    Do Anarchists Ignore Political Struggle? - Anarchism 101

    By the time he got back on, the castle was on fire. Stop spouting all that right-wing shit, or I'll do a Bakunin on your ass. Clapping them alien cheeks Nip Nops Brown Bear, Golden Shower Satish E-thot Splunk Tweetdecking Caramel sauce