10 Anarchist Badass Motherfuckers
Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Errico Malatesta, Luigi Galleani, Nestor Makhno, Buenaventura Durruti, Francisco Sabaté Llopart (El Quico), Severino Di Giovanni, Louis Lingg, Sante Caserio.
Bakunin was an anti-democratic vanguardist that tried to form a minority coup over the international, and sabotaged revolutions by segmenting points of defense by region, rather than in a unified and centralized coordination. Needless to say the uprising attempting this strategy were crushed. He likewise fought against advocating for any type of laws, including the 8 hour work day, and ending child labor. (Read “The Bakuninists at Work” for the details) A true aristocrat as well.
Makhno was a military leader that organized a military style dictatorship over the Ukraine, complete with secret police and censorship of the press ( I do not oppose these practices, but note that they practiced the very measures they criticized the Bolsheviks for). He betrayed the Bolsheviks and murdered them, partially because what the people of Russia choose in a mass uprising was different than his nominal anarchism. He encouraged robbery and murder of revolutionaries (among others). He tried to pay people and soldiers in a debauched currency that they were encouraged to counterfeit, leading to hyper-inflation and starvation… too much on this one just read this.
Kropotkin was an apologist for the imperialism, to the point of supporting world war 1. He was another aristocrat, and advanced essentialist ideas about human nature that mirror their capitalist antithesis. He also advocated for reactionary economic localism.
Malatesta was against all unions, claiming they were inherently reformist. He claimed that even going into a union with the intention of pushing it toward revolutionary purposes made one “dead to anarchism”.
Definitely some good people on this list as well. I don’t want to deny the contributions of dedicated and class oriented anarchist revolutionaries that did fight valiantly, just to dispel some of the mythology and denounce the ideologies of people like Bakunin, Stirner, and Proudhon who anarchists would benefit from keeping out of their canon.
I’m really annoyed that I only saw this post as I’m getting ready to go out, because I’d like to address all of it (and I don’t tumbl at the weekends so that’ll need to wait till monday) But I’ve probably got time to defend my personal hero Errico from the absurd and baseless charge that he was
“against all unions, claiming they were inherently reformist.”
Anyone with even a basic knowledge of Malatesta’s life and thought knows this to be nonsense.
This assertion is fundamentally destroyed by the historically verifiable fact that Malatesta founded a trade union, the Baker’s union in Argentina, the most radical union that society had seen, see Osvaldo Bayer’s account of the Argentine anarchist movement.
In this respect, the founding of the baker’s union was fundamental. Malatesta, upon drawing up the charter for that organization, established the norm for all other aggressive working class organizations.
For a truthful account of Malatesta’s position on unions, I suggest you read this speech from the international anarchist congress of 1907. His only criticism was that unionism, syndicalism, is not sufficient in itself to produce revolutionary change. He was right, and this remains mainstream anarchist thought today
““Syndicalism, and more precisely the workers’ movement (the workers’ movement is a fact that no-one can ignore, whereas syndicalism is a doctrine, a system, and we must avoid confusing them), the workers’ movement, I repeat, has always found in me a staunch, but not blind, defender. It is because I see it as a particularly favourable terrain for our revolutionary propaganda and at the same time a point of contact between the masses and ourselves… I have never stopped fighting that attitude of haughty isolation wherever I have found it… nor pushing comrades back to the path that the syndicalists, forgetting a glorious past, call new, but that the first anarchists had already established and followed within the International.”
Read the speech. He continually and repeatedly calls for anarchists to join unions. Coupled with the fact that he actually formed and drew up the charter for a union, I think we can conclude that determinatenegations claim that “Malatesta was against all unions” is utterly false.
On Monday I’ll hopefully get time to talk about the others.
CSA strikes again!