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Pioneers of Anti-Parlimentarism
by Guy A. Aldred

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Federation of the International Working Men's Association. This was organized during the month of September as a secret alliance at Zurich where Malatesta rejoined Bakunin on September the 7th. He had refused to attend the Hague Conference and went direct to Zurich from Rimini. Four days after his arrival, Cafiero and the Spanish Internationalists arrived from the Hague. On September the 12th and 13th the definite constitution of Bakunin's secret alliance was evolved. Ten days later Malatesta returned to Naples in order to devote himself to agitation and organization. He was the youngest member of the circle that assembled at Zurich and was nicknamed Benjamin on that account. To those of us who knew Malatesta in his age, notwithstanding his boundless enthusiasm and energy, the vision of him as Benjamin is one hard to conceive. The attempt to do so brings home to us the tremendous gulf of years that separates us from the time of Bakunin and shows with what patience one must pursue the path of revolution. A revolutionist is sometimes depicted as a man in a hurry. On the contrary, he is the man who survives the ravages of time. IT is the reformist who believes in the idea of haste. The revolutionist wants speed.

In March, 1873, Malatesta was arrested as a common criminal for being a member of a secret society of Socialists. With him were arrested Cafiero, Alceste Faggioli, and Andrea Costa. The latter was responsible for persuading Bakunin to participate in the abortive Italian insurrection of 1874. Five years after that disastrous activity Costa entered the Italian parliament as a Socialist and repudiated Anarchism.

After fifty-four days, Malatesta and his colleagues were released. Cafiero went to Barletta in order to realise money for the cause. Malatesta proceeded to Locarno where he rejoined Bakunin and then passed on to Barletta to join Cafiero in revolutionary work. He was again arrested and was kept in prison from July, 1873, until January, 1874, without either charge or trial. He was then released without explanation. The same month the secret appeals of the Italian Committee for the Social Revolution began to be circulated. This activity was largely syndicalist. The economic conditions of the working-class in Italy at this time were terrible. It could not be said that wages followed prices nor yet that prices followed wages, for us the wages fell the price of food rose and the people were plunged into starvation. The result was that working men without Socialist or Anarchist ideas plundered shops everywhere. The Bakunists felt they could not disavow these popular acts so they declared their solidarity with them. Malatesta justified this endorsement on the following grounds : "Revolution consists more in facts than in words, and whenever a spontaneous movement of the people takes place, whenever the workers rise in the name of their rights and their dignity, it is the duty of every revolutionary Socialist to declare himself solitary with the movement in question.

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