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Pioneers of Anti-Parlimentarism
by Guy A. Aldred

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How different was the attitude of Bakunin!

Early in the summer of 1848, Bakunin quarreled with Marx and Engles over Herwegh's plan to invade Germany with armed legions. Writing of this quarrel in 1871, Bakunin confessed: -

"On this subject, when I think of it now, I must say frankly that Marx and Engels were right. they truly estimated the affairs of those days."

The International Working Men's Association was founded at St. Martin's Hall, London, on September, 29th, 1864, to unite and weld together all workers who would come together to work for their emancipation from Capitalism, irrespective of the shades of opinion on principles and tactics which divide them. this broad principle was respected for five years. The Congress held at Basle, Switzerland, in September, 1869, was the last conference at which Marxists, Revolutionary Collectivists or Anarchists, Proudhonian Mutualists, Trade Unionists, co-operators or social reformers met in fair discussion and tried to elaborate lines of common action, useful and acceptable to all. The congress of 1868-1869 showed that Anti-Parliamentarism was spreading through the sections of the International owing to Bakunin's influence. This was mortifying to Marx, who, despite the Anti- Parliamentary logic of his thought and writings, worked, through the London General Council of the Association, for the development of Parliamentarism.

Owing to the Franco-Prussian War, no congress was held in 1870, and in 1871 Marx convened a private congress in London, September 17-23, 1871. At this congress of conference, Marx although such conduct was contrary to the opinion he had developed in his Civil War in France, struck the blow he must have premeditated from some time, namely, the enforcement of Parliamentarism. He imposed upon the Association the official doctrine of political action, which meant Labour Parties, electioneering, the practical Administration of Capitalism, and the steady negation of Socialism.

The Marxist Parliamentary London Conference caused the Jurassian Federation to convene an Anti-Parliamentary Conference at Sonvillier, Switzerland, on November the 12th, protesting against the parliamentary doctrine being imposed on the International, and calling for a General Congress. The circular issued by these sections was known as the Sonvillier Circular. Marx replied to this circular in a recriminating document, to which he affixed the names of the members of the General Council, called On the Pretended Split in the International. This was dated March 5th, 1872. It was printed and circulated in May, 1872. Bakunin and others replied to it in the Jura Bulletin of June 15th, 1872.

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