Anarchist International

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Anarchist International


the name used in historical literature for the international association created during 1872 and 1873 by the anarchist minority that split off from the First International.

Defeated at the Hague Congress of the First International (Sept. 2–7,1872), the Bakuninists and representatives of other anarchist organizations held a separate congress in St. Imier, Switzerland (Sept. 15–17, 1872). Here they worked out a special “antiauthoritarian” platform which was supported by the English reformists and Belgian Proudhonists. The anarchists refused to accept the decisions of the Hague Congress of the First International, in particular, an article of the General Statute of the First International adopted by this congress. This article (art. 7a) asserted the necessity of the conquest of political power by the proletariat and the creation of an independent political party of the working class in every country. The supporters of the antiauthoritarian platform were therefore expelled from the ranks of the International by its General Council on May 30, 1873. The anarchists convoked a congress in Geneva in September 1873, and with the participation of the English reformists they organized their association, illegally appropriating the name International Association of Workers. Sections of the Anarchist International existed in Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, and several other countries.

The Anarchist International was hostile to scientific communism and considered the general economic strike to be the sole and most reliable means of social revolution. They were against the political activity of the proletariat and were opposed to the state, to discipline, and to the subjection of the minority to the majority. After the International Socialist Congress in Ghent in 1877, which revealed the turning of the majority of the participants of the Anarchist International to socialism, the association virtually collapsed.


Marx, K., and F. Engels. Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 18, pp. 651–53; vol. 19, p. 130.
Steklov, Iu. M. Pervyi International, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1923.
Foster, W. Z. Istoriia trekh Internationalov.Moscow, 1959. (Translated from English.)
Pervyi International, part 2. Moscow, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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