The Second International, 1889-1914

By James Joll | Go to book overview

III
THE STRUGGLE WITH THE ANARCHISTS

When ordinary people in Europe thought about international Socialists, it was not the disciplined mass-parties, the solid, bearded, self-improving working men of the German or Belgian Socialist Parties or the British trade unions that came to mind. The figure that had captured the popular imagination was the Anarchist with the smoking bomb in his pocket, whose outrages could be regarded either as the gallant defiance of an oppressive and materialist social system or as the senseless protest of a deranged individual. For such outrages were comparatively common in the 'eighties and 'nineties. Their most striking and obvious form was the assassination of the head of a state; the Czar of Russia was murdered in 1881, the President of the French Republic in 1894, the Empress of Austria in 1898, the King of Italy in 1900, the President of the United States in 1901; and there were numerous unsuccessful attempts on the lives of other sovereigns. On other occasions the Anarchist attacks were directed against the apparatus of bourgeois rule-- as when, in 1877, Italian Anarchists went about attacking municipal offices and burning the archives, or when a bottle of vitriol was dropped from the galleries of the Paris stock exchange in 1886, or a bomb from the gallery of the French Chamber of Deputies in 1893. Most shocking of all were the indiscriminate attacks on casual and innocent victims: 'Je ne frapperai pas un innocent en frappant le premier bourgeois venu,' as one of the would-be assassins1 put it. (The first bourgeois to appear in this

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1
Léon-Jules Léauthier ( 1874- 1894), who attacked and seriously wounded the Serbian Minister in a restaurant on 13 November 1894. See Maitron, p.211.

-56-

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The Second International, 1889-1914
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page vii
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations x
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • The Socialist World In 1889 4
  • [ii] - The Founding Of The Second International 30
  • III - The Struggle With the Anarchists 56
  • IV - Reformism And Revisionism 77
  • V - Socialism And Nationalism 106
  • VI - The Bells of Basle 126
  • VII - Summer 1914 158
  • VIII - Conclusion 184
  • Appendix - The Stuttgart Resolution 196
  • Select Bibliography 199
  • Index 206
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