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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire #223 - Read Marianne Enckell: The Jura Federation (fr) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 28 Jan 2013 10:59:53 +0200


As we celebrate this year the 140th anniversary of the Congress of antiauthoritarian Saint-Imier, founding the anarchist movement, this new edition of the indispensable work of Marianne Enckell a classic become virtually untraceable, timely to recontextualize this event too often associated with single confrontation between Marx and Bakunin. Behind these two great historical figures the author brings to life the story of the events in the AIT. It is the opposition and eventually inevitable divide between two radically different visions of political action: centralism and federalism. Above all, the book sheds light on the role of the Jura Federation which has been the linchpin of the constitution of another socialist self-management and federalist, libertarian brief.

Why Saint-Imier? Why Switzerland? Is it the influence of pseudo-Swiss federalism? The author looks for an explanation rather less romantic. The influence of Bakunin is undeniable in a region where he remained some time, and whose lectures were "greeted with enthusiasm." It will also be the particular mode of production and specific to this region, a single industry and work very compartmentalized combined with a rich civic and cultural life. Especially since 1870, within the Federation Romanesque, the AIT debate wiggle until rupture of 1872 were, as a rehearsal for the general, because of the same divisions between Marxists and Bakuninists.

And Saint-Imier in 1872 held the Congress of antiauthoritarian, because all do not recognize the name of anarchists. This conference addresses the coup of Marx and his accomplices attempt to lock the AIT since the Congress of The Hague, which, besides the exclusion of Bakunin, strengthens the powers of the General Council in exile in New York. Congress then proposes a new path to socialism which libertarians today are the heirs of the refusal to compromise with the bourgeois political institutions, federalism and self-management.

The book is clear and concise, very informative, reads a processed and happily plunges sources of libertarian communism. The adventure of the International antiauthoritarian has been brief but will all irrigated social anarchism of the twentieth century and still today we make our declaration of the congress: "The destruction of all political power is the first duty of the proletariat"

David (AL Paris North East)

Marianne Enckell, The Jura Federation, Entremonde, Geneva - Paris, 2012, 12 euros
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