1929 Declaration of the Anarchist Federation of Poland


In this declaration from 1929, the Anarchist Federation of Poland (founded 1926) outlines its ideological and tactical programme. Situating itself within the traditions of stateless communism and revolutionary syndicalism, the document also stresses the importance of Workers' and Peasants' Councils for the anarchist project.

The Anarchist Federation of Poland (AFP) bases itself on the ideology of anarchism as a social movement of the exploited and oppressed working masses – i.e. workers, landless or small peasants, and unprivileged intellectual workers – and through a social revolution seeks the overthrow of the current capitalist-state social system. Taking the position of class struggle, the AFP combines the concept of the struggle of proletarian masses for their complete emancipation, together with the introduction of a system of political freedom and economic equality for the whole of society, in other words – it is fighting for a classless society. The AFP believes that the existence of capitalism is impossible without the existence of the state and that the existence of the state must have as its economic counterpart the existence of private or state capitalism. Therefore, the AFP considers that achieving the liberation of the working masses is associated not only with the overthrow of capitalism, but also with the simultaneous overthrow of the state.

The AFP speaks out against all forms of state based social systems following the social revolution, even in the event of the so-called transitional period. It is absolutely against all dictatorships and believes that the construction of a socialist society according to anarchist principles must, for the successful development of the revolution, begin with the first moment of its victory.

The AFP aims for a social order based on the principles of stateless communism. The construction of this system is based on free Workers’ and Peasants’ Councils, and other institutions selected by the masses and situated under their direct control. All these institutions are to be connected to each other on the principles of autonomy and coordinated in their activities within a municipal, national and international federation.

The AFP promotes direct class struggle under the principles of revolutionary action, aiming to accelerate the outbreak of social revolution. It opposes: parliamentarism, political parties, centralism in workers' organisations, nationalism, clericalism and militarism.

The AFP situates itself within the trade union movement (revolutionary syndicalism) and as an organisation in this sense, adjusts according to it. It considers as its duty the reconciliation of the trade union movement with the principles of revolutionary direct action and anarchism, but is against directing the trade union movement through any organisation or political party.

As its main task until the outbreak of a Social Revolution, the AFP considers: 1) propagation of its ideological and tactical principles among the masses of workers, peasants and intellectual workers, to bring them under its banner; 2) reconciliation of the trade union movement of the urban and rural proletariat to the principles of revolutionary direct action and federalism, and exerting influence on other worker currents; 3) participation in all aspects of worker-peasant struggles, in gaining both economic and political freedoms, exacerbating class antagonisms, emphasising every time the social context of this struggle and pointing as its ultimate goal the overthrow of the capitalist and state system by way of social revolution and creation of the system of free Worker-Peasant Councils; 4) speaking against militarism by propagandising in the army, propagating a general strike against the war and the destruction of munition warehouses.

The AFP considers the main tasks of an anarchist organisation for the victory of the social revolution to be: 1) protection of the revolution against revolutionary state currents … [illegible] creative anarchist work; 2) application of the principles of political and economic equality in society immediately after the victory of the social revolution. The fight against counter-revolution must be carried out by the universal arming of the working masses as much as possible and according to the needs coordinated by the Councils of Soldiers’ Delegates, acting in agreement with the Worker-Peasant Councils. The complete guarantee of the defence of the revolution can only be achieved with the productive resolution of creative, social-economic tasks of the revolution.

The AFP is a federal organisation of groups, based along agreed ideological and tactical lines, which serve as the guiding force of their activity.

The basis of organisational activity is the initiative of groups, subject to the control of the entire organisation in matters of non-local nature and those not covered by the binding ideological and tactical lines.

On the basis of this declaration the AFP, both for ideological and tactical reasons, categorically speaks out against the statist and centralist tendencies within the anarchist movement and promises to fiercely combat them.

The AFP calls on anarchist organisations of all countries to create an Anarchist International, based on agreed ideological and organisational lines.

Translated from a version available on lewicowo.pl, ‘Deklaracja Anarchistycznej Federacji Polski [1929]’.

1929 Declaration of the Anarchist Federation of Poland.pdf814.71 KB


Aug 20 2015 23:54

Very good document. Thanks for the posting.

Aug 23 2015 19:28

I'm not clear who the comrades are refering to when they speak of the "trade union movement".

Aug 23 2015 21:08

I think that in practice the AFP, which was mainly active in conspiracy due to state repression, accepted the tactic of boring from within - in the 1930s for example, Polish anarcho-syndicalists, among them AFP members, were able to win some influence in the Związek Związków Zawodowych (Union of Trade Unions, originally a pro-Sanacja association of trade unions). So the reference to the "trade union movement" is likely just that, their wish to make inroads into the unions and push them into a class struggle direction. In the Polish version of the document the term used is "ruch zawodowy".

Jan 12 2017 19:39
Jan 13 2017 19:07

Didn't the ZZZ affiliate with the IWA during the 1930s? I think I remember that from somewhere, but not sure. If so that would imply that they were fairly successful.

Jan 14 2017 16:25

The ZZZ applied for membership in 1938, but I don't think it became an affiliate (whether that's because of the outbreak of war or other reasons, I don't know).

It wasn't quite a success either. The ZZZ had up to 170,000 members around 1934, but when it adopted syndicalist and anti-government positions around 1937, membership dropped to some 40,000 (this is because of a pro-Sanacja split that same year). Even then, the union never quite abandoned its patriotic tendencies, and part of the blame here lies with Polish syndicalists who at the time were still influenced by figures such as Sorel and were not necessarily anarchists.

This wasn't the case with the AFP however, which was both anti-nationalist and anarchist. But syndicalist gains in the ZZZ coincided with a decline of the AFP. By the late 1930s the AFP was not very active, and while it had some members within the ZZZ, and the ZZZ was eventually won over to syndicalism, it was never won over to the ideas of the AFP.

This ideological divide between more anarchist and more syndicalist currents persisted even after the outbreak of war: former AFP members were more likely to join the Syndykalistyczna Organizacja „Wolność”, whereas ZZZ syndicalists the anarcho-patriotic Związek Syndykalistów Polskich (not to be confused with the modern day ZSP - Związek Syndykalistów Polski, which rejects the nationalistic aspects of the wartime ZSP).

Kate Sharpley
Mar 19 2019 09:13

You might be interested in History of the Polish Anarchist movement, 1919-1929 by Augustin Souchy