Transcript of the opening remarks from a talk by Steve Coleman for the Socialist Party of Great Britain in 1982. Full audio recording available online.
“Nameless in the crowd of nameless ones…” : Some thoughts on The Story of A Proletarian Life, by Bartolomeo Vanzetti, 1923
Ninety-one years on and Vanzetti still has much to offer me. I am thankful I have had the chance to read him and I am thankful to him for his words that have always encouraged me to think, question and act.
In this article published in 1900 in Les Temps Nouveaux, Elisée Reclus opposes the formation of isolated anarchist colonies and instead calls upon anarchists to immerse themselves in the wider world, where the “subterranean labors” of propaganda bear fruit under unexpected circumstances, even “in the world of the enemy”, and, insisting that anarchists do not “constitute a party separate from society”, he proclaims that “our ambition is to conquer the entire planet for the truth”.
Karl Marx and the Anarchists examines Marx's confrontations with anarchist theoreticians he encountered at various stages of his career as a revolutionist. Paul Thomas argued that Marx's attacks on Stirner, Proudhon, and Bakunin strongly influenced his own interpretation of revolutionary politics, and are of vital importance to an understanding of the subsequent enmity between Marxists and Anarchists.
A speech delivered in prison in 1920 by Salvador Seguí, a major, and complex, figure in the early history of the CNT: a proponent of alliances with other trade union and political groups, yet also a militant strike leader who spent years of his life behind bars; an opponent of unconditional membership in the Red Trade Union International in 1919, yet also a supporter of the CNT’s 1922 Zaragoza Declaration, according to which the “totally revolutionary” CNT is “absolutely political” by virtue of its far-reaching social goals; an advocate of more intellectual training for trade union militants and a harsh critic of the increasingly more popular exemplary actions, he was assassinated in 1923.