The splits in the A.F.

The S.I. on the Anarchist Federation in France. From Internationale Situationniste #11 (October 1967).

Submitted by Fozzie on April 12, 2023

Contrary to all of the rumors knowingly spread in the Anarchist Federation, and even decried at its Congress at Bordeaux, there has never been any sort of "situationist conspiracy" aimed at exploding this Federation, which has always presented the most total lack of interest to our eyes. We know no one in it. Our episodic reading of the deplorable Monde Libertaire did not lead us to suppose that the SI had the least audience in it. In this regard, On the Poverty of Student Life supplied a certain surprise: different members of the A.F. heartily approved of it. The permanent leadership of the A.F. -- which (with the same benevolence that the leadership accorded to the Workers' Strength union) had absolutely full support from the pro-Chinese [Communists], surrealists and lettrists in its ranks or among those invited to contribute to its newspaper -- reacted very so strongly as to remove one-doesn't-know-which-militants at the first indication of an influence that the leadership judged to be pernicious. We sent a very hard response, which placed on every individual with revolutionary pretentions the obligation to demand its publication and, if that appeared impossible to the leaders, to manage the consequences. The "anarchists" of the Nanterre Group, for example, did not do this: true students, they believed that they were able to offer themselves the combined luxuries of applauding us as aesthetes, of being guaranteed their existence as anarchists by the A.F. label, and of not being at all compromised by the actions of the A.F., since they continually condemned it from the outside. Three groups -- that of Menilmontant, the Revolutionary-Anarchist Group and the Makhno Group of Rennes -- found themselves in the circumstance of defending an honorable position. This problem made all of the others rise up. Things were inflamed to the point that at the Bordeaux Congress in April [1967], another split -- numerically much more considerable -- founded a second A.F., which reproduced on its own account the confusion and deficiencies of the real one. Of course, the SI had and will have no relations whatsoever with these two A.F.s. For their part, the three radical groups that were defined by this process fused together, and announced the publication of a journal called Internationale Anarchiste (address: 80, rue de Menilmontant, Paris, 20th). It is quite clear that, without any pressure from the outside, the A.F. will splinter from the moment that certain of its members discover the least trace of a real critical current. Because to see such a critique is, at the same time, to see the emptiness of the A.F. and the manner in which this emptiness defends itself.

Translated from the French by NOT BORED! From: