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Great Anarchists 10, Errico Malatesta

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by Ruth Kinna and Clifford Harper

Active Distribution

2019, booklet

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Malatesta is the direct link between the demise of the First International in 1871 and the struggle against European fascism that started some forty years later. After the ruckus between Marx and Bakunin catalysed the separate development of revolutionary socialist organisations, he joined both the anarchist Federalist International and its Italian section. Spending long stretches of time in exile, dodging arrest and escaping jail, he lived much of his life like the great white shark, permanently on the move.

These short introductions delve into the anarchist canon to recover some of the distinctive ideas that historical anarchists advanced to address problems relevant to their circumstances. Although these contexts were special, many of the issues the anarchists wrestled with still plague our lives. Anarchists developed a body of writing about power, domination, injustice and exploitation, education, prisons and a lot more besides. Honing in on different facets of the anarchist canon is not just an interesting archaeological exercise. The persistence, development and adaptation of anarchist traditions depends on our surveying the historical landscape of ideas and drawing on the resources it contains. The theoretical toolbox that this small assortment of anarchists helped to construct is there to use, amend and adapt.

Agitate, Educate, Organise!

Check out the complete series here.