2. Events

As we have done with the Anarchist Communist thinkers, so will we do with the history of the class-struggle Anarchist movement. We will limit ourselves simply to summarizations of some important events, above all in relation to their relevance for the development of our theoretical guidelines. For the founders of the theory we have just indicated a few representatives without denying the importance of other contributions, consistent as they may be. We have only dealt with those that seemed to us to be the most relevant to the development of a theory which became more and more self-consistent, and have left it to other specific works to engage in a methodical treatment of the theoretical systems of the individuals examined and also those others who, over the space of a century and a half, have contributed, often in an extremely important way.

History, too, is replete with significant episodes which absolutely must not be forgotten. Even the few events which we will take into consideration deserve much better, much deeper treatment. What we intend to do here is only to highlight the most significant stages of the historical evolution.

But first, a premise: all the historically relevant events in the Anarchist movement in general are the fruit of its class component and not of those who presume to distribute certificates of orthodoxy and hand out excommunications to anyone who does not remain within the boundaries of supposedly sacred principles (which, as we have seen, do not even have a historical basis in the birth of Anarchism). From the often decisive presence in key moments of the struggle by the exploited for their emancipation to the creation of their instruments of resistance, from the struggle for freedom from various oppressors to the most advanced experiments in the building of a society which is not based on the exploitation of one man by another, Anarchist Communists have left traces of their presence and their activity while others thrashed out the purity of their ideas and their rigorous adherence to what they considered to be unalterable precepts, thereby saving their souls without providing any real contribution to the emancipation of the proletariat.

From a different point of view, it was exactly this constant presence in the struggles of the exploited which gave rise to the collection of experiences, later reflection on these experiences and on their concrete results, and consequently the origin of the theory itself, making Anarchist Communists the acting vanguard and historical memory of the proletariat.


2.1. The Paris Commune (1871; an improvisation)