Hague Congress (1872)

Hague Congress (1872)

The Hague Congress was the Fifth congress of the International Workingmen's Association (IWA) held in (September 1872) in The Hague, Holland, which anarchists consider as null and void.Mikhail Bakunin, " [http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/bakunin/works/1872/karl-marx.htm On the International Workingmen's Association and Karl Marx] ", 1872]

__TOC__The Hague Congress is famous for the expulsion of the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin for clashing with Marx and his followers over the role of politics in the IWA. It marked the end of this organization as a unitarian alliance of all socialist factions (Anarchists and Marxists).

The Marxist faction took control over the proceeding. The anarchist faction (Jura federation) held its own Congress of Saint-Imier, a few days later, from which also emerged the Anarchist St. Imier International. [http://www.marxists.org/archive/steklov/history-first-international/ch22.htm]

Later in that year of 1872 Bakunin wrote:

The legitimacy of this conference has been contested. Mr. Marx, a very able political conniver, doubtless anxious to prove to the world that though he lacked firearms and cannons the masses could still be governed by lies, by libels, and by intrigues, organized his Congress of the Hague in September 1872. Barely two months have passed since this congress and already in all of Europe (with the exception of Germany where the workers are brainwashed by the lies of their leaders and their press) and its free federations – Belgian, Dutch, English, American, French, Spanish, Italian – without forgetting our excellent Jura Federation [Switzerland] – there has arisen a cry of indignation and contempt against this cynical burlesque which dares to call itself a true Congress of the International. Thanks to a rigged, fictitious majority, composed almost exclusively of members of the General Council, cleverly used by Mr. Marx, all has been travestied, falsified, brutalized. Justice, good sense, honesty, and the honor of the International brazenly rejected, its very existence endangered – all this the better to establish the dictatorship of Mr. Marx. It is not only criminal – it is sheer madness. Yet Mr. Marx who thinks of himself as the father of the International (he was unquestionably one of its founders) cares not a whit, and permits all this to be done! This is what personal vanity, the lust for power, and above all, political ambition can lead to. For all these deplorable acts Marx is personally responsible. Marx, in spite of all his mis-deeds, has unconsciously rendered a great service to the International by demonstrating in the most dramatic and evident manner that if anything can kill the International, it is the introduction of politics into its program.


Is it not astonishing that Mr. Marx has believed it possible to graft onto this precise declaration, which he himself probably wrote, his scientific socialism? For this – the organization and the rule of the new society by socialist savants – is the worst of all despotic governments!

Marx in Amsterdam

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, leaders of the Marxist faction, went to Amsterdam after the congress and had a speech there. There were only a few hundred socialists in the Netherlands. A hundred of them listened to the speech of Marx, but they were not interested. All hundred went upstairs with anarchists who entered the room with a few hundred supporters. Marx and Engels were left alone in the room with nobody left to listen to their speeches, so they left. Hendrik Gerhard, leader of the socialists in Amsterdam visited Marx in his hotel. Later, he angrily told the other socialists that Marx treated him like a gentleman treats his porter. Gerhard said he couldn't understand why Marx needed the 800 pages of the first book of "Das Kapital" to prove that the surplus of the work of a worker goes to the privileged classes, when it could be said in one sentence. It took until 1894 before the Marxists got their own organization in the Netherlands.


See also

* History of anarchism

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