“The International was founded in order to replace the Socialist or semi-Socialist sects by a real organisation of the working class for struggle. The original Statutes and the Inaugural Address show this at the first glance. On the other hand the Internationalists could not have maintained themselves if the course of history had not already smashed up the sectarian system. The development of the system of Socialist sects and that of the real workers’ movement always stand in inverse ratio to each other. So long as the sects are (historically) justified, the working class is not yet ripe for an independent historic movement. As soon as it has attained this maturity al sects are essentially reactionary. […] And the history of the International was a continual struggle on the part of the General Council against the sects […] At the end of 1868 the Russian, Bakunin, entered the International with the aim of forming inside it a second International called the “Alliance of Social-Democracy,” with himself as leader. He – a man devoid of theoretical knowledge – put forward the pretension that this separate body was to represent the scientific propaganda of the International, which was to be made the special function of this second International within the International. His programme was a superficially scraped together hash of Right and Left […] atheism as a dogma to be dictated to the members, etc., and as the main dogma (Proudhonist), abstention from the political movement. This infant’s spelling-book found favour (and still has a certain hold) in Italy and Spain, where the real conditions of the workers’ movement are as yet little developed, and among a few vain, ambitious and empty doctrinaires in French Switzerland and Belgium. Resolutions I (2) and (3) and IX now give the New York committee legal weapons with which to put an end to all sectarian formations and amateur groups and if necessary to expel them.”
K. Marx, Letter to Friedrich Bolte, November 23, 1871. 
Since the defeat of Spanish anarcho-syndicalism, reiteration is a frequent ocurrence in the Babellian context in which the life of the so-called “anarchist movement” painfully takes place. As if it were “Groundhog Day” , we are condemned to repeat the same experience indefinitely. Time and again, the ideological displacements and the conceptualizations of others gain presence in our camp. Thus – again – the notions of “sect”, “sectarianism” and “sectarian” emerge in the debate. We don’t have the slightest chance of escaping from this vicious cycle. Like Phil Connors (Bill Murray) in the famous comedy, every day the same song is hammered into us (at six in the morning!), forced to repeat ourselves in an infinite cycle from which not even suicide saves us.
Perhaps, for those who come from the so-called “left” – who have happily already evolved into “libertarian” positions – and today share the same barricade side by side, these imprecations have always been there, close at hand. Ready to be wielded at the slightest provocation. So they assume that such curse words are part of our lexicon or that they are part of a kind of universal vocabulary that we have to use out of obligation.
For those of us who have been in the fight for some years, the feeling of déjà vécu caused by the remastering of this farcical operetta is inevitable. Indeed, it’s not the first time that we have to face these epithets and, definitely, it will not be the last. They are repeated as a mantra invoking the “crushing march of history” (Saint Charlie of Trier, dixit). The sad observation is that this liturgy even occurs in the ins and outs of the praxis —live and active today— of the Informal Anarchic Tendency (TIA). A tendency that has no place for uniforming practices, nor for repetition; that is to say, the attempts at fronts, nor the attempts at “tactical unity” and “collective responsibility.” Continue reading “In Defense of Associative Specificity by Gustavo Rodríguez EN/ES”