Anarchism in Argentina – Circled (A) History Series

Anarchism in Argentina between 1890 and 1931 was an essential movement in the history of revolutionary class struggle. Emptied of its indigenous population from a century of genocidal conquests, the State’s desperation for labor imported millions Europeans in the second-largest immigration wave after the United States. They arrived to cramped tenement “conventillos” in cities not prepared for the massive influx, with unregulated work conditions and little labor movement. In the 1900s anarchism inspired by Malatesta and Kropotkin built the central labor union—the FORA, with a platform explicitly advocating for internationalist anarcho-communist revolution. FORA was the undisputed center of the labor movement; the most powerful anarchist union worldwide aside from the CNT in Spain.

Over the next two decades, anarchists would contend intense state repression and the formation of Argentinian nationalism, the rise of apolitical syndicalism, bolshevism, and fascism. By the 1930s the FORA was split and driven deep underground, and the workers movement ever since in Argentina was contained within the bureaucratic limits of the CGT and Peronism.

This presentation will be based on the writings of Oswald Bayer, Angel J Cappelletti, Diego Abad del Santillan, and Ronaldo Munck, including film clips from Rebellion in Patagonia, and some recent writings about the indigenous struggles of the Mapuche and the assassination of Santiago Maldonado by comrades at Boletin Oveja Negra from Rosario, Argentina.

Thursday, August 30th