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The Hague Congress
was the Fifth congress of the International Workingmen's Association
The International Workingmen's Association , sometimes called the First International, was an international organization which aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing socialist, communist and anarchist political groups and trade union organizations that were based on the working class...
(IWA) held in (September 1872) in The Hague, Holland, which anarchists consider as null and void.
The Hague Congress is famous for the expulsion of the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin
Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin was a well-known Russian revolutionary and theorist of collectivist anarchism. He has also often been called the father of anarchist theory in general. Bakunin grew up near Moscow, where he moved to study philosophy and began to read the French Encyclopedists,...
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
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...
The Marxist faction took control over the proceeding. The anarchist faction (Jura federation
The Jura Federation was the federalist and anarchist section of the International Workingmen's Association , based largely among watch-makers in the Jura mountain range in Switzerland. The Jura federation was founded on October 9, 1870 at a meeting in Saint-Imier of local sections of the IWA...
) held its own Congress of Saint-Imier, a few days later, from which also emerged the Anarchist St. Imier International
The Anarchist St. Imier International was an international anarchist organization formed in 1872 when the anarchist sections were expelled from the First International after the Hague Congress .The St...
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!