At the Cafe: Conversations on Anarchism

At the Cafe: Conversations on Anarchism

Language: English

Pages: 160

ISBN: 1904491065

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


While Malatesta was hiding from the police he regularly went to a cafe in Ancona, Italy. He had shaved off his usual beard but he was still taking a risk. Especially as this wasn't an anarchist cafe, but had a variety of customers including the local policeman. The conversations he had in this café became the basis for the dialogues that make up this book. For the first time in English, Malatesta, in his usual commonsense and matter-of-fact style, sets out and critically analyses the arguments for and against anarchism. Translated by Paul Nursey-Bray, this is a classic defence of anarchism that anticipates the rise of nationalism, fascism and communism.

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be a great number of loafers, ment, and you will tell me that work is an organic need, what would you do? Would you support them? If so, then pleasure, and that everybody will compete to have as you might as well support those whom you call the bour­ as possible of such a pleasure! geoisie! G l O R G 1 0 : I am not saying that, although I know that G I O R G I O : Truly there is a great difference; because the would find that many of my friends who would say so. bourgeois not only take

Well, let's discuss this Further. Do you seriously power, as u n fortunately happens, find themselves unable to believe that it i s possible rad ically to transform society, to provide for social needs a n d do what the el ectors expect of demolish privileges, throw out the government, expropriate them . the bourgeoisie without resorting to force? But unfortunately the workers, or the great majority of them, I hope that you don't delude yourself that owners and rulers are not conscious

nation­ a lise the land and workshops and introduce socialism . G I O R G I O : OF course, iF the workers were conscious and com m i tted ! groups who due to fortunate circumstances have been able to elevate themselves above the common level - n umerical m inorities which end u p bei n g the predom i na n t force capa­ ble of pulling along with them the backward masses. look at the facts, and soon you will see that, precisely because of the moral and material conditions in which the proletariat

regulars, who was a becoming a refugee. The dialogues remained interrupted at num­ member of the police, used to engage Malatesta in conversation ber ten, and in this form they were published, both in journals and without, of course, as Fabbri notes, any idea that a real prize lay as a pamphlet. within his grasp. Anarchism would almost certainly been one of the topics of conversation since the anarchists of the city constant­ The chief propagandists of the first ten dialogues are

pay the workers while they work, in a word, capital; and resources, the inclinations of the i nh abitants etc. i n order that th is only acc u m u l ates slowly. How m any ventures fail to get all men should enjoy the best of everything with the m i nimum off the ground, or, having got off the ground, fail due to a possible effort . shortage of capital! Can you i m ag i ne the effect then if, as you desi re, a social revolution came about? With the C E S A R E : Yes, but these are onIy

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