A. Lozovsky

In the R.I.L.U.

The Anarcho-Reformist Front

(17 October 1922)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 2 No. 89, 17 October 1922, pp  673–674.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2020). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

The Union Syndicate of Italy has adopted a resolution against the R.I.L.U. which resembles more a declaration of war. The Anarcho-Syndicalists of Italy have finally decided to leave us. In their manifesto they claim that the International which they will establish in Berlin (no one knows when), will be the only real International. In the name of this future ideal International they seek to destroy beforehand the existing Red International of Labor Unions and they bring against us in their decision the old accusations which have cored the world for a long time. They reproach us with the fact that we will not convene the congress in Western Europe, that we are permeated with the communist spirit, that we will not adopt the Anarcho-Syndicalist outlook, etc. Nevertheless, they promise “to unite the trade union movement of the East with that of Western Europe” while they admit the Russian unions into their International. The manifesto concludes with the declaration that they will not go to Moscow to the Second Congress, and that those syndicalists who will attend the congress have nothing in common with their organization.

The idea of this long resolution is that they will not allow themselves to be lured by any bait to Moscow.

But how do they assume at all that we wish to entice them to us? We have nothing whatever against it that they airing their empty phrases outside of the R.I.L.U., for in the R.I.L.U., revolutionary phrases are rated at very little.

Only try, dear sirs, to form your Anarcho-Syndicalist International; we will then, if your attempt succeed, have a word to say to you.


The Czecho-Slovakian Amsterdamers have, just as the Italian Anarcho-Syndicalists, entered the lists against Moscow. In order to obliterate from the mind of the simple worker, even the thought of the R.I.L.U., the Union of Czecho-Slovakian Textile Workers has drawn up a declaration which every member of the union is obliged to sign. It is stated in this declaration that the members of the union pledge themselves to work in the spirit of the Amsterdam International, to renounce ill propaganda of the ideas of the R.I.L.U., to conduct themselves becomingly and to cause no vexation to the reformist leaders. This declaration reminds us of those documents in which the workers under the compulsion of the employer, declare that they will withdraw from their union and never belong to it again. Experience teaches that such declarations constitute no guarantee for the employers, that in the heads of their workers “injurious idea” find a place. One may still doubt whether the Czecho-Slovakian reformists will be more fortunate in this respect. They cannot terrify us with such papers.


At the end of August two congresses were held in Switzerland: the congress of the reformist trade unions (300,000 members) and the congress of the syndicalist unions (35.000 members). At the head of the reformist organizations there stand virulent Amsterdamers, at the head of the syndicalist organizations – ideal Anarcho-Syndicalists of the type of Borghi & Co. Both congresses began their work by passing with considerable majorities a protest against “the persecution of the Socialists in Russia”.

Thus a united front of the reformists and Anarcho-Syndicalists was formed against Moscow, i.e., against the Russian Revolution and also against the R.I.L.U. After this vote it was dear that the Anarcho-Syndicalists are well suited for this ideal International which is being brewed by some international muddleheads in Berlin. It is doubtful whether this new International will ever see the light, but there is not the least doubt that the Anarcho-Syndicalists are now proceeding hand in hand with the Amsterdam International. They do not want the united front with the Communists and form it with the reformists instead.

Only carry on in the same spirit and after a twelve-month we will see how many workers remain in your organizations!


While the Anarcho-Reformist front is being formed in Europe against the R.I.L.U., the front in America is widening still more. Some weeks ago comrade William Foster was arrested, the head of the Trade Union Educational League, who carried on energetic agitation in the reformist unions for the ideas of the R.I.L.U. The activities of the T.U.E.L. met with such success that they disturbed the everlasting chairman of the American Federation of Labor, Gompers, as a result of which he began a furious struggle against it. A short time ago, comrade Foster was seized by private detectives, from whose hands he only freed himself after three days. After he succeeded in escaping from the clutches of the private detectives he was arrested by the detectives of the official forces. The newspapers report that he was arrested on the ground of the charge brought against him by Gompers, that he is an agent of the Soviet Government from whom he received funds in order to destroy the labor movement of America and American democracy. Thus we see how Gompers makes his accusations. Private spies make the arrest and the official representatives of the law affix their seal.

At the same time the Anarcho-Syndicalist leaders of the I.W.W. declare themselves against the sending of relief to the starving in Soviet Russia, and attack the R.I.L.U. because it does not promulgate the Anarcho-Syndicalist ideal.

We could content ourselves with the above mentioned facts, if there were not similar happenings in the other countries. In Germany, in Italy, in France – everywhere, there is being formed an anti-Communist, Anarcho-Reformist front, which is supported by the governments and the bourgeoisie, the bourgeoisie which has well brought up the reformist leaders, knows that this will surely retard the development of revolutionary events.

And as regards the Anarchists, the anti-Moscow, anarchist propaganda – although the Anarchist ideal is by no means agreeable to the bourgeoisie – meets with the sympathy of the “representatives of culture and civilization”, for the bourgeoisie knows that the Anarchists constitute no danger for the bourgeois order, that Communism alone is the real danger which already threatens the rule of the exploiter. Anarchism is today a commodity to be employed against Moscow, which, like the other anti-Moscow wares is quoted very high on the exchanges of international reaction.

The R.I.L.U. has again and again suggested to all Anarcho-Syndicalist organizations, that they affiliate to it, and in the frame of one united organization, fight for the realization of their ideas. Some groups have preferred to remain outside the R.I.L.U. and to conduct an open struggle against it, against the Communist International and against the Russian Revolution. They thereby place themselves along with the bourgeoisie and the reformists on the other side of the barricade. But neither the international bourgeoisie nor reformism has been able up to now to defeat the Russian Revolution and we are certain, that their new ally, Anarchism, will help them but very little.

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