Anarchism in Argentina - Early Years

Early Years

The first Argentinian anarchist groups appeared in the 1870s. A section of the First International was founded in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires in either 1871 or 1872, but at first it was explicitly part of neither the International's anarchist nor its Marxist wing. By 1879, there were several sections in Argentina, with anarchists in control of all of them. In 1876, adherents of Bakunin's ideals founded the Center for Workers' Propaganda. The well-known Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta was in Argentina from 1885 to 1889. With his help, the first anarchist trade union was started in 1887. In 1890, El perseguido became the first anarchist organ in the country.

During this time the Argentinian anarchist movement was split over the question of organization. There was a, mostly communist anarchist, wing advocating workers' organizations, deeming them the natural weapon for the anarchist struggle. The opponents of organizations, both communist and individualist anarchists, in turn claimed organizations forced those working within them to become reformists and give up their revolutionary stance. Until his departure in 1889, Malatesta helped bridge this gap and minimize the tensions and rivalries between the two wings, but after he left, they broke out once again. The pro-organizers were strengthened in 1891 by the arrivals of the Spanish anarchist Pellicer Paraire in 1891 and the Italian Pietro Gori in 1898. In 1897, the proponents of trade unions also founded the weekly newspaper La Protesta Humana. In 1900, Paraire published a series of articles in La Protesta Humana under the title "Labor Organization" advocating a dual organization concept: a militant labor federation for economic, and a genuinely anarchist organization for political matters.

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