The International Workingmen’s Association, 1868
The Rules and Program of the International Alliance of Socialist Democracy
Founded in Geneva in October 1868
Written: by Bakunin, October 1868;
Translated: (from French) by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism (Moscow).
The socialist minority of the League of Peace and Freedom having separated itself from the League as a result of the majority vote at the Bern Congress, the majority being formally opposed to the fundamental principle of all workers’ associations — that of economic and social equalization of classes and individuals — has thereby adhered to the principles proclaimed by the workers’ congresses held in Geneva, Lausanna, and Brussels. Several members of this minority, belonging to various nations, have suggest to us to form a new International Alliance of Socialist Democracy, established entirely within the big International Working Men’s Association, but having a special mission to study political and philosophical questions on the basis of the grand principle of universal and genuine equality of all human beings on Earth.
Convinced, on our part, of the usefulness of such an enterprise that would provide sincere socialist democrats of Europe and America with the means of being understood and of affirming their ideas, without any pressure from the false socialism which bourgeois democracy finds necessary to apply these days, we consider it our duty, together with our friends, to take the initiative in forming this new organization.
Therefore we have established ourselves as the central section of the International Alliance of Socialist Democracy, and we publish today its Program and Rules.
Program of the International Alliance of Socialist Democracy
1. The Alliance declares itself atheist; it wants abolition of cults, substitution of science for faith and human justice for divine justice.
2. It wants above all political, economic, and social equalization of classes and individuals of both sexes, commencing with abolition of the right of inheritance, so that in future enjoyment be equal to each persons’s production, and so that, in conformity with the decision taken at the last workers’ congress in Brussels, the land, instruments of labor, like all other capital, on becoming collective property of the entire society, shall be used only by the workers, that is, by agricultural and individual associations.
3. It wants for all children of both sexes, from birth, equal conditions of development, that is, maintenance, education, and training at all degrees of science, industry, and the arts, being convinced that this equality, at first only economic and social, will increasingly lead to a great natural equality of individuals, eliminating all kinds of artificial inequalities, historical products of a social organization as false as it is iniquitous.
4. Being the foe of all despotism, not recognizing any political form other than republican and rejecting completely any reactionary alliance, it also rejects any political action which does not have as its immediate and direct aim the triumph of the workers’ cause against capital.
5. It recognizes that all the existing political and authoritarian states, more and more reducing their activities to simple administrative functions of public service in their respective countries, will have to dissolve into a universal union of free associations, like the agricultural and industrial ones.
6. Since the Social question can only have a final and real solution on the basis of international or universal solidarity of the workers of all countries, the Alliance rejects any policy based on self-styled patriotism and on rivalry between nations.
7. It wants the universal association of all local associations on the basis of Liberty.
1. The International Alliance of Socialist Democracy constitutes a branch of the International Working Men’s Association and accepts all its general rules.
2. The Founder Members of the Alliance are organizing provisionally a Central Bureau at Geneva.
3. Founder Members belonging to the same country constitute the national bureau of their country.
4. National bureaus are to establish in all regions local groups of the Alliance of Socialist Democracy, which, through their respective national bureaus, will ask the Central Bureau of the Alliance to admit them into the International Working Men’s Association.
5. All local groups will form their bureau according to the customary procedure accepted by the local sections of the International Working Men’s Association.
6. All members of the Alliance must pay a monthly contribution of 10 centimes, half of which will be retained for their own needs by each national group, and the other half will go to the Central Bureau for its general requirements.
In countries where this sum will be judged to be too high, the national bureaus, in accord with the Central Bureau, will have the power to reduce it.
7. At the annual Working Men’s Congress the delegation of the Alliance of Socialist Democracy, as a branch of the International Working Men’s Association, will hold public meetings in a separate building.
Members of the Geneva Initiating Group
J. Philipp Becker. — M. Bakunin. — Th. Remy. — Anotoine Lindegger. — Louis Nidegger. — Valerien Mroczkowsky. — Jean Zagorsky. — Phil. Zoller. — A. Ardin. — Ch. Perron. — J. Gay. — J. Friess. — Fr. Rochat. — Nikolai Zhukovsky. — M. Elpidin. — Zamperini. — E. Becker. — Louis Weiss. — Perret. — Marauda. — Eduoard Crosset. — A. Blanchard. — A. Matis. — C. Raymond. — Mme. Alexeyeva [Barteneva], — Mme. Bakunin. — Mme. Suzette Croset. — Mme. Rosalie Sanguinede. — Mme. Desiree Gay. — Mme. Jenny Guinet. — Jacques Courtois. — John Potot. — Andre Bel. — Fr. Boffety. — Ch. Guyot. — Ch. Postleb. — Ch. Detraz — J. Croset. — J. Sanguinede. — C. Jaclard. — L. Coulin. Fr. Gay. — Blaise Rossety. — Jos. Marilly. — C. Brechtel. — L. Moanachon. — Fr. Mermillod. — Donat-father. — L. J. Cheneval. — J. Bedeau. — L. H. Fornachon. — Piniere. — Ch. Grange. — Jacques Laplace. — S. Pellaton. — W. Rau. — Gottlob Walter. — Adolphe Haeberling. — Perrie. — Aolphe Catalan. — Marc Heridier. — Louis Allement. — A. Pellergin-Druart. — Louis de Coppet. — Louis Dupraz. — Guill- meaux. — Jospeh Baquet. — Fr. Pisteur. — Ch. Ruchet. — Placide Margarittaz. — Paul Gar- bani. — Etienne Borret. — J. J. Scopini. — F. Crochet. — Jean Jost. — Leopold Wucher. — G. Fillietaz. — L. Fulliquet. — Ami Gand- Jules Johannard illon. — V. Alexeyev [Bartenev]. — Francois Eugene Dupont Chevalier.
The Founder Members of the International Alliance of Socialist Democracy having decided to start a paper under the name La Revolution, to be the press organ of this new Association, the provisional Central Bureau will begin publication as soon as it has 300 shares, of 10 francs each and payable in four installments, one every three months, from January 1, 1869. Accordingly, the provisional Central Bureau is appealing to all national bureaus of the Alliance and inviting them to begin subscriptions in their own countries. As these subscriptions are considered voluntary gifts whcih give no right to receipt of the paper, the national bureaus must simultaneously compile a list of subscribers.
The paper will appear once a week.
one year 6 fr.
six months 3 fr. 50
On behalf of the provisional Central Bureau:
Secretary, JEAN ZAGORSKY
8 Rue Montbrilliant
N.B. The national bureaus are requested to send the Central Bureau the money received for the shares and subscriptions before January 1.