International Journal of Anarchism

ifa-Solidaritet - folkebladet - ISSN 0800-0220 No 2 (35). Editor H. Fagerhus - Contact IJA

Bulletin of the Anarchist International

About the northern and southern sections of IFA-IAF and
the Anarchist International AI-IFA-IAF

by H. Fagerhus

This article presents in brief the historical development of the Anarchist International AI-IFA-IAF based on documents from congresses in the archives of the International Institute for Organization Research (IIFOR). IFA is l'Internationale des Fédérations Anarchistes, i.e. the International of Anarchist Federations, IAF, and AI is the Anarchist International.

The Anarchist International (IFA - IAF - AI) is a global anarchist organization. It has its origins in the Anarchist St. Imier International, formed in 1872 when the anarchist contingent was expelled from the International Workingmen's Association, First International, after the Hague Congress (1872), see Steklov, G.M., ''History of the First International'', part 2, chapter 2. The St. Imier international issued a resolution denouncing all forms of political power, i.e. political/administrative and economically broadly defined. A solidarity and fellowship pact was decided upon by the delegates. The anarchist international had meetings several times during the years passing by.

The Anarchist International (IFA-IAF) was reorganized at a congress in Carrara, Italy 31/8-5/9 1968. The purpose of the congress was, among other things, to create a world wide anarchist organization as an alternative to "Cohn Bendit et autres gauchistes", also called "the children of Marx". In the following years, several congresses were organized.

The Anarchist Federation of Norway - Anarkistføderasjonen i Norge (AFIN) - Anarkistenes organisasjon (i Norge) ANORG, was affiliated to IFA/IAF, the International of Anarchist Federations 15.01 1979. This is confirmed in Bulletin C.R.I.F.A  no 39 avril-mai 1982, and no 42 novembre-février 1982, also with the report from the first Nordic IFA-congress in Oslo, with the foundation of the Nordic IFA-IAF-secretariate. These documents also imply that the IFA-secretariate in Oslo was not considered as a sub-secretariate to C.R.I.F.A, but on equal footing, i.e. as commissions for the northern and southern sections respectively. The Danish, the Swedish and the Finnish anarchist federations became members of IFA/IAF in 1983.  In 1983 there were four northern, the Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Finnish, and three southern federations, the French, Italian and Iberian in IFA/IAF plus the UAB, Bulgarian Anarchist Union. See http://www.anarchy.no/mandate.html, http://www.anarchy.no/ifadok.html and http://www.anarchy.no/ifa.html.

In 1986, at the fourth IFA-congresses in the north, and in the south where NAC, The Northern Anarchist Confederation's four IFA-federations participated by phone, the southern IFA-federations, the French, Spanish and Italian turned leftwards at the economical political map due to leftist-marxist tendencies. They thus left the anarchist quadrant on the economical-political map. The three southern IFA-federations turned out to be "the children of Marx". (The Bulgarian Anarchist Union, UAB, was not a federation, but an authoritarian group, and thus not recognized by  the International Anarchist Tribunal as a member of IAF-IFA.) This leftist-authoritarian position of the southern IFA federations made  it necessary to reorganize the IFA to save it from the marxist-leftist positions. Thus, the majority of the IFA federations, the four northern, decided to reorganize the IFA, and started the Anarchist Biennials, a series of international anarchist congresses, the first one in 1990. The three southern IFA-federations and their secretariate were suspended by the majority of the federations, the four northern, and the International Anarchist Tribunal, see http://www.anarchy.no/aptm.html , and the resolutions of their later congresses were disallowed. This was unanimously decided by the four delegates of the northern sections of IFA-IAF and IAT that participated by phone at the IFA-IAF congress in Paris 31 October to 3 November 1986, and confirmed at later IFA-congresses in Oslo. More documentation of the marxist leftis/collectivist/communist tendency of the southern IFA-IAF federations will be publish in IJA later [see IJA 2(38) http://www.anarchy.no/ija238.html and IJA 3(38) http://www.anarchy.no/ija338.html ].

The suspension and the disallowance of their congresses  will remain until the marxist-authoritarian tendency of the southern IFA-IAF-federations is removed. So far this has not happened. Thus the resolutions from their congresses from the fifth in 1990 and later are disallowed, due to significant marxist authoritarian tendencies, and the Nordic IFA/IAF-secretariate has been the world secretariate, since 1986, see  http://www.anarchy.no/wscifa.html . The secretariate and federations stand firm on the IFA/IAF-principles, see the economic-political map etc. http://www.anarchy.no/a_e_p_m.html . More about the conflict between the southern IFA/IAF-federations and the northern sections, see http://www.anarchy.no/southern.html .

The Anarchist International is a broader network than the IFA/IAF-sections in the north and south. At the founding congress of the broader network in 1988, the following was stated: "The Anarchist International is a global, undogmatic, free thinking, nonsectarian modern anarchist international, with sections for anarchoindividualist, anarchocollectivist, social individualist and mutualist anarchist and anarchocommunist  as well as green/ecoanarchist, anarchosyndicalist and anarchafeminist anarchists. The southern IFA/IAF is a dogmatic, sectarian communist "anarchist", leftist marxistoid organization with little interest for the Anarchist International. The southern IFA/IAF is more communist than anarchist, i.e. collectivist on the economical political map. Outside the anarchist quadrant on the map, far left in the marxist quadrant."

The AI-Secretariate, see http://www.anarchy.no/wscifa.html is elected by the paying, full, members among the about 2000 networkmembers/subscribers, groups and individuals, of AI, of which about 500 are in the Nordic countries. It has for the time being about 20 members, working parttime for the secretariate. It is autonomous and a purely co-ordinating secretariate, with no political power or authority. It is located in Oslo, Norway, but has also a broader network with contacts using e-mails etc. for communications. The AI-secretariate has its root back to the Nordic IFA-secretariate, elected and mandated by the first Northern AI/IFA congress in 1982, see http://www.anarchy.no/mandate.html and http://www.anarchy.no/ifadok.html . There is no leader of the secretariate, the members work horizontally organized, but with somewhat different mandates, decided by the secretariate collectively. Some of the members use nick-names publicly for privacy and anonymity reasons. Accounting for networkmembers/subscribers of groups, the total number of persons connected to the network of AI broadly defined , is estimated to be about 50 000 world wide, of which about 20 000 are in the Nordic countries. The www.anarchy.no has for the time being about 15 000 visitors and about 50 000 hits per month. The number of network members/subscribers has increased with about 5% each year in the last years. The Anarchist International is more of a loose network than an organization. Pictures of some members of the AI-secretariate etc. are published on http://www.anarchy.no/pictures.html .

Appendix: Anarchism and syndicalism in Norway about 1850 - 2000
Vedlegg: Anarkismen og syndikalismen i Norge ca 1850 - 2000
Click here: http://www.anarchy.no/anarkismeninorge.pdf

ISBN 82-90468-25-3 Anorg forlag, Oslo, Norway 2005*

The full issue of this number of IJA including the appendix, 499 pages, is available in paper edition. It can be ordered by e-mail to IJA, see http://www.anarchy.no/ija.html . It costs 500 NOK, 100 US $. It is also available at the following libraries: IISG Cruquiusweg 31 1019 AT  Amsterdam, The Netherlands; The Labadie Collection,  7th Floor Hatcher Graduate Library, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1205, Michigan USA; CIRA av. de Beaumont 24, CH-1012 Lausanne, Switzerland; ARCHIVIO PINELLI (Centro Studi Libertari) via Rovetta 27, I-20127 Milano, Italia; THE KATE SHARPLEY LIBRARY, Oundle (Northants), UK postal address: BM Hurricane, London W.C.1 3XX; Arbeiderbevegelsens arkiv og bibliotek, Youngsgate 11, N-0181 Oslo, Norway and Nasjonalbiblioteket, Oslo - Henrik Ibsens gate 110 and Mo i Rana - Finsetveien 2, Norway.

*) IJA 2 (35) was published as a limited edition for AFIN-members in 2005. For several reasons, mainly due to lack of funds, it was not published widely until a bit later, and it was then also a bit updated and some errors corrected.