Anarchists and the Mexican Revolution

We have just posted two pieces on anarchist responses to the Mexican Revolution. The first ‘A debate on the Mexican Revolution in Temps nouveaux’ (our title, which contains a series of articles) is at and the second ‘Murderous Silence : Luigi Galleani and Cronaca Sovversiva’ (a critique of their attitude to the Mexican Revolution by Regeneración, 1911) is at

Obviously, people who are interested in the Mexican revolution, anarchism in Mexico and its external connections (and disconnections) should be interested in them. But they also raise broader issues.

When we look at anarchist history we shouldn’t be surprised if there are conflicts and major disagreements. It would be nice if only people you disagreed with got things wrong, but that’s not how it works. And anarchists can indulge in bad-tempered sneering, just like anyone. Part of me wonders if, had the Flores Magón brothers had been clearer about their anarchism as it developed (though I can understand their reluctance to ‘start afresh’) and Luigi Galleani’s followers been a bit less judgemental (and I know you can’t – or shouldn’t – rewrite attitudes and movements) things might have played out differently.

This conflict shows that solidarity is important but also complicated, as Kropotkin points out. Simply turning up out of the blue and saying ‘We’re here to join the revolution’ isn’t always going to see you welcomed with open arms.

These two pieces show the anarchist press as the place where disagreements are aired and even, in a limited way, reduced. Somewhere that anarchists could ask ‘what is going on?’ before thinking about ‘what is to be done?’