8656 - Dissonant Preludes to Latin American Socialism: Territory, Identity, and Authority in the 1929 Latin American Anarchist and Communist Conferences in Buenos Aires

The present-day world is in flux, with interrogations about modernity, revolution, progress, cosmopolitanism and internationalism, rural and urban marginality, the relevance of the nation-state, collective subjects such as ‘class’ and ‘ethnicity,’ the future of capitalism, its imagined alternatives, and its prefigurative subversion. Classical anarchism and its incidence in the Americas offered tentative responses to similar questions in the late 19th and first early 20th centuries. Its historiography, however, while burgeoning, has been overwhelmingly centered on anarchism as a stage in the teleological formation of contemporary states and labor movements. It is often overshadowed by narratives of the development of Latin American socialism and Marxism that understate anarchist preludes and counterpoints to those traditions. The Communist International organized a South American conference of neo-Bolshevik parties in Buenos Aires in 1929, which is most remembered for the original contributions of Peruvian socialist José Carlos Mariátegui to the analysis of conditions for social revolution in the Andes, and the backlash it received from neo-Stalinist antagonists. At the same time and in the same city, however, under the auspices of the American Continental Workers’ Association and the Argentine F.O.R.A., anarcho-syndicalist voices from all over the continent outlined their own perspectives on national and transnational movements, the socio-cultural and ethnic/racial diversity of American peoples, rural and urban strategies of autonomy and grass-roots empowerment, the impact of imperialism on the hemisphere, and the ominous threat of state-sponsored authoritarianism. This paper will compare the proceedings of the two conferences, the local and regional histories that served as their backdrop, and the philosophical, theoretical and strategic outlooks that informed their contradictory assessments of pre-Depression Latin America , as well as its socialist futures.

Palabras claves: Latin America, Argentina, Anarchism, Communism, Transnationalism

Autores: de Laforcade, Geoffroy (Norfolk State University, Ud States of Am / USA)


University of Vienna | Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43 1 4277 17575