One hundred and fifty years ago, on 28th September 1864, the International Working Men’s Association, more commonly known as the First International, was born. This first international proletarian organisation paved the way for the growth of working class organisation and spread of Marxism worldwide. In its day, the ruling class trembled before this revolutionary menace.

At the Hague congress of the First International Bakunin was finally expelled, provoking the wrath of the anarchists and like-minded people, some of which walked out of the organisation, like the Blanquists. At the same time, the opportunists such as the English trade union leaders lined up with the ultra-left in demanding greater autonomy for the local sections, all of course complaining about the authoritarianism of Marx and the General Council.

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