The Communist-Anarchist Group in Lisbon was one of the first revolutionary anarchist groups in Portugal. The group was likely formed under the inspiration of Eliseé Reclus, following a series of talks that he gave in Portugal in 1886. The Group’s Declaration of Principles, published at the beginning of 1887, shows the continuing influence of the ideas developed by anarchists involved in the International Workingmen’s Association, particularly after the anti-authoritarians reconstituted the International following Bakunin’s expulsion by the Marxists at the 1872 Hague Congress. The influence not only of Reclus, but also of people like Michael Bakunin and Carlo Cafiero, among others, can be seen in the text that follows, particularly in the emphasis on social revolution, the rejection of any participation in parliamentary politics, the rejection of the legally sanctioned patriarchal family, and the advocacy of communism and anarchy as necessary correlates of each other. A selection of Portuguese and Brazilian (“Luso”) anarchist writings has been recently published as The Luso-Anarchist Reader, edited by Plinion de Goes, Jr., including several selections by Neno Vasco.
Originally published by Robert Graham.
Declaration of Principles
That private property, raw materials and the instruments of work, in the current social scheme, are the cause of the workers’ misery;
That the State, as an indispensable entity for the management of private property, is the cause of despotism, privileges, class segregation, social decay and corruption;
That, in light of this fact, the working class, to realize a better future through its emancipation, needs to eliminate the State and private property;
That this aim cannot be achieved through legal evolution, nor through parliaments or a Workers’ State;
That the emancipation of the working class does not consist in usurping plutocracy but in firmly destroying it, wherever it may be;
That it is easier to inhibit a new government from arising than to topple it once it has arisen:
The Grupo Comunista-Anarquista, in Lisbon, constitutes itself independently of all political parties to communicate and agitate, inspired by its theories, declaring Social Liquidation and the Social Revolution as the necessary means to obtain the emancipation of the working class.
Therefore, we reject:
1 – Legalistic means of action in electoral or institutional parliamentary forms.
2 – The legal support given by the State or religion with regards to the institution of the family.
3 – Submission to authority, be it personal, legislative, absolutist, the bosses’ or paternal.
4 – Patriotic or nationalistic sentiment and racial, religious, and linguistic egotism and antagonism.
As a means of action we accept the recommendations of those who reject the aggrandizement of individual persons and the vicious conditions of this society:
1 – Solidarity with all groups which, like us, mean to eliminate the current social system passed down throughout history, as well as all anti-establishment persons.
2 – Accelerate the political and economic dissolution of States, advocating abstention from the voting booth, desertion from the army, violent strikes, and illegal propaganda in the sphere of information.
3 – Make use of the disorganization which these tactics cause the public authorities, in order to proceed with Social Liquidation.
And as a corollary of the future organization, we inscribe on our flag the words: COMMUNISM AND ANARCHISM.
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