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Extra info for Archegetes oikistes, and new-oikistes : the cults of founders in Greek southern Italy and Sicily (PhD University of British Columbia)

Sample text

Voluntarism was an important trait of Malatesta’s ideas since the First International, but it increasingly became a distinctive feature of his anarchism over time, differentiating him not only from the marxists, but also from anarchists of other tendencies, and making him one of the most articulate and original representatives of the voluntarist strand that was always prominent in the anarchist movement. Though he probably never used this ‘ism’, references to volontà (will) were frequent in his articles.

Malatesta reiterated that the belief in the efficacy of the will – that is, that through one’s will one could effect things that would not happen otherwise – was a necessary assumption of any intelligent activity (Nettlau Papers). Then, in a follow-up letter of 21 January he concluded: ‘we do not understand anything about the mysteries of the universe. Therefore we often have to act as if (als ob) we understood’ (Nettlau Papers). The redundant insertion of the German phrase was probably a reference to Hans Vaihinger’s Die Philosophie des als ob, where the ‘law of the preponderance of the means over the end’ was expounded (p.

The various interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the proletariat are more and more equalized, in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labour, and nearly everywhere reduces wages to the same low level . . the collisions between individual workmen and individual bourgeois take more and more the character of collisions between two classes’ (Marx and Engels, Communist, 252). Malatesta’s outlook on the relationship between material conditions and consciousness was quite different, as we can gauge from the historical narrative whereby he explains the dynamics of social antagonisms and struggles, in ‘L’Anarchia’, the 1884 version of Anarchy.

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Archegetes oikistes, and new-oikistes : the cults of founders in Greek southern Italy and Sicily (PhD University of British Columbia) by Lane, Christine Sharon


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