Messer-Kruse's Haymarket History
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/05/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21391
Book reviews of Timothy Messer-Kruse's two works The Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists: Terrorism and Justice in the Gilded Age and The Haymarket Conspiracy: Transatlantic Anarchist Networks.
On the question of anarchist support for the labor movement, Messer-Kruse makes the case that the Chicago group were closer to Bakunin than Marx, and that they were not genuine labor movement advocates.
In The Haymarket Conspiracy, Messer-Kruse describes Marx's revolutionary theory as a kind of elitest gradualism involving the tutoring by socialists of the "benighted masses." For Bakunin, by contrast, he argues, revolution was not a future "abstraction" but an immediate goal.
Thus, if the anarchists made an argument for the use of force rather than advocating a gradual and "intellectual" process, they were neither Marxists, nor genuine members of the labor movement. Instead, he reaches the damning conclusion that they were using the Chicago labor movement as a "Trojan Horse" to carry out Bakuninist ideology.