FOR THE ABOLITION OF CAPITALIST RULE!

For the emancipation of labor embracing all countries!

By MIKE ALEWITZ

Sept. 28,1864: Establishment of the International Workingmen’s Association (First International). Statement from the founding conference:

Considering: That the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves, that the struggle for the emancipation of the working classes means not a struggle for class privileges and monopolies, but for equal rights and duties, and the abolition of all class rule;

That the economical subjection of the man of labor to the monopolizer of the means of labor—that is, the source of life—lies at the bottom of servitude in all its forms, of all social misery, mental degradation, and political dependence;

That the economic emancipation of the working classes is therefore the great end to which every political movement ought to be subordinate as a means;

That all efforts aiming at the great end hitherto failed from the want of solidarity between the manifold divisions of labor in each country, and from the absence of a fraternal bond of union between the working classes of different countries;

That the emancipation of labor is neither a local nor a national, but a social problem, embracing all countries in which modern society exists, and depending for its solution on the concurrence, practical and theoretical, of the most advanced countries;

That the present revival of the working classes in the most industrious countries of Europe, while it raises a new hope, gives solemn warning against a relapse into the old errors, and calls for the immediate combination of the still disconnected movements;

For these reasons: The International Working Men’s Association has been founded.

— September 28, 1864

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Image: “PROLETARIOS DE TODOS LOS PAISES, UNIOS! — WORKING PEOPLE OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE,” by Mike Alewitz / 1997, 7′ x 10′