Victor Dave

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Victor Dave

Victor Dave (25 February 1845 in Jambes, now part of Namur, Belgium–31 October 1922, Paris) was a Belgian journalist. Between 1865 and 1873 he worked for the German socialist movement, but then, influenced by Bakunin and Proudhon, he converted to anarchism, becoming a close associate of Johann Most. Following four years of imprisonment in Germany for his activities, Dave moved to London, where his more authoritarian anarchism was opposed by the anarcho-communist Josef Peukert. Dave and Peukert led rival factions within the Socialist League, which fought bitterly over Peukert's trust of Theodor Reuss. Though Reuss was later unmasked as a police spy, both Dave and Peukert were discredited by the dispute.

Dave often offered French lessons in the Commonweal, and he collaborated in 1886 with Ernest Belfort Bax and William Morris on a pamphlet about the Paris Commune; he also published an obituary on Felix Pyat in the August 1889 Commonweal. By 1900 he was living in Paris where he published a pamphlet on Bakunin and Marx. In 1903 he was involved in the publication two translations from Lassalle. In Living My Life (1931), Emma Goldman records her favourable impression of Dave during a visit to Paris around 1900:

He was kindly and jovial. Though sixty, he was as alert in mind and spirit as in his student days. Eking out a meagre existence as contributor to anarchist and other publications, he yet retained the buoyancy and humour of youth. I spent much time with him and his lifelong companion, Marie, an invalid for many years, but still interested in public affairs…The most fascinating thing about Victor Dave was his innate feeling for life and ready enjoyment of fun. He was the freest and gayest among the many comrades I met in Paris, a companion after my own heart[page needed]