Monatte c. 1915
|Born||15 January 1881|
|Died||27 June 1960(aged 79)|
|Known for||Trade unionism|
Pierre Monatte (15 January 1881 – 27 June 1960) was a French trade unionist, a founder of the Confédération générale du travail (CGT, Generation Confederation of Labour) at the beginning of the 20th century, and founder of its journal La Vie Ouvrière (Workers' Life) on 5 October 1909. Monatte has been considered one of the great figures of revolutionary syndicalism.
Pierre Monatte was born on 15 January 1881. Alphonse Merrheim arrived in Paris in 1904, and soon after met Monatte at the office of Pages Libres. The two men would work together to launch La Vie Ouvrière (The Worker's Life). In 1914 Pierre Monatte and Alfred Rosmer led the internationalist core of La Vie ouvrière (The Worker's Life).
Monatte often referred himself to Fernand Pelloutier and did not disguise his anarchist sympathies, although he drifted away from this current of Socialism after the International Anarchist Congress of Amsterdam in 1907. During this congress, Monatte argued in particular with Errico Malatesta concerning the methods of organisation: invoking the 1906 Charter of Amiens which established the principle of "political neutrality" of the trade-unions, Monatte considered syndicalism itself to be revolutionary, while Malatesta advocated the creation of some sort of anarchist organisation to superate internal conflicts among the workers' movement itself.
At the CGT's first postwar congress, held in Lyon from 15-21 September 1919, Monatte was among the leaders of the minority, with Joseph Tommasi, Raymond Péricat and Gaston Monmousseau. This group denounced the CGT membership in the Amsterdam International of Labor Unions, said the CGT majority had broken with the principles of syndicalism and lost faith in revolution by dealing with the government. The minority wanted the CGT to join the Communist International.
In 1923, Monatte joined the French Communist Party (PCF) and was close to Boris Souvarine and Alfred Rosmer. Along with them, he was excluded at the end of 1924 of the party at the occasion of an internal purge against "leftist"s elements of the party who supported Leon Trotsky. Then, Monatte founded in January 1925 the journal La Révolution prolétarienne (The Proletarian Revolution), along with Robert Louzon. The journal enjoyed an appreciated audience among trade-unionists and left-wing activists during the inter-war period.
- Monatte 1925, p. 11–12.
- Alphonse Merrheim: Marxistes.
- Monatte and Malatesta's speech during the 1907 Congress Archived 2013-09-23 at the Wayback Machine. (in French)
- Garner, Jason (2016). Goals and Means: Anarchism, Syndicalism, and Internationalism in the Origins of the Federación Anarquista Ibérica. AK Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-1-84935-226-0.
- Wohl 1966, p. 139.
- "Alphonse Merrheim". Marxistes. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- Monatte, Pierre (November 1925). "Alphonse Merrheim (1871–1925)". La Révolution Prolétarienne (11). Archived from the original on 2013-09-17. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- Wohl, Robert (1966). French Communism in the Making, 1914-1924. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-0177-8. Retrieved 2015-03-14.