The 2015 issue of Saothar, the journal of the Irish Labour History Society, features new research by David Convery into Jack White‘s move to anarchism in the mid-1930s.
Although a member of the Communist Party when he arrived in Spain, he was already in contact with prominent anarchists like Augustin Souchy, and was writing for the CNT‘s English-language bulletin. Convery sees the fact that White did not make the final break with the CP until mid-January 1937 as demonstrating “a process of thought over a number of months, rather than a sudden realisation upon his arrival in Catalonia that he was an anarchist all along”.
This article also looks at White’s allegation, and provides good grounds for it, that the CP in London sabotaged the sending of a medical unit to Spain because he was to be in command of it. Additionally it looks at White’s view of Catholicism (he wasn’t a fan!), and at his collaboration with Emma Goldman in the London-based CNT-FAI Defence Committee.
A 3D quality badge of Captain Jack White, co-founder of the Irish Citizen Army and Presbyterian Republican from Broughshane in Co Antrim. Available from Calton Books
If this writer has one small criticism, there is a line the article would be better without, or at least more clearly expressed:
It is true that for much of his life, White’s disposition fitted many of the characteristics of an anarchist; but it also fitted the characteristics of a socialist. (page 52)
Since its foundation in the First International the anarchist movement has always been a branch of the broad socialist movement, often referred to as libertarian socialism or anarchist-communism.