Magonismo and the roots of revolutionary internationalism

An investigation of the radicalization of the Mexican revolutionary Ricardo Flores Magón and his political impact on both sides of the US-Mexico border

The Mexican Revolution of 1910 is one of the defining events of the twentieth century and is also the starting point for understanding the trajectory of Mexican radicalism in the United States. A popular revolutionary upsurge toppled the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz, and a series of revolutionary and counterrevolutionary battles that raged for over a decade resulted in the defeat of the oligarchy that propped up the regime.

In the revolutionary process, two significant developments occurred. First, millions of small subsistence farmers, agricultural workers, and urban industrial workers were radicalized and indelibly influenced by their participation in revolutionary strikes, occupations, battles, and other activities. Many of these campesinos and workers later migrated to the United States, taking their lived experiences and memory of these events with them. Second, an anticapitalist and anti-imperialist current developed within the Mexican revolutionary leadership, which began to articulate a broader vision for social transformation beyond the removal of Díaz and bourgeois democratic reforms. This

current came to be identified as magonismo, associated with the political writings, agitation, and ideological leadership of Ricardo Flores Magón and the Partido Liberal Mexicano (Mexican Liberal Party or PLM). The Mexican liberal movement was initially a cross-class alliance of intellectuals that opposed the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz and promoted a liberal reform project within the tradition of juarismo,1 but fissures developed in the convulsions of revolutionary events.

Magonismo became an ideology that inspired the radical movements on both sides of the border, especially as it evolved into a doctrine of class struggle. Three factors led the magonistas to break with the Liberal paradigm. The first factor was the rising militancy of Mexican workers in the years leading up to the revolution, especially the insurrectionary strikes at Cananea in 1906 and Rio Blanco in 1907. The second factor was a hardening of opposition to the imperial intrigue of foreign powers in Mexico—especially the United States—that developed over the course of the Díaz dictatorship. The third factor was that in the course of crossing the border, the magonistas encountered aspects of the United States that further shaped their outlook: a Mexican-American population racially subjugated and relegated into the margins of society and a combative US working class with potent radical doctrines also engaged in class struggle. By 1911, the magonistas were openly advocating revolutionary anticapitalism and internationalism.2 They committed themselves to the revolutionary project, infusing their radical politics into the DNA of the workers’ movement on both sides of the border, and created the foundation for generations of radicals to come.

The early formation of magonismo

Ricardo Flores Magón’s ideological formation was shaped by several key turning points in his political activism, beginning with his move in the early years of his youth from the largely Indigenous Mexican state of Oaxaca to Mexico City. In Oaxaca, the Flores Magón brothers (Ricardo, Enrique, and Jesús) were initially influenced by the political traditions of their family and the region. Flores Magón’s father, Teodoro Flores, was a Zapotec Indigenous chief and defender of traditional collectivism which was deeply rooted in the Oaxacan highlands from the pre-Hispanic era. He was also a veteran of the war of resistance to the American invasion of 1846. Later, he became a partisan on the side of the Liberals in the wars of La Reforma (the period of President Benito Juárez’s rule in the late 1800s. Juarismo had its roots in Oaxaca), and took up arms once again to expel the French colonial occupation of the “Second Empire” in the years 1862–67. For his loyal service to the Liberal cause, Teodoro was awarded land in the district of Teotitlán del Camino in the state of Oaxaca. Through participation in the wars against foreign invasion and colonization, Teodoro developed a Liberal, nationalistic outlook combined with distrust of an authoritarian and centralized government of the Conservatives that imposed burdensome taxes and denied the formation of local government.3

The mother of the Flores Magón brothers, Margarita Magón, was also a significant influence. She is characterized as a person of firm principles rooted in a sense of justice, especially for the rural populations in her environs threatened by Porfirian land policies. She envisioned her sons becoming leaders who could advocate for the marginalized. She took her sons to Mexico City at a young age to seek quality education, with the intention that they ultimately become lawyers who could defend the rights of the pueblo [common rural people].4 She is believed to have been a big influence in the early political development of her sons, especially Ricardo, who inherited her unwavering sense of commitment to first principles. For example, when her sons were arrested by Díaz for their antigovernment activities and she lay on her death bed, the general tried to offer her their freedom and her last moments together with them if she could persuade them to renounce their efforts. She is said to have replied: “Tell General Díaz that I would rather die without seeing my sons, and what’s more, I would prefer to see them hanging from a tree or a tall pole than have them retract or repent for anything that they have done against you.”5

The fundamentals of magonista radicalism were instilled in them from their youth and called forth in the articulation of resistance to first dictatorship and then capitalism. According to GenaroAmezcua, the Flores Magón brothers “re-affirmed the traditions of their tribe as their political, social, and economic credo, when they discovered that these contained the basic principles of autochthonous libertarian socialism—simple, just, and egalitarian—without impositions or tyranny.” 6Magonismo—in its most refined form—took shape in the context of an organic political evolution, an interaction of in-depth study of radical political doctrine, observation and analysis of world events and their implications, and the constant organization and reorganization of direct action. Distilled in the laboratory of revolution, magonismo articulated the foundations of radical thought: anti-imperialism, Indigenous socialism, and nascent anticapitalism. These politics crossed borders in the minds, memories, and experiences of Mexican migrant workers. They also resonated with Mexican-American workers, for which magonismo gave shape to resistance north of the border.

Rise of the Partido Liberal Mexicano (PLM)

A career in jurisprudence was not to be for Ricardo, who in 1893 was drawn into the antireelecionista (anti-reelection) movement against Díaz during his third year of law school. 7 From that point on he devoted all of his energy to bringing an end to the Porfiriato (i.e., the reign of dictator Porfirio Díaz). By the election of 1892, it became apparent that Díaz intended to rig the political system to extend his rule indefinitely. This occurred against a backdrop of over a decade of systematic dispossession and rural crisis, foreign domination over much of the economy, and rampant corruption and authoritarianism subverting any semblance of democracy. As a result, the significant first stirrings against Díaz and the científicos (advisers to Díaz who were the first exponents of the neoliberal model) began to take place across the country: workers, peasants, and urban intellectuals began to express opposition to Díaz in different forms.

In Mexico City, small groupings of left-wing students organized rallies against the dictator, expressing common cause with the subterranean opposition, and braved police batons, mass arrests, and detention. From this milieu emerged Ricardo Flores Magón as a student protest leader whose skill for political writing had set him on a path towards radical journalism.8 His relentless and uncompromising denunciations of the regime, under the constant threat of arrest, won him a wide following and propelled him into the national leadership of the emerging opposition.

By the turn of the century, clusters of anti-Díaz groups around the country began converging into regional and national associations. The mechanisms by which porfirismo held together a broad base of support of the previous decades—especially amongst the liberal ranks forged out of the juarista period—began to break down.

The first efforts at organizing discontent into a national political program developed internally within the ranks of the liberal petty-bourgeoisie, led by the lower strata of professionals whose pathways to upward mobility were stymied by the Díaz political machine. In 1900, a group of Liberals led by Camilo Arriaga established El Club Liberal Ponciano Arriaga in the state of San Luis Potosí with the intention of refounding the political ideals of the Constitution of 1857, which, to them, Díaz and the científicos had betrayed. Their first manifesto called for the organization of Liberal clubs across the nation, the convening of a national congress, and ultimately the formation of a political movement that could oust Díaz. Through these efforts different groups and social forces opposed to the porfirian status quo flocked to their banners.

Early backers included sections of the bourgeoisie, such as Francisco Madero, representing northern capitalist interests resenting the centralization of political power through patronage systems, the primacy and privileges awarded to foreign capital, and their own marginal influence in national politics. Over time, the party grew to also include patchworks of industrial workers, urban artisans, and proletarianized peasants, especially after the PLM began to criticize the conditions of labor under Díaz. Working-class activists influenced by the thought and writings of the magonistas also embarked on union-organizing campaigns in strategic sectors of the industrial economy. As a result, a large popular base expanded within the cross-class alliance, pushing the left wing of the PLM on a trajectory towards radicalization, especially as class struggle intensified in the years leading up to the outbreak of the revolution.

The participation of Ricardo Flores Magón and his collaborators was key to building a national organization. Through the pages of their newspaper Regeneración, launched in 1900, efforts were made to unify and solidify a base of opposition, culminating in the convening of the First National Congress of Liberal Clubs in February 1901 where the first attempts were made to unify the liberal movement nationally into the Partido Liberal Mexicano (PLM). The convocation of the congress was officially initiated to counter the growing power of the Catholic Church, which had been greatly weakened in the wars of La Reforma. Despite the restrictions on the Church’s power enshrined in the 1857 Constitution: the forfeiture of lands, the abolition of religious communities, restricted participation in public affairs, etc., it had reemerged as a pillar of the porfirian state. The regime ignored the Constitution, allowing the Church to rebuild its economic empire, assert itself in politics, and become a state partner in exchange for throwing its moral support behind the regime. This especially served to assuage the growing ranks of disgruntled peasants.

In the first editions of Regeneración, Ricardo Flores Magón and his coreligionists were concerned with the restoration of the ideals of juarismo, couched within the framework of mainstream liberalism. The pages of Regeneración labeled porfirismo as an aberration, a barrier to the fuller development of capitalism and democracy, and promoted juridical solutions to the problems of dictatorship.9

The PLM was fraught with contradictory elements from its conception. The party temporarily coalesced as a cross-section of forces whose scope and depth of opposition varied along class lines. This included wealthy bourgeois backers with a limited focus on democratic reform to radicals seeking deeper structural changes. The unifying principle was the reaffirmation of the laws of La Reforma in light of Díaz’s transgressions, including freedom of the press, effective suffrage, political decentralization, labor reforms, and the abolition of rural peonage.10 Beneath this unity, deeper cleavages emerged around social and economic questions. For instance, at this time, the grouping that formed around Ricardo Flores Magón immersed itself in the study of nineteenth-century revolutionary thinkers such as anarchists and communists Joseph Proudhon, Peter Kropotkin, Élisée Reclus, Max Stirner, and Karl Marx.11 The first ruptures emerged over the very basic question of what was to be done to actually get rid of the Díaz regime. This begged the question of which social forces could and would carry out a revolution to its conclusion.

As if to underscore the limited aims of the bourgeois and conservative middle-class elements that dominated the inaugural congress, prominent liberals completely sidestepped the question of Díaz and the state. Instead, their fire was trained against the Catholic Church, which had maintained itself as a center of conservative power and one of the largest landlords in the country. The Díaz government had formed an alliance with the Church and ceased enforcement of the 1857 Constitution’s provisions invoking the expropriation of church land and negation of its political power. The Church had become the focus of the liberals’ derision—instead of Díaz himself—as it was a safer target than the regime.12 The content of the congress was, in effect, reduced to a restatement of sanded-down platitudes invoking the spirit of 1857 Constitution, devoid of any substance invoking action. That is, until Ricardo Flores Magón took the floor.

Flores Magón’s speech reverberated through the congress hall and across the nation in the days that followed. He appealed for the delegates to openly declare themselves in opposition to Díaz, boldly denouncing Díaz’s administration as a “den of thieves” and referring to the constitution as a dead issue, and raising the question of revolution as the only means to dislodge Díaz.13 Within several months of the Congress, magonismo was taking shape as the articulation of an action plan to topple Díaz. “The reforms contained in the resolutions of the first Liberal Congress,” he wrote later in 1901, “are impractical and utopian because the power to freely express opposition [under Díaz] remains a myth.”14

In taking this very public stand in an atmosphere of heavy-handed repression, Flores Magón galvanized the opposition and planted the flag of revolt as the only viable means to bring down the dictatorship. From very early on he was closest to the pulse of common Mexicans, and his analyses and proclamations shepherded into existence the first significant prerevolutionary radical current throughout the country—one that pushed forward the first wave of revolutionary struggle. From that point on, the magonistas emerged as the first national leaders of the revolution, even though it would take several more years before political divides within the party fully matured and fragmented into separate and distinct bourgeois and proletarian camps.

In the gradual clarification of positions within the new movement, Flores Magón and his allies established themselves as the radical wing of the revitalized liberal movement, developing a more thoroughgoing vision for reform through the pages of Regeneración.15 Originally founded as a legal journal taking positions on points of legal reform, Regeneración transformed into “an anti-Díaz propaganda organ that…boldly publicized the shortcomings of all branches and levels of Mexican government.”16 Indeed, to avoid ambiguity of the specific role of the newspaper, either as a tepid voice of restrained criticism, or one linked to merely promoting one of the rival factions within the liberal apparatus, Flores Magón declared Regeneración an “independent newspaper of combat” in 1901. In this phase, the paper also began to critique economic exploitation and foreign control. This allowed the PLM the means to broaden their social base of support and call for the formation of aligned groupings throughout the country.17

The growth and combative rhetoric of the magonista-aligned wing of the liberal movement was not lost on the regime. More than fifty clubs were established in thirteen states at the time of the first congress, and the circulation of Regeneración grew to 26,000 reaching a national audience.18 Key to this early growth were radicalizing sectors of the middle class across the country that initiated regional clubs. Jean Pierre-Bastian characterizes this radicalizing segment of the Mexican petty-bourgeoisie as Jacobin,19 likening it to the radical element of the French Revolution. Earlier manifestations included the artisanal class and the creation of restive mutualistas (mutual benefit societies) during the juarista era. It also reflected the first manifestation of the PLM as a national movement, bringing together varying elements of the marginalized middle classes. The internal economic and political structures of porfirismo developed into rigid hierarchies of power based on corruption and centralization. During this time, the middle class grew but ran up against a closed system that hindered social mobility.20

A significant intellectual current within the radicalizing middle class was a group of feminists who aligned themselves with the PLM. A layer of pioneering feminists saw in the emerging liberal movement a vehicle to advance their own demands alongside the broader goals of the convention. Feminist thought repudiating the oppression of women emerged in the early porfirian period in the pages of the radical press in 1876. In El Hijo del Trabajo, a writer under the pseudonym Juana La Progresista, boldly defended the equality of women against the presumed dominance of men,

arguing that sexism had no basis in science since men and women were physiologically the same, and above all in intelligence…[the writer] lashed out against the unfair treatment of women, arguing that the man always has preeminence in all: in education, in job opportunities and social treatment, which allows them to convert the women into slaves.21

Radical women played a prominent role in the opposition to the dictatorship, which brought many women into the fold of the liberal movement. One early supporter of the PLM, Juana B. Gutierrez de Mendoza, was a socialist and feminist editor of the newspaper Vésper, which launched several months after Regeneración. According to historian Angeles Mendieta Alatorre, her journalistic campaigns against the “tyranny” of the Díaz regime, condemnations of the clergy, and support for workers’ struggle earned her the great admiration of Flores Magón, as well as jail time in the same prison after the Díaz regime clamped down in 1902.22

Women were among the first delegates to the convention and went on to form several of the clubs in different regions of the country, resulting in many being jailed, beaten, and even killed for their efforts. For instance, Liberal activists Concepción Valdés, sisters Otilia and Eulalia Martínez Núñez, Josefa Arjona de Pinelo, and Josefa Tolentino helped launch the PLM-aligned clubs “Benito Juarez,” “Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada,” “Gutiérrez Zamora,” and “Valentín Gómez Frias,” as well as the “Gran Círculo Liberal Veracruzano” in the environs of the capital city in the state of Veracruz. These groupings would later play a key role in supporting the PLM-led efforts in that state, including an abortive armed uprising in 1906 and the great textile strike of 1907.23 Women continued to be leaders of the revolutionary movement, and radical feminists and socialists were instrumental in shaping the further development of magonismo, which by 1911 had articulated an in-depth critique of the oppression of women under capitalism.

A spirit of resistance of Indigenous people also filled PLM ranks. The privatization of common-use lands (baldíos) and the encroachment of large landholdings onto ancestral holdings put the project of the liberals and later porfiristas at odds with Indigenous communities, whose “concept of property was neither private nor individual but social and communal.”24 Chassen-López has described this tension developing between liberal capitalists and the Zapotec communities in the Valley of Oaxaca in the years preceding the revolution, quoting a representative of the científico clique and owner of Oaxaca’s largest hacienda, who concluded that “the ‘love of private property’ would have to be fostered among the Indians before the ‘imperfect and absurd socialism of their villages would disappear.’”25 It was from this conception of Indigenous communal resistance to the dispossessing convulsions of capitalist development that the Flores Magón brothers first witnessed the possibility to resist it.

Indigenous resistance and rebellion led the magonistas to see Indigenous people as a natural ally in their revolutionary efforts, even inserting language in the PLM program of 1906 that called for the return of expropriated lands and the legal defense of Indigenous communities. Sonora-based PLM leader Esteban Baca Calderón wrote of the need “to declare for the return of the lands that had been plundered from the Yaqui and Mayo tribes and all of the Indigenous groups in general scattered throughout the country.”26

This helps explain why some of the most dedicated magonistas were of Indigenous descent, especially in the border regions where the wars of removal against Indigenous groups such as the Yaqui were still fresh in the collective memory. The Yaqui had been in a state of war against the Mexicans since the foundation of the country, holding onto to large swathes of their land since the colonial period.

It is in this context that magonistas not only took up the claims of the Indigenous people but also recruited Indigenous militants into their ranks. Indigenous partisans rallied to the banner of the PLM, becoming key regional organizers and in some cases mass leaders in their own right. This included Fernando Palomares (Mayo) and Javier Buitamea (Yaqui) in Sonora and later Primo Tapia (Naranjo) in Michoacán.27 When the magonistas launched revolts in the borderlands of Baja California in 1911, they got some support for their efforts amongst the Indigenous populations there—the Diegueño, Paipai, and Kiliwa).28

In 1906, the PLM issued a program of radical labor and land reforms that has been described as the “foundation of the social revolution in Mexico” and the basis for the content of the 1917 Mexican Constitution.29 This reflected how the left wing of the PLM began to crystallize and see itself as an explicitly revolutionary party that saw the working class as the leading force of the revolution.30 As Flores Magón synthesized his understanding (and disavowal) of “revolution from above” in favor of revolt from below,

the Mexican Revolution did not develop from the desks of lawyers, the offices of the bankers, or the army barracks; the revolution emerged from the cradle of human suffering: in those depositories of pain called factories, in those tortuous abysses called mines, in the dank dungeons called workshops, and in the prison-houses called haciendas.31

Magonismo and the working class

The second stage of the development of magonismo as the fundamental radical current in Mexico involved the elaboration of an economic critique of porfirismo that took aim at capitalism and imperialism. The evolutionary leap was influenced by two factors. The first was a shifting orientation towards the working class in the realization of revolutionary objectives, especially as growing worker militancy culminated in the insurrectionary strikes that shook porfirian Mexico in 1906–8. Industrial workers began to demonstrate power disproportionate to their size and political influence. Second, after fleeing persecution by crossing the border into the United States in 1904, Flores Magón and his comrades came into contact with a combative US working class, giving a cross-border dimension to the crystallization of their class consciousness. Magonismo incorporated a large number of Mexican immigrants, living under conditions of Jim Crow racial segregation, and US revolutionaries who shared a common outlook.

By the turn of the twentieth century, the pattern of development of capitalism in Mexico had produced a new proletariat, an industrial workforce holding the power to shut down the major arteries of the industrial economy: the mines, railroads, and factories. As revolutionaries seeking a motor to drive the revolution forward, the magonistas gravitated toward the urban and industrial workforce as it began to act in its own self-interest—and demonstrate a willingness to fight the porfirian state, with the capacity to bring the great capitalist trusts to their knees. Furthermore, there was a rise internationally in working-class struggle, and Flores Magón and his collaborators carefully studied international developments in a scientific manner, in an attempt to translate and apply their lessons and meaning to the local terrain.

One significant development that intervened at this time was the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, which according to Ellen Myers profoundly affected Flores Magón’s thinking about the revolutionary road.32 The Russian Revolution of 1905 nearly brought down the Russian tsar after a workers’ revolt, general strike, and the first appearance of the soviet, or workers’ governing council, as an alternative to tsarism. Given the growth of the industrial workforce, the rise of left-wing political parties with a proletarian orientation and composition, and demonstrations of the potential power of the working class to topple authoritarian regimes, revolutionaries in different parts of the world, including Mexico, began to rethink the nature of revolution. They looked to the Russian example.33

The magonistas were also inspired by the rising working-class movement in the United States. Citing the research of scholar William Willoughby, Ángeles Mendieta Alatorre asserts that the estimated 22,793 strikes that occurred in the United States during the years 1890–1900 conveyed to the PLM leaders the transformative power of working-class struggle on an international scale.34 In Mexico, state governors began to introduce labor reforms in the aftermath of strikes in 1904–6.35 These observable patterns also became the basis for emerging magonista internationalism. As Flores Magón wrote in 1911,

There is logic in the progress of my ideas; there is nothing strange or false about them. In the past I believed in the political system. I had believed that the law contained the necessary force to bring about justice and liberty. But then I saw that what is happening in Mexico is occurring across the world; that the people of Mexico are not the only unfortunate ones. When I looked for the cause of the suffering of all of the poor people across these lands, I found it: Capital.36

Direct interaction with radical workers initiated the magonistas’ gradual divorce from liberalism, as their militancy and fortitude contrasted sharply with the tepidity, vacillation, and passivity of the Liberals in confronting the Díaz dictatorship. Between 1904 and 1905, the first public divisions occurred in the PLM with clearly defined reformist and revolutionary wings taking shape. Reflecting this split, the radical wing, led by Flores Magón (now in the United States) reconstituted themselves as the “Organizing Junta of the Mexican Liberal Party” in 1906. This occurred in the context of rising class struggle. According to Zebadua, et al., “another strike wave began in 1905 and spread in 1906 and 1907. Half of all of the conflicts took place in Mexico City…but also included Veracruz, Puebla, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, San Luis Potosí, Jalisco, Querétaro, and throughout other parts of the country. The strike wave extended all the way to 1909.”37

The 1906 Cananea strike

By 1906, the magonistas had begun to appeal directly to workers, through the pages of Regeneración and through efforts to launch PLM clubs and union organizations. The strike that year at the US-owned mining camp just south of the US-Mexico border at Cananea was a watershed event that jolted their efforts forward. It was the first show of force by workers against both the state and foreign capital. While the PLM had made efforts to align the miners to their broader cause, the force of the strike wave that shook Mexico to its foundations during the years 1906–8 induced an evolutionary leap in the proletarian orientation of the party.

PLM activists attempted to develop a following and organizational base at the the copper mining camps in the US-Mexico border region. The newspaper as organizer and agitator was essential to understanding the initial success of the PLM. Armando Barta compares the role of Regeneración (and similar PLM-aligned papers in other parts of the country) to that of the Bolshevik newspaper Iskra, and the role it played in shepherding the Russian revolutionary movement:

The clandestine diffusion [of the paper] helped consolidate the secret nuclei of party militants and around them the “branches” or “clubs” that then forged the broader organizations with a mass character, capable of raising the immediate, concrete demands of the workers and linking them together through the revolutionary press. . . . The Leninist tactic described in the book What is to be Done? with its specific features of a “national press,” “party organization” and “mass organizations” were developed in almost identical terms by the Junta Organizadora del Partido Liberal.38

By 1906, PLM activists had formed auxiliary groups at mining camps at Santa Barbara, Chihuahua, Cananea, Sonora, and across the border at Clifton-Morenci, Arizona.39 While the overthrow of Díaz was the primary focus for the groups on both sides of the border, PLM activists also became involved in local conflicts. One of the most significant of these local struggles was the Cananea strike of 1906.

Cananea was the largest of the mining camps, employing over 8,000 Mexican miners and 2,300 US personnel. The mine camps at Cananea were part of a large, US-controlled copper mining complex that spread from the state of Sonora in Mexico across the border through Arizona, New Mexico,40 Utah, Colorado, and all the way to Montana. By the turn of the century, US investments in the northern Sonora region alone already amounted to $27 million; making it a strategically important mining center for the US economy.41

The mine was owned by a prominent US capitalist by the name of William Greene. Greene’s style of management became a showcase for the simmering resentment felt by Mexicans towards the imperialist economic arrangements of the time. For instance, American workers were brought across the border from Arizona and were given privileged positions, paid in dollars, and received two to four times more for the same work.42 Other forms of racial discrimination were rife in the camps, as the conditions of American racial discrimination were imposed on camp life within the territory of Mexico. While this was common operating procedure, and ignored in the press, Regeneración took note.

According to a 1905 issue, “the Cananea Consolidated Copper Corporation, a Yankee Corporation, is committing a civic and repeated infraction of the law in order to take advantage of the Mexican laborer.”43 Through the pages of Regeneración, the PLM raised the demand of “equal pay for equal work” in response to this two-tier system in the foreign-dominated industries.44 As a result of the steady reporting and incisive political analysis of Regeneración about the specific issues facing workers at Cananea, PLM-aligned activist workers in the mining camps found a receptive audience amongst their coworkers, and were able to distribute the newspaper widely throughout the mining camps.

Historian Devra Weber also identifies a wide subterranean network of PLM militants on the US side that coordinated with Cananea miners. Fernando Palomárez, for example, was a Mayo Indigenous worker from Sinaloa, who organized Yaquis and Mayos in Cananea mining camps on behalf of the PLM as early as 1903.45 Three other magonistas, Manuel M. Diéguez, Esteban B. Calderón, and Francisco Ibarra, had been the transmitters between the workers and the PLM leadership in 1905–6. By January 1906 these three along with Plácido Ríos and Lázaro Gutiérrez de Lara were instrumental in organizing mineworkers into the PLM-affiliated club Union Liberal Humanidad in the environs of the mining camps.46

The organizing efforts were still in an incipient stage when thousands of miners walked out on strike in June 1906. Several factors converged to lead the workers to take action: the daily humiliation of Jim Crow racism within the camp, a recent peso devaluation that undercut the purchasing power of the workers, and growing frustration with the Díaz regime’s complicity with foreign capitalists like Greene.47 While the strike originated from the miners themselves, the influence of activists aligned with the PLM has led historian Ward Albro to declare it as part of a wider magonista movement.48 Historian Ramon Ruiz claims that all of the actual leaders of the 1906 strike were affiliated in some way to the PLM.49

It took a combined multinational force of Mexican rural police, infantry, Arizona Rangers, company guards, and a detachment of armed Anglo volunteers from Bisbee, Arizona to bloodily suppress the strike, forcing the miners back to work. But the swiftness of the outcome belied its repercussions. According to Hernandez Padilla, the PLM’s orientation on the Cananea strike revealed a strategic understanding of its political and economic significance: “The political undertones of the struggle go much deeper than just the primary demand of ‘5 pesos & an 8 hour workday’ and the organization inserted itself with a broader and more complex intention: to link, influence, and lead the developing industrial working class of Mexico.”50

In the aftermath of Cananea, strikes spread through textiles and the railroads, beginning a wave of revolt that ultimately toppled the Díaz dictatorship. For the PLM leadership, the strike wave was a confirmation of the revolutionary potential of the industrial proletariat, a sentiment that continued to evolve in relation to the rising workers’ role within the revolution. The growing influence of magonismo was not lost on Díaz, who posted a $20,000 bounty for the capture of Ricardo Flores Magón. When the pofirista governor of Sonora Rafael Izábal petitioned for the right to execute three magonista leaders, the vice president under Díaz, Ramón Corral, responded in the negative, stating that execution would cause a “national scandal.”51 The strike proved popular with the Mexican population, who sympathized with the miners and resented Díaz and the foreign capitalists. This caused great consternation amongst the backers of the regime, cracking open what had been referred to as the Pax Porfiriana. The strike gave great hope and confidence to the regime’s detractors and opponents. Over the next four years the PLM grew, becoming the first political vehicle for revolutionary action for thousands of working-class partisans. By 1910, for instance, it is estimated that between 200 and 350 Liberal clubs had formed throughout Mexico, with a substantial proletarian base.52

Magonismo in the United States

In 1904, Ricardo Flores Magón and his collaborators were driven into exile in the United States (initially fleeing to Laredo, Texas) by the intense repression of the Díaz regime. They joined thousands of their paisanos who had been displaced by the Porfiriato. After a Mexican agent attempted to assassinate Flores Magón in San Antonio, the magonista leadership relocated to St. Louis, Missouri. There, they reconstituted themselves as the “Organizing Junta of the Mexican Liberal Party” to distinguish themselves from the moderates in the PLM, and turned their attention toward revolutionary action. By 1906 they had reoriented themselves as a proletarian revolutionary current (amidst the great uprising of labor that was shaking Mexico that year) and attempted to inspire and launch armed insurrection from the border region.

In the process of building up their organization, the PLM became immersed in the class politics of the United States, merged efforts with revolutionaries north of the border, and built up a following of Mexican Americans from the border region to Chicago. The condition of Mexicans in the United States expanded the purview of magonismo, as the group organized direct resistance to racial discrimination and class oppression. Between 1907 and 1908, the magonistas took explicitly anticapitalist positions, expanding their critique beyond the figure of Díaz toward an indictment of the system that propped up his regime. This trajectory led to further radicalization: the rejection of the politics of liberalism, an elaboration of their self-described anarchist-communist positions, opposition to imperialism, and an internationalist outlook toward revolution. While magonismo failed to realize its ultimate aims, it forged a generation of militants on both sides of the border that not only shaped the class struggles of that era, but also produced a political legacy that was inherited by the generations that followed.

There were three primary ways that magonista radicalism began to connect with a following on the US side of the border: through the dissemination of radical newspapers such as Regeneración and other publications, through the formation of PLM clubs on the model of those in Mexico, and through alliances with US-based radical organizations such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the Socialist Party, giving them broader organizational platforms and allies against repression.

Through these mechanisms, the PLM came in contact with the unique conditions and struggles of Mexicans in the United States, and through the articulation of resistance attracted the most class-conscious elements of the mexicano and Mexican-American working class. While Regeneración had a largely rural-based readership in Texas, it gained a solid following among miners in New Mexico and Arizona.53Magonistas in the United States, both women and men, became the first generation of leaders to address the conditions of mexicanos in the United States, using a radical analysis formed out of the Mexican working-class experience.

While Mexicans have lived in what is called the “southwest” since time immemorial, substantial numbers began to cross the imaginary border line that was imposed and gradually reified in the decades after the Mexican American War.54 Immigration records indicate that during the first decade of the twentieth century about 50,000 people crossed the border through official immigration channels, with another 120,000 entering between 1911 and 1917.55 By 1930, the Mexican population in the United States reached 1.4 million, with the great majority settling in Texas, California, Arizona, and New Mexico.56

The displacement of Mexican people and their migration coincided with a growing US economy and labor shortages, especially throughout the sparsely populated southwest. Mexican workers were absorbed into the US economy, but under conditions of racial segregation and labor segmentation. Through the formation of a labor caste system that combined a Jim Crow legal framework and employer collusion, Mexican workers were primarily channeled into the various facets of agricultural production, railroad construction and maintenance, mining, and domestic work. They became the majority of workers in many of these sectors by 1910.57

This population became a substantial substratum of the southwestern US working class facing another form of underdevelopment distinct from—but indirectly linked to—what was happening in Mexico. Many moved back and forth across the border for work or maintained direct connections to Mexico and events taking place in that country. It is amongst this population that the magonistas found both the raw material for building their revolutionary movement in Mexico and the basis for being drawn into the class struggle north of the border. Compelled by poverty, many of the leaders themselves had to take jobs in the areas of their activism in what was designated “Mexican work,” which gave them firsthand experience of the oppressive conditions of mexicanos in the United States.58

In the course of organizing support for revolutionary efforts in Mexico, they came into contact with the US left and the Mexican-American working class whose experiences with the Jim Crow brand of American capitalism drew the cadres of the PLM into local struggles. It is in this context that magonismo evolved into the first cross-border effort to organize workers with a common, anticapitalist objective.

Over eighteen years, the PLM and Ricardo Flores Magón built a substantial following amongst Mexican-American workers, and formed comradely associations with radical organizations north of the border. According to Chicano historian Carlos Larralde,

By [1904], Chicanos along the American border were already following Magonista beliefs…[and] many Chicanos carried his philosophy throughout the southwest, especially in Arizona, California, and Texas. Other Chicanos with the Magonista gospel followed the “Wobblies” to Washington, Idaho, and other regions.59

As Mexican exiles in the racially segregated United States, the PLM leadership played a key role as a bridge between Mexican workers and the US left, which was marginalized from the Mexican communities. As the PLM cultivated support for the Mexican revolutionary cause, the experience of living in the United States added new dimensions to their struggle. Being Mexican and immigrant immersed them into an ecosystem in which “Anglo-Saxon” racism intertwined within the class structure to shape all aspects of social reality: where they could work, live, and how they were viewed and treated by the state (the police, the courts, etc.). Racial oppression gave them insights into the functioning of American capitalism, sharpening their critique. Furthermore, their interactions with US and international radicals exposed them to different political philosophies and ideologies that gave their outlook international dimensions. In fact, in 1911 when a magonista-led army of five hundred crossed the California border to seize the towns of Mexicali, Tijuana, and Tecate in the Baja California del Norte for the revolution, close to one hundred of the revolutionaries were members of the IWW. “Many US socialists and members of unions such as the AFL and the WFM [Western Federation of Miners] joined the struggle. So did several soldiers of fortune and drifters. From Europe, several Italian and Spanish anarchists came to fight for Mexican liberation.”60

While the primary objective of the exiled magonistas was to rally their fellow expatriates and exiles behind their revolutionary project, their attention was also drawn to the plight of Mexican Americans and their migrant compatriots that formed a growing segment of the southwestern proletariat. Joining the ranks of the Mexican population in the United States further radicalized PLM organizers. In the course of organizing support for the Mexican Revolution, they received a crash course in anti-Mexican racism. Their efforts brought them into contact with the variants of Jim Crow in the southwest. As Ricardo Flores Magón wrote in 1911

Mexicans have been abandoned to the forces of luck in this country—akin to the way they are treated in Mexico. . . . Excluded from hotels and restaurants . . . found guilty and sentenced in the twinkling of an eye; the penitentiaries are full of Mexicans who are absolutely innocent. In Texas, Louisiana, and in other states they live without hope.61

In other cases, the direct experience of workplace discrimination served as a prelude to joining the PLM. Future leaders, such as Praxedis Guerrero and Francisco Marique joined the PLM after working in a Morenci, Arizona mining camp for several months. They formed a union organizing committee called Obreros Libres and affiliated to the PLM after witnessing the Cananea strike.62 Historian W. Dirk Raat observes that PLM recruits typically represented the economic concerns of their regions (miners in Arizona, railroad workers in Los Angeles, for instance) and they typically recruited the most experienced “agitators” who were local strike leaders and militants.63 Many had accumulated experience in previous labor conflicts in which combating racial discrimination was a fact of life.

Sowing the seeds of radicalism in the United States

When the fleeing leaders of the PLM settled and reconstituted their base in San Antonio, Texas, they entered through a migrant corridor used by thousands of workers moving north. In the the United States the magonistas redoubled their efforts to activate opposition to Díaz, organizing political clubs, unions, and other organizational structures to become the basis for a national uprising. In 1906, 1908, and again in 1911, they spearheaded armed uprisings in Chihuahua, Veracruz, and Baja California that ultimately failed to generate the necessary force to topple Díaz or to induce social revolution, but had a profound effect on the course of events on both sides of the border.

In the early 1900s, two radical political forces converged in an attempt to tap into the discontent of Texas Mexicans. The Texas Socialist Party formed in 1903 as part of its rapid, national growth in the first two decades of the twentieth century. The PLM also established its home base in San Antonio in 1904, after fleeing the repression of Díaz. Both groups oriented towards the Mexican population as a catalyst for struggle. Between the years 1911 and 1917 at least fifty-two branches of the PLM sprang up around the state, many led by women, and between 1907 and 1913, thirty-nine distinct PLM-aligned newspapers entered into circulation.64

The infrastructure they created along the border and inside Mexico was crucial to the initial successes of the 1911 uprising in support of Francisco Madero that eventually toppled Díaz.65 Their base-building efforts in the southwest also created the first organizational infrastructure that gave impulse to the first generation of mexicano working-class struggle in the United States. Key centers of magonista activity developed in Texas, Arizona, and California. PLM clubs were built from small groups of converts or from existing organizations that adhered to the party program and ranged from dozens to hundreds of members. From these locales, the first cadres of Mexican-American radicals helped form and lead social movements for land reform, unionization, and radical and revolutionary social change. These efforts laid the groundwork for and dovetailed with the epochal struggles that followed, from the great worker uprisings of the 1930s to the Chicano movement a generation later.


Ricardo Flores Magón’s concept of revolution was based on the idea that Mexican workers on both sides of the border had the potential to be the instruments of transformation through their own self-activity. By the outbreak of the Mexican revolution, the PLM had produced the Manifesto of 1911, which characterized the Mexican Revolution as one front in a global struggle against the capitalist system.66 It elaborated a new political vision for liberation the magonistas characterized as “anarchist-communism.”67

At the same time, the PLM helped orchestrate a network of radical activists in the United States at the forefront of struggle against Jim Crow capitalism, the starting point for understanding the origins of mexicano radicalism in the United States. The PLM became openly anticapitalist and the message emanating from the pages of Regeneración spoke more directly to the experiences and aspirations of the urban working class and agricultural proletariat: “We need to take possession of the factories, the mines, the smelters . . . instead of abandoning our tools and crossing our arms . . . my brothers let’s continue to work but not for the bosses but for ourselves and our families.”68

The concept of global anticapitalist revolution was given even greater impetus after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The events captured the imagination of the PLM. Ricardo Flores Magón praised Lenin and the Bolsheviks and identified the Russian Revolution as the opening shot of the “global worker’s revolution.”69 Flores Magón spent his life fighting for his vision of international solidarity. He was imprisoned during World War I by the US government under the Espionage Act, and died in Leavenworth Penitentiary in 1922. As Barton concludes: “The movement’s legacy—a model of ideology, a corps of leaders, and a resource of organization—bridged the activism of the early twentieth century and the rebirth of radicalism in the 1930s.”70

  1. Juarismo is the politics of liberal reform, capitalist modernization and anticlericalism associated with Mexican President Benito Juárez (1858–1864, 1867–1872).
  2. Flores Magón referred to his doctrine as “anarcho-communism,” discussed later in this article.
  3. The broad idea of “Mexican Liberalism” actually encompassed various strains of thought, regional interpretations and alliances, evolving, and even contradictory notions and interpretations. For a discussion of the complexities of Mexican Liberalism see Alan Knight, “El liberalismo mexicano desde la Reforma hasta la Revolución (una interpretación)” Historia Mexicana 35 (1) (julio–septiembre, 1985), 59–91.
  4. Pedro Maria Anaya Ibarra, Precursores de La Revolución Mexicana (Mexico, D.F.: Secretaria De Educación Publica, 1955), 15.
  5. Genaro Amezcua, ¿Quien es Flores Magón y Cual es Su Obra? (Mexico, D.F.: Editoriales Avance, 1953), 20–21.
  6. Genaro Amezcua, ¿Quien es Flores Magón y Cual es Su Obra?, 16.
  7. A full discussion of the other Flores Magón brothers, Enrique and Jesus, is beyond the scope of this work. For more on their roles in the movement, see Samuel Kaplan, Peleamos contra la injusticia: Enrique Flores Magón, precursor de la Revolución Mexicana, cuenta su historia a Samuel Kaplan (Mexico, D.F.: Libros Mex Editores, 1960).
  8. Flores Magón wrote for or established his own newspapers that took uncompromising positions against the Díaz regime. These included El Demócrata, Regeneración, El Hijo de El Ahuizote, El Nieto del Ahuizote, and El Bisnieto del Ahuizote.
  9. Armando Bartra believes this is the result of the editorial influence of Jesus Flores Magón, who was a moderate liberal. He and Ricardo soon split over ideology, strategy, and tactics, and remained politically alienated from each other for the rest of Ricardo’s life. See Bartra’s Regeneración 1900–1918, La Corriente más Radical del la Revolución Mexicana de 1910 a través de su Periódico de Combate. (Mexico, D.F.: Ediciones Era, 1977), 21–22.
  10. 10. Armando List Arzubide , Apuntes Sobre la Prehistoria de la Revolución (Mexico, D.F.: Publisher not identified, 1958, 73.
  11. 11. Abelardo Ojeda and Carlos Mallen, Ricardo Flores Magón (Mexico, D.F.: Secretaría de Educación Pública, 1967), 19.
  12. 12. Stanley Ross, “La protesta de los intelectuales ante México y su revolución” Historia Mexicana 26, (3) (enero - marzo, 1977), 396–437.
  13. 13. Colin M. Maclachlan, Anarchism and the Mexican Revolution: The Political Trials of Ricardo Flores Magón in the United States (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), 2.
  14. 14. Héctor Mora Zebadúa , Victor Palacio Muñoz, and Omar M. Guzmán Navarro, Un Siglo del Programa del Proletariado en México (Partido Liberal Mexicano 1906) Chapingo, México: Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo/Centro de Investigaciones Económicas, 2008), 17.
  15. Launched under his editorial control in 1901.
  16. Lyle Brown, “The Mexican Liberals and their Struggle Against the Díaz Dictatorship, 1900–1906.” (Mexico, D.F.: Mexico City College Press, 1956), 318.
  17. Armando Bartra, Regeneración, 23.
  18. James D. Cockroft, Intellectual Precursors of the Mexican Revolution: 1900–1913 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968), 94 and Samuel Kaplan, Peleamos contra la injusticia : Enrique Flores Magón, precursor de la Revolución Mexicana, cuenta su historia a Samuel Kaplan (Mexico, D.F.: Libros Mex Editores, 1960), 76.Jean-Pierre Bastian, “Jacobinismo y ruptura revolucionaria durante el porfiriato” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 7, (1) (Winter, 1991), 6.
  19. For a good description of Porfirian centralization, see Stuart Easterling, The Mexican Revolution, 1910–1920: A Short Introduction (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2013).
  20. Armando List Arzubide , Apuntes Sobre la Prehistoria de la Revolución (Mexico, D.F.: Publisher not identified, 1958), 39.
  21. Angeles Mendieta Alatorre, La Mujer en La Revolución Mexicana (México, D.F.: Biblioteca del Instituto Nacional de Estudios Historicos de la Revolución Mexicana, 1961, 30–1.
  22. Angeles Mendieta Alatorre, La Mujer en La Revolución Mexicana, 38–41.
  23. Francie Chassen-Lopez, From Liberal to Revolutionary Mexico: The View from the South, Mexico 1867–1910 (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2004), 73.
  24. Francie Chassen-Lopez, From Liberal to Revolutionary Mexic, 74.
  25. Gastón García Cantú, Idea de Mexico II: El Socialismo (Mexico, D.F.: Fondo de Cultural Económica, 1991), 140.
  26. See Alfonso Torúa Cienfuegos, Magonismo en Sonora (1906–1908): Historia de una Persecución (Mexico, D. F.: Ediciones Hormigas Libertarios, 2010), ch. 3 and 4.
  27. There were only small groups of participants and to some degree divided over the issue, although the historian seems to take great liberties interpreting the Indigenous participants’ intentions and seems oblivious to how Indigenous responses long after the event might have been shaped by posterior events such as retribution, repression, etc., or fear or suspicions of the interviewer’s intentions. See Roger C. Owen, “Indians and Revolution: The 1911 Invasion of Baja California, Mexico” Ethnohistory 10 (4) (Autumn, 1963), 373–395 for a discussion of this episode.
  28. Leon Díaz Cárdenas, Cananea: Primer Brote del Sindicalismo en Mexico (Mexico, D.F.: Centro de Estudios Históricos del Movimiento Obrero Mexicano, 1976), 19.
  29. Leon Díaz Cárdenas, Cananea: Primer Brote del Sindicalismo en Mexico,16.
  30. J. Eduardo Vazquez Carrillo, El Partido Liberal Mexicano (Mexico, D.F.: Talleres de B. Costa-Amic, 1970), 28.
  31. Ellen Howell Myers, The Mexican Liberal Party, 1903–1910, PhD dissertation, University of Virginia, 360.
  32. For an example of this, see Casey Harison, “The Paris Commune of 1871, the Russian Revolution of 1905, and the Shifting of the Revolutionary Tradition” History and Memory (19) (2) (Fall/Winter 2007), 6–7.
  33. Angeles Mendieta Alatorre, La Mujer en La Revolución Mexicana , 45.
  34. Angeles Mendieta Alatorre, La Mujer en La Revolución Mexicana, 47.
  35. Arnaldo Córdova, La Ideología de la Revolución Mexicana (Mexico, D.F.: Ediciones Era S.A. P., 1977), 175.
  36. Héctor Mora Zebadúa, Victor Palacio Muñoz and Omar M. Guzmán Navarro, Un Siglo del Programa del Proletariado en México, 52.
  37. Armando Bartra, Regeneración 1900–1918, La Corriente más Radical del la Revolución Mexicana de 1910 a través de su Periódico de Combate, 18. The Junta Organizadora del Partido Liberal was the name of the US-based leadership of the PLM.
  38. Charles C. Cumberland, “Precursors of the Mexican Revolution of 1910,” Hispanic American Historical Review 22 (2), 344–56.
  39. Arizona and New Mexico were US territories before they became states in 1912.
  40. Herbert Oliver Brayer, “The Cananea Incident,” (Santa Fe: State of New Mexico, 1938), 388.
  41. Ward S. Albro, Always a Rebel: Ricardo Flores Magón and the Mexican Revolution (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1962), 38.
  42. Ellen Howell Myers, The Mexican Liberal Party, 1903–1910, 64.
  43. Ramón Eduardo Ruiz, Labor and the Ambivalent Revolutionaries: Mexico, 1911–1923 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976), 15.
  44. Devra Weber, “Keeping Community, Challenging Boundaries: Indigenous Migrants, Internationalist Workers, and Mexican Revolutionaries, 1900–1920” in John Tutino, ed., Mexico and Mexicans in the Making of the United States (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012), 219.
  45. Arnaldo Córdova, La Ideología de la Revolución Mexicana (Mexico, D.F.: Ediciones Era S.A. P., 1977), 95.
  46. See Ward S. Albro, Always a Rebel: Ricardo Flores Magón and the Mexican Revolution, 37–38 for an in-depth description.
  47. Ward S. Albro, Always a Rebel, 35.
  48. Ramón Eduardo Ruiz, Labor and the Ambivalent Revolutionaries: Mexico, 1911–1923 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976), 24.
  49. Salvador Hernández Padilla , El Magonismo: Un Historia de Una Pasión Libertaria, 1900–1922 (México, D.F.: Ediciones Era, 1984), 48–49, (Translated by author.)
  50. Esteban B. Calderón, Juicio sobre la Guerra del Yaqui y Génesis de la Huelga de Cananea (México, D.F.: Centro de Estudios Históricos del Movimiento Obrero Mexicano, 1975), 115–117.
  51. For the estimate of 200, see Florencio Barrera Fuentes, Historia de La Revolución Mexicana: La Etapa Precursora. (Mexico, D.F.: Biblioteca del Instituto Nacional de Estudios Historicos de La Revolución Mexicana, 1955), 152. For the estimate of 350, see Colin M. Maclachlan, Anarchism and the Mexican Revolution: The Political Trials of Ricardo Flores Magón in the United States, 18.
  52. Mitchell Cowen Verter, “Historical Background,” in Chaz Bufe and Mitchell Cowen Verter, eds. Dreams of Freedom: A Ricardo Flores Magón Reader (Oakland, Calif.: AK Press, 2005), 40–41.
  53. For a thorough discussion of the history of Mexicans in the US prior to the twentieth century, see Mario Barrera, Race and Class in the Southwest: A Theory of Racial Inequality (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1979).
  54. Statistics cited in Emory Bogardus, The Mexican in the United States (Los Angeles: University of Southern California Press, 1934), 13–14. Useful mainly for its statistics, otherwise the disposition of the author reflects the racism and paternalistic attitude towards Mexicans that appears to be common amongst commentators of the day.
  55. Statistics cited in Emory Bogardus, The Mexican in the United States (Los Angeles: University of Southern California Press, 1934), 16.
  56. Marc Rodriguez, ed. Repositioning North American Migrant History: New Directions in Modern Continental Migration, Citizenship, and Community (Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press, 2004), 161.
  57. Juan Gomez-Quiñones, Sembradores: Ricardo Flores Magón y el Partido Liberal Mexicano: A Eulogy and Critique (Los Angeles: Aztlán Publications, 1973), 23.
  58. Carlos Larralde, Mexican-American Movements and Leaders (Los Alamitos, Calif.: Hwong Publishing, 1976), 114.
  59. Verter, 78. Madero, not wanting the Baja California border towns to remain in the hands of radicals, sent federal troops to take them back from the magonistas in June 1911.
  60. Colin M. Maclachlan, Anarchism and the Mexican Revolution, 9.
  61. Ellen Howell Myers, The Mexican Liberal Party, 107–8.
  62. W. Dirk Raat, Revoltosos: Mexico’s Rebels in the United States, 1903–1923 (College Station: Texas A &M University Press, 1981), 28, 94.
  63. Arnoldo De León, ed. War Along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities. (College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 2012), 181; Marc Rodriguez, ed., Repositioning North American Migrant History: New Directions in Modern Continental Migration, Citizenship, and Community (Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press, 2004), 174.
  64. Héctor Mora Zebadúa, Victor Palacio Muñoz and Omar M. Guzmán Navarro, Un Siglo del Programa del Proletariado en México, 51.
  65. Maclachlan, Anarchism and the Mexican Revolution, 35.
  66. Some interesting commentary exists about the exact political character of the magonistas. Ellen Myers asserts that Flores Magón was already considered a “socialist” by 1900, and that the terms socialist and anarchist were used interchangeably in the early 1900s. In his Mexican Anarchism after the Revolution (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010), Donald C. Hodges states that later magonistas were more communist than anarchist due to their agitation for the total expropriation of the means of production.
  67. Arnoldo De León, ed. War Along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities. (College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 2012), 180.
  68. Armando Bartra, Regeneración, 35.
  69. Marc Rodriguez, ed. Repositioning North American Migrant History: New Directions in Modern Continental Migration, Citizenship, and Community (Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press, 2004), 174.

Issue #99

Winter 2015-16

The Left after Syriza

Issue contents

Top story




  • Slavery, capitalism,
 and imperialism

    Sandy Boyer reviews The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist; Empire of Cotton: A Global History by Sven Beckert; River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom by Walter Johnson; and The Business of Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism, 1815-1860 by Calvin Schermerhorn
  • The roots of the deep state

    Joe Cleffie reviews Phantom Terror: Political Paranoia and the Formation of the Modern State, 1789–1848 by Adam Zamoyski
  • Revolutionary parliamentarism?

    Todd Chretien reviews Lenin’s Electoral Strategy from Marx and Engels through the Revolution of 1905: The Ballot, the Streets—or Both by August H. Nimtz and Lenin’s Electoral Strategy from 1907 to the October Revolution of 1917: The Ballot, the Streets—or Both by August H. Nimtz