Malatesta and Monatte in particular disagreed on the issue of organization. Upholding the principles of the 1906 Charter of Amiens, which had proclaimed the ideological neutrality of trade-unions and their independence from political parties, Monatte thought that syndicalism, as understood in France, was revolutionary and would create the conditions of a social revolution. Monatte opposed this “French model” of neutrality of trade-unions to Russian anarchist trade-unions or to Belgian or German Christian or social-democrat trade-unions.
On the other hand, Malatesta criticized Monatte, stating that “syndicalism was not a necessary and sufficient means of social revolution,” while at the same time supporting (as Monatte) the ideological neutrality of trade-unions, in order not to divide the workers’ movement. Malatesta thought that trade-unions were reformist, and could even be, at times, conservative. Along with Cornélissen, he cited as example US trade-unions, where trade-unions composed of qualified workers sometimes worked in opposition to non-qualified workers in order to defend their relatively privileged position. According to Malatesta, anarchists had to also defend this Lumpenproletariat instead of only working for the improvement of labor conditions. Malatesta underlined divisions of interests inside the workers’ movement itself, going so far as to criticize the notion of social class: “There is no class, at the strict sense of the word, as there are no class interests. Inside the workers’ ‘class’ itself, there is, just as in the bourgeoisie, competition and struggle.” Henceforth, he thought that workers’ solidarity needed a common ideal, which could not be found in the frame of the professional trade-union. If Monatte had criticized the risk of a possible bureaucratization of the trade-unions, while asserting the necessity of maintaining permanent employees in trade-unions, Malatesta categorically denied the legitimacy for an anarchist to become such a permanent employee of a trade-union.
Finally, Malatesta criticized over-idealization of the general strike, stating that the latter could not, by itself, provoke a revolution, which would necessarily have to pass, according to him, by an armed insurrection.