Russian revolution

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Articles covering the 1900 - 1924 period in Russia

Who are the Makhnovists and what are they fighting for? - 27 April 1920

Nestor Makhno by train with very tall man1. The Makhnovists are peasants and workers who rose as early as 1918 against the tyranny of the German-Magyar, Austrian and Hetmanite bourgeois power in the Ukraine. The Makhnovists are those toilers who raised the banner of combat against the rule of Denikin and all other forms of oppression, violence and lies, whatever their origin. The Makhnovists are those very toilers by whose labour the bourgeoisie in general, and now the Soviet bourgeoisie in particular, grew wealthy, fat and powerful.

Organisation in the first months of the Makhnovists - 1918

 Makhno pictured during negotiations with the Ukrainian Halytska ArmyVictory or death. This is what confronts the peasants of the Ukraine at the present moment in history. But we shall not all perish. There are too many of us. We are humanity. So we must win – win not so that we may follow the example of past years and hand over our fate to some new master, but to take it in our own hands and conduct our lives according to our own will and our own conception of truth.

Review: The Third Revolution? Peasant and worker resistance to the Bolsheviks

This is a useful little pamphlet, giving as it does a short introduction to various rebellions against Bolshevik dictatorship by the proclaimed “ruling class” of that regime, workers and peasants.

Anarchism, the best bits

I don’t really identify as an anarchist, partly for the reasons outlined in this post and partly because I think the historical impact of Syndicalism has been more significant.  However, when writing on an anarchist forum the other day about educational proposals I was putting to Liberty & Solidarity (as its education secretary) I was challenged as to why there was a lack of anarchist content in the courses.  This got me thinking, as much as I spend a lot of time critiquing aspects of anarchism and its movement, what are the positive contributions of Anarchism?

How Lenin led to Stalin

FOR THE LENINIST far left the collapse of the USSR has thrown up more questions then it answered. If the Soviet Union really was a 'workers state' why were the workers unwilling to defend it? Why did they in fact welcome the changes?

What happened to Trotskys "political revolution or bloody counter revolution"? Those Leninist organisations which no longer see the Soviet Union as a workers state do not escape the contradictions either. If Stalin was the source of the problem why do so many Russian workers blame Lenin and the other Bolshevik leaders too.

In Defence of the Truth - A reply to "In Defence of October" by John Rees of the British SWP

 

The Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci once wrote that "to tell the truth is a communist and revolutionary act." If we apply this maxim to most of the left, we would draw the obvious conclusion that it is neither communist nor revolutionary.

The Socialist Workers Party is a classic example of this mentality, rewriting history to suit the recruitment needs of the organisation. One of the ironies of history is that the Trotskyists who spent so much time combating the "Stalin school of falsification" have created their own.

A response to the IWG on the Russian Revolution

Part of a debate on the Russian revolution from 1994.  The revolution was one of the most important events of the 20th century until the 1990's the most important debate on the left was whether or not it had failed. Now with the collapse of the USSR a far more important debate is uncovered, why did it fail.

Reply to John Rees: In defence of the Truth - The Kronstadt Uprising against the Bolsheviks

We have been insisting on the need for the far left to re-appraise the tradition of the Russian revolution and in particular the role the Bolsheviks played in destroying that revolution. One of the most detailed responses to the anarchists critique of Bolshevism was published in the winter issue of International Socialism the journal of the Socialist Workers Party (the largest Leninist group in England).

On the Bolshevik Myth

An anarchist critique of an ISO attack on the Makhnovists. Corrects the distortions and shows how the Makhnovists show that Bolshevik authoritarian had its roots in Leninist ideology and cannot be solely explained by the civil war. Also refutes claims that the Haymarket Martyrs were Marxists as well as correcting the usual distortions about Kronstadt.

Review: The Bolsheviks in Power

Review of a new book on the first year of Bolshevik power. Documents the Bolshevik assault on soviet democracy and the opposition.

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