The Struggle Against the State and Other Essays : Chapter 13 : Anarchism and Our Times

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(1888 - 1934) ~ Anarchist Leader of the Anti-Bolshevik, Anti-Capitalist Partisans of the Ukraine : Nestor Makhno was the leader of a libertarian peasant and worker army and insurrection in the Ukraine which successfully fought Ukrainian nationalists, the Whites, the Bolsheviks and the bourgeoisie and put anarchism into practice in the years following the Russian Revolution. (From : Intro to Struggle Against the State.)
• "As an individual, man gets back to his authentic personality when he rejects false thinking about life and reduces it to ashes, thereby recovering his real rights. It is through this dual operation of rejection and affirmation that the individual becomes a revolutionary anarchist and a conscious communist." (From : "The ABC of the Revolutionary Anarchist," by Nesto....)
• "The free man, on the other hand, has thrown away the trammels of the past together with its lies and brutality. He has buried the rotten corpse of slavery and the notion that the past is better. Man has already partially liberated himself from the fog of lies and brutality, which enslaved him from the day of his birth, from the worship of the bayonet, money, legality, and hypocritical science." (From : "The Anarchist Revolution," by Nestor Makhno.)
• "'Soviet' power is a power no better and no worse than any other. Currently, it is every bit as wobbly and absurd as any State power in general." (From : "'Soviet' Power -- Its Present and Its Future," Bo....)


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Chapter 13


Anarchism is not merely a doctrine that treats of man's social life, in the narrow meaning with which the term is invested in political dictionaries, and sometimes, at meetings, by our propagandist speakers. It is also a teaching that embraces the whole existence of man as a rounded individual.

Over the course of the elaboration of its overall world picture, anarchism has set itself a very specific task: to encompass the world in its entirety, sweeping aside all manner of obstacles, present and yet to come, which might be posed by bourgeois capitalist science and technology. This with the aim of supplying man with the most exhaustive possible explanation of existence in this world and of making the best possible fist of all the problems which may confront it: this approach should help it to internalize a consciousness of the anarchism naturally inherent in it - that, at least, is what I suppose - to the extent that it is continually being faced with partial manifestations thereof.

It is on the basis of the will of the individual that the libertarian teaching can be embodied in real life and clear a path that will help man to banish all spirit of submission from his bosom.

When it develops, anarchism knows no bounds. It acknowledges no banks within which it might be confined and fixed. Just like human existence, it has no definitive formulas for its aspirations and objectives.

As I see it, the right that every man enjoys to total freedom, as defined by the theoretical postulates of anarchism, could only be, for him, a means through which to achieve more or less complete blossoming, whilst continuing to develop. Having banished from man that spirit of submission that has been artificially thrust upon him, anarchism thereafter becomes the keynote idea of human society on its march towards the attainment of all its goals.

In our times, anarchism is still regarded as theoretically weak: furthermore, some argue that it is often interpreted wrongly. However, its exponents have plenty to say about it: many are constantly prattling about it, militating actively and sometimes complaining of its lack of success (I imagine, in this last instance, that this attitude is prompted by the failure to devise, through research, the social wherewithal vital to anarchism if it is to gain a foothold in contemporary society) . . .

Each and every one of us is agreed that cohesion between all active anarchists, in the form of a serious collective activity, is what is needed. It would, therefore, be very surprising for opponents of that Union in our ranks to declare themselves. The issue to be resolved relates only to the organizational format that such a Union of anarchists might assume.

Personally, I am inclined to accept as the most appropriate and most necessary organizational format the one that would offer itself as a Union of anarchists constructed on the basis of the principles of collective discipline and concerted direction of all anarchist forces. Thus, all organizations affiliating to it would be inter-connected not just by a community of socio-revolutionary goals, but also by a common subscription to the means that would lead us there.

The activities of local organizations can be adapted, as far as possible, to suit local conditions: however, such activities must, unfailingly, be consonant with the pattern of the overall organizational practice of the Union of anarchists covering the whole country.

Whether this Union describes itself as a party or as something else is a matter of merely secondary importance. The essential point is that it should focus all anarchist forces upon uniform and common practice against the enemy, pressing ahead with the struggle for toilers' rights, implementation of the social revolution and the installation of the anarchist society!

Dyelo Truda No. 6, November 1925, pp. 6-7.

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February 07, 2017 17:17:47 :
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September 24, 2017 08:05:25 :
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