The Unknown Revolution, Book Three : Part 01, Chapter 02

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1921

People

(1882 - 1945) ~ Bolshevik-Aligned Leader of the Russian Nabat Anarchists : March of 1920 saw him taken to Moscow, where he would remain prisoner until October, when he and many other anarchists were released by virtue of a treaty between the Soviet Union and Makhno's army. Voline then returned to Kharkov, resuming his old activities... (From : Rudolph Rocker Bio.)
• "As we know, there it was an authoritarian state communism (Bolshevism) that scored a stunning and rather easy victory in the events of 1917. Now, these days, nearly seventeen years on from that victory, not only is communism proving powerless to resist fascism abroad, but, where the regime within the USSR itself is concerned, the latter is more and more often being described more and more deliberately as 'red fascism'." (From : "The Unknown Revolution," by Voline.)
• "Yet there is consolation to be had. The masses learn through all too palpable first hand experience. And the experience is there." (From : "The Unknown Revolution," by Voline.)
• "Socialism, so mighty in Germany, Austria and Italy, has proved powerless. 'Communism', itself very strong, especially in Germany, has proved powerless. The trade unions have proved powerless. How are we to account for this?" (From : "The Unknown Revolution," by Voline.)

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Part 01, Chapter 02

Chapter 2. Kronstadt Before the Revolution

The Baltic Fleet and the Kronstadt garrison played a role of the very first importance in the Russian Revolution. Many factors contributed to this. Tn the first place, the sailors were recruited for the most part from the working class, from whom the navy naturally picked the best-qualified, most literate and alert recruits. But workers of this kind were also the most advanced politically. Frequently, before going to serve in the navy, they had been budding revolutionaries, sometimes even active militants, and inevitably, in spite of discipline and supervision, they wielded a strong influence over their shipmates.

Moreover, since the sailors often visited foreign countries in the line of their duty, they were in a good position to compare the relatively free regimes of these lands with that of Czarist Russia. Better than any other section of the people, including the army, they assimilated the ideas and programs of the political parties, while many of them maintained relations with the emigres [in Western Europe] and read their forbidden and clandestine literature.

We should add that the proximity of the then capital, with its intense political, intellectual and industrial activity, contributed a great deal to the education of the men in Kronstadt. In St. Petersburg “political life” was at its fullest. There was an important mass of workers, and a numerous and turbulent youth at the University. The lively activity of the revolutionary groups, the ever more frequent and imposing disturbances and demonstrations, the scuffles that sometimes followed them, and the generally rapid and direct contact with political and social events, all induced the population of Kronstadt to take a lively and sustained interest in the internal life of the country, the aspirations and struggles of the masses, and the political and social problems of the day.

St. Petersburg, indeed, kept Kronstadt always on the alert, and sometimes in a fever. Already, in 1905–6 and in 1910, the Kronstadt sailors had attempted fairly serious revolts, which were severely repressed. But their spirit became all the more fierce and alive.

Finally, from the earliest days of the 1917 Revolution, the extreme leftist currents, the Bolsheviks, the Left Social-Revolutionaries, the Maximalists, the Syndicalists and Anarchists, all created active and well-organized centers in Kronstadt, and their activity soon exercised a considerable influence over the mass of the sailors.

For all these reasons, Kronstadt soon became the vanguard of the revolutionary people in 1917. Because of its energy, its developed consciousness, it was “the pride and glory of the Russian Revolution”, as Trotsky said when it was aiding him to take power. This did not prevent him from turning his cannons against this “glory”, whose members had now become “counter-revolutionary swine”, as soon as it took a stand against the deviations and impostures of the Bolshevik Party.

From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org

Chronology

November 30, 1920 :
Part 01, Chapter 02 -- Publication.

February 23, 2017 17:11:25 :
Part 01, Chapter 02 -- Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

May 28, 2017 15:36:14 :
Part 01, Chapter 02 -- Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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