The Unknown Revolution, Book Two : Part 04, Chapter 09
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(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.)
• "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.)
• "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.)
• "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.)
Part 04, Chapter 09
Here we must devote some paragraphs to a special procedure of “skull-stuffing” utilized by the “Soviets” on a vast scale — the systematic deception of foreign workers’ delegations.
The facts are clearly known. One of the “clinching arguments” of the Bolsheviks to disprove unfavorable revelations about their administration of the affairs of Russia and its satellites, consists in calling upon the testimony of delegations sent to the U.S.S.R. by organizations, factories, or institutions of various other countries. After a stay of a few weeks in “the land of Socialism” such delegates, almost without exception, have called everything that was said abroad to the discredit of the “Soviet” regime “lies and slanders”.
In the beginning the “trick of the delegations” was infallible. Later it lost its efficacy. For some time now it has been almost abandoned. On the one hand, events rushed on and this little game was by-passed. On the other hand, it was finally widely realized in the outside world that under the conditions surrounding their visits, the delegations visiting the “Soviet” Union could not discover the truth at all [about what was happening in that domain], even if they were sincere and impartial.
A strict and fast-moving program, formulated in advance and well regulated, was imposed on them from the moment of their arrival. Knowing neither the language, nor the customs, nor the real life of the population, they were “assisted”, which actually meant manipulated, by the governmental guides and interpreters. They were shown what the “Communist” government wanted them to see, and were told what it wanted them to believe. And the visitors had no means of approaching the population to study its way of living objectively and exhaustively.
All that is now more or less accepted [by workers’ organizations and interested individuals in the democratic countries].
But it is pertinent to record here another fact apropos of that situation which still remains unknown to the public and which says a great deal about the state of things in the U.S.S.R.
The Committee to Aid Imprisoned and Exiled Anarchists in Russia, some Syndicalist organizations, and some well-known militant individuals, among them the late lamented Erich Muhsarn of Germany and Sebastien Faure of France, repeatedly proposed to the Bolshevik government that it allow a real delegation to enter Russia — a delegation constituted in complete independence and composed of militants of differing tendencies, including “Communists”.
With that proposal its sponsors submitted the following conditions to the “Soviet” government: 1. Free and unlimited stay, until the delegation itself considers its mission completed; 2. Freedom [and facilities], to go anywhere that the delegation may deem indispensable to the interests of its mission, including prisons, places of exile, et cetera; 3. The right to publish the facts, impressions, and conclusions of the delegation in the advance-guard press abroad; 4. An interpreter chosen by the delegation itself.
Obviously it would have been entirely to the interest of the Bolshevik regime to accept such a proposal — if it was sincere, if it had nothing to hide, if it was not concealing unadmissible truths. A favorable report on the “Soviet” Russian scene by such a delegation would have put an end to all equivocation. Any [real] Socialist government, any “Workers’ and Peasants’ government” (supposing for the moment that such could exist) would have received that kind of delegation with open arms. It even would have wished for it, suggested, requested it. The testimony and approval of a delegation making its observations under the indicated circumstances would have been decisive, irresistible, irrefutable.
But that offer was never accepted. The “Soviet” government turned a deaf ear to it every time.
The reader should reflect well upon this fact. For the disapproval of such a delegation also would have been irresistible and definitive. The results of the proposed inquiry would have been catastrophic for the good name of the “Soviet” regime, for its whole system, for its whole cause.
But no one abroad budged. The grave-diggers of the Revolution could sleep quite soundly and ignore the attempts to make them admit the terrible truth: the failure of the Revolution as an outcome of their methods. The blind and the bought of all countries marched with them.
Revealing the truth [about these things] — unknown, we are sure, to almost all of our non-Anarchist readers — we are fulfilling an imperative duty. Not only because the truth must some day appeapjn all its effulgence, but also — and especially — because this truth will render an inestimable service to everyone who wants to be informed, who is sick of being eternally the dupe of criminal impostors, and who, finally, strengthened by the truth, can act in the future with full knowledge of the situation.
The story of the repression in the U.S.S.R. is not only suggestive and revealing in itself; it is still an excellent means of making known the fundamentals, the concealed “underside”, the true nature of authoritarian Communism.
In this respect, we have only one regret — that of being able to tell this story only in an incomplete way.
Let us cite one more recent example, which illustrates effectively the manner in which the Bolshcviki and their servitors deceive everyone.
This pertains to a work by a certain Emilian Yaroslavsky, a notorious Bolshevik: a book entitled History of Anarchism in Russia, which appeared in 1937, in Spanish and in French, for the purpose of counteracting the eventual success of the libertarian idea in Spain and elsewhere
We brush aside the fantastic “information” on the origins of Anarchism, on Bakunin, on Anarchism in Russia before 1917, and on the attitude of the Anarchists toward the war that began in Europe in 1914. A reply to these myths perhaps will appear one day in the specifically Anarchist press. What interests us particularly here are the descriptions, in that volume, of the libertarian movement in the course of the Revolution of 1917.
Yaroslavsky takes care not to speak of the real Anarchist movement. He tarries long over fringe movements which had nothing to do with Anarchism. He is much concerned with Anarchist groups, publications, and activities of secondary importance. Carefully he notes the weak points and malignantly shows the deficiencies in order to feed his bad faith. And he lingers especially with the “remnants” of the movement: with those unfortunate “remains” which, after the liquidation of the bona fide libertarian organizations, desperately and vainly knocked themselves out in their efforts to maintain some appearance of action.
Those remnants were the lamentable and impotent waste of the former Anarchist movement that had been extinguished. Henceforth they could not do anything serious or positive. Their semi-clandestine “activity”, supervised and impeded, was not at all characteristic of the libertarian movement in Russia. And in all countries, and in all periods, these left-over pieces of organizations which had been destroyed by the force of the State, subsequently dragged out a sterile and pointless existence until they were completely exhausted. Deviations, inconsequentialities, splits, inevitably occupied their whole semblances of life, for which of course they can hardly be reproached, since all possibility of healthy activity had been taken away from them.
It is about this debris that Yaroslavsky tells us, while pretending to speak of the real Anarchist movement. He mentions the Anarcho-Syndicalist Union of Petrograd and its journal, Golos Truda, only once, in passing, and then only because he finds something about it to falsify. He speaks neither of the Moscow Federation nor of the periodical Anarchy. And when he devotes a few lines to the Ukrainian Nabat, it is also to distort the facts.
If this author had been honest, he would have dwelt primarily on those three organizations and quoted their press. But he knows very well that such impartiality would ruin his assertions, and thus be contrary to the whole purpose of this work. And he omits everything which incontestably would prove the serious basis, positive meaning, and influence of the Anarchist and Anarcho-Syndicalist movement in Russia during the 1917 Revolution.
Yaroslavsky does not breathe a word about the persecutions, the repression, the violent suppression of that movement. For if he told the truth about those onslaughts it would wreck his lying thesis. According to him, the Anarchists, in 1917, were “against the Socialist and proletarian Revolution”. His contention is that the libertarian movement extinguished itself, by reason of its unpopularity and its impotence.
The reader knows that this version is exactly the opposite of the truth. It was precisely because that movement evolved and grew quickly in Russia, winning support and widening its influence, that the Bolsheviks hastened to stamp it out in the seed, by means of the most commonplace violence, by the brutal intervention of their soldiers and police.
But if Yaroslavsky admitted the truth, he would upset the whole structure of his book. So he lies, confident of the ignorance of his readers, and of the absence of any contradiction.
If I have permitted myself to linger over this example, it is because that manner of presenting things is typical of “Soviet” propaganda. All the Bolsheviks’ workers on Anarchism in Russia proceed exactly in the same way and are as alike as drops of water. The order comes from above. The Bolshevik “historians” and “writers” have only to follow it. It is necessary to destroy the libertarian idea at all costs. It is a work done to order and well paid. It has nothing to do with the historical truth which we are now in the process of revealing.
From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org
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