Alexander Berkman : Globe-Trotting Anarchist, Journalist, and Exposer of Bolshevik Tyranny

Revolt Library >> People >> Berkman, Alexander

(1870 - 1936)

Description

He was a well-known anarchist leader in the United States and life-long friend of Emma Goldman, a young Russian immigrant whom he met on her first day in New York City. The two became lovers and moved in together, remaining close friends for the rest of Berkman's life.

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From : Anarchy Archives

Quotes

"The state has no soul, no principles. It has but one aim -- to secure power and hold it, at any cost."

From : "The Kronstadt Rebellion," by Alexander Berkman, 1922

"But the 'triumph' of the Bolsheviki over Kronstadt held within itself the defeat of Bolshevism. It exposes the true character of the Communist dictatorship. The Communists proved themselves willing to sacrifice Communism, to make almost any compromise with international capitalism, yet refused the just demands of their own people -- demands that voiced the October slogans of the Bolsheviki themselves: Soviets elected by direct and secret ballot, according to the Constitution of the R.S.F.S.R.; and freedom of speech and press for the revolutionary parties."

From : "The Kronstadt Rebellion," by Alexander Berkman, 1922

"...partizanship of whatever camp is not an objective judge."

From : "The Russian Tragedy," by Alexander Berkman, The Russian Revolution Series, No.1, section I

"It must always be remembered - and remembered well - that revolution does not mean destruction only. It means destruction plus construction, with the greatest emphasis on the plus."

From : "The Russian Tragedy," by Alexander Berkman, The Russian Revolution Series, No.1, section IV

"The present situation in Russia [in 1921] is most anomalous. Economically it is a combination of State and private capitalism. Politically it remains the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' or, more correctly, the dictatorship of the inner circle of the Communist Party."

From : "The Russian Tragedy," by Alexander Berkman, The Russian Revolution Series, No.1, section V

"But when the industries will again begin to function more or less systematically, [Soviet] Russia will face a very difficult and complex labor situation. Labor organizations, trade unions, do not exist in Russia, so far as the legitimate activities of such bodies are concerned. The Bolsheviki abolished them long ago. With developing production and capitalism, governmental as well as private, Russia will see the rise of a new proletariat whose interests must naturally come into conflict with those of the employing class. A bitter struggle is imminent. A struggle of a twofold nature: against the private capitalist, and against the State as an employer of labor."

From : "The Russian Tragedy," by Alexander Berkman, The Russian Revolution Series, No.1, section V

"Or will the workers at last learn the great lesson Of the Russian Revolution that every government, whatever its fine name and nice promises is by its inherent nature, as a government, destructive of the very purposes of the social revolution? It is the mission of government to govern, to subject, to strenghten and perpetuate itself. It is high time the workers learn that only their own organized, creative efforts, free from Political and State interference, can make their age-long struggle for emancipation a lasting success."

From : "The Russian Tragedy," by Alexander Berkman, The Russian Revolution Series, No.1, section V

Biography


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About Alexander Berkman

ALEXANDER BERKMAN was born in Russia in 1870. It was a time of revolutionary upheaval, and Berkman was influenced by his uncle Maxim, later exiled to Siberia for his revolutionary activity. Joining a group of students who read the literature of the Nihilists and other prohibited organizations, Berkman was eventually expelled from school. Finding most professions barred to him, he emigrated to America. On his arrival in 1888, he quickly became involved in the anarchist movement, but, although in some ways strong, it was a divided movement.

The United States at the time was opening its gates to many thousands of new arrivals, many of them from Europe. These people tended to live in the same communities as others from their country, and work in the same places. Shops, bars, and newspapers would cater for each community, usually in their native language. In Europe, the anarchist and revolutionary socialist movements were relatively strong. There was no parallel in North America, and the trade union movement was still finding its feet.

The revolutionary movement, then, tended to be split into many nationalities. These groups were often made up of activists, like Berkman, who had to leave their home countries because of their activities. There were also divisions between anarchists, Marxists, and so on. The relations between these groups were often quite good, and there were large campaigns that brought all groups together, but the language and cultural divisions remained an issue.

The crisis point in Berkman's life came in 1892, when he was only 22. At the time, the steelworkers of Pittsburgh were some of the most highly skilled and best-organized workers in the country. When their contracts came up for review, Henry Clay Frick, the chairman of the Carnegie Company, refused outright to deal with the union. He fired all of the workers, and said they would have to apply individually for their jobs, an open attack on the union. Support meetings for the workers were held all across America, but Frick brought in hundreds of strikebreakers - Pinkerton Detectives (1). Then, in July, two months after the strike started, eleven strikers were shot by the Pinkertons. The die was cast.

Berkman traveled to Pittsburgh to kill Frick, an assassination he hoped would strike against the capitalist class, as well as avenge the deaths of the steelworkers. But his attempt failed, despite his shooting Frick three times, and stabbing him with a poisoned blade. Nevertheless, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison (more than three times the then maximum for attempted murder). Clearly the same courts that had convicted the Haymarket Eight, had decided that an example was to be made of him. And this, at the age of only 22.

Berkman eventually spent 14 years in prison, many of them in solitary confinement, and was often denied visits for years at a time. His only communication with the outside world was through smuggled letters. When he got out he was almost broken by his experiences, and it took him years to come to himself again. Yet even those years of recovery were filled with activity, editing Mother Earth magazine, and helping found the Ferrer School in New York.

With the publication of 'Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist', he came to terms with his experiences and gained a new lease of life. He was at the heart of the unemployed movement in New York, and one of the driving figures of the anti-war movement in America. For this he was jailed, for another two years, and in 1919 deported, along with Emma Goldman and many other revolutionaries, to the Soviet Union.

He spent two years in Russia, before exile in Germany and France. His book, 'The Bolshevik Myth', shows how at first he had tried to convince himself that the spirit of revolution still lived in Russia, and his anger and horror when the Bolsheviks massacred the sailors of Kronstadt, and with them the last hopes of freedom and socialism.

Although he remained an important figure in Europe, and continued writing, The 'ABC of Anarchism' was published in 1929, his poverty, and continual harassment by the authorities had made him old before his time, and he had less strength now to carry on the struggle. In 1936, seriously ill, he committed suicide, just weeks before the outbreak of the Spanish Revolution.

From a young age, Alexander Berkman was an exile, and he spent almost twenty years in prison, yet when he was free, he was at the heart of every important struggle, and he was a prodigious writer. 'The ABC of Anarchism' is still an essential starting point for any anarchist, and, together with his Memoirs, displays his burning desire for freedom, as well as the wisdom he paid dearly for.

Ray Cunningham

1 The Pinkertons were not detectives as we would imagine them today, but were more like a small mercenary army. Quite often they were hired to infiltrate unions and pass on information, or simply served as hired muscle.

From : By Ray Cunningham, Published by Workers Solidarity No 56 in March 1999

Works

This person has authored 161 documents, with 416,007 words or 2,586,901 characters.

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1931 ~ (1,436 Words / 8,746 Characters)
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. AMERICA AND THE SOVIETS.       A great deal is being written now in the Soviet Press about the new American law against convict or forced labor. The United States has recently passed a statute according to which no goods can enter the country that are the product of unfree, forced or convict labor. The new law went into effect in January and there is much discussion in Russia, as well as in the United States, as to what effect the new legislation will [have] on Russian industrial conditions and on its foreign trade.      ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1934 ~ (2,706 Words / 18,527 Characters)
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. THE ANARCHIST MOVEMENT TODAY By Alexander Berkman       The history of human civilization is not a straight, continuously forward-moving line. Its diagram is a zigzag, now advancing, now retreating. Progress is measured by the distance separating man from his primitive conditions of ignorance and barbarism.       At the present time mankind seems to be on the retreat. A wave of reaction is sweeping the countries of Europe; its effects and influence are felt all over the world. There is fascism in Italy, Hitlerism in ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (1,644 Words / 10,099 Characters)
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. THE AVERAGE AMERICAN (By our Special correspondent ALEXANDER BERKMAN)       The general conception of the "type" American is in Europe picturesque and niave at the same time. In France as in Germany, in the Northern as in the Southern countries, in fact throughout the European Continent, with the exception of England perhaps, the opinion of the man in the street about America and Americans is primitive and inadequate. First of all, the name "an American" immediately suggests riches, wealth. It is almost as if American and rich man are synonyms, at ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (681 Words / 4,517 Characters)
The Awakening Starvelings by Alexander Berkman Ideas are true liberators. Ideas as distinguished from so-called reason. For in our work-a-day world there is much reason and too little thought. It is given only to the seer and poet to conceive liberating ideas - impractical, wild thoughts that ultimately light the way of practical, blind man to better and higher endeavor. To "practical" minds the regeneration of the world is an empty dream. To transform the cold winter of our age into the warmth of a beautiful summer day, to change our valley of tears and misery into a luxurious garden of joy is a vain fantasy lacking reason and sanity. But a William Morris sees in his mind's eye a world of comradeship and brotherhood re... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (3,218 Words / 20,334 Characters)
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. The Bolshevik Dictatorship At Work       It must be left to the future historian to determine whether the Bolshevik repression of the bourgeoisie, with which they started, their rule, was not merely a means towards the ulterior purpose of suppressing all the other non-Bolshevik elements. For the Russian bourgeoisie was not really dangerous to the Revolution. As is well known, it was an insignificant minority, unorganized, without definite solidaric interests and entirely powerless. The revolutionary elements, on the contrary, were a real obstacle to th... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1925 The text is from my copy of Alexander Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, New York: Boni and Liveright, 1925. Page numbers are in the source code. CHAPTER VIII IN THE MOSKKOMMUNE       The Commissar of our ossobniak, having to lay in provisions, invited me to accompany him to the Moskkommune. It is the great food supply center, a tremendous organization that feeds Moscow and its environs. Its trains have the right of way on all lines and carry food from parts as distant as Siberia and Turkestan. Not a pound of flour can be issued by any of the "stores" --- the distributing points scattered throughout the city --- without a written order signed and counter-signed by the various bureaus of the Commune. From this center each "distributor" receives the amount necessary to supply the demands of the given district, according to the norm allowed on the bread and other cards. &n...

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1913 ~ (2,027 Words / 12,030 Characters)
THE CONFESSION OF A CONVICT By Alexander Berkman (The 19th of December, 1913, was "confession evening" at the "Twilight Club", New York, among whose members are the "best" people, supreme court judges, and other pillars of society. "Confessions" were made by a drunkard, a dope fiend, an actress, a labor agitator, a convict, etc., some of whom spoke in complete darkness, to hide their identity.) This is an evening of confession, and I therefore at once confess myself a lawbreaker, a criminal -- if you will -- and a convict. Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentleman, I beg your kind indulgence, for the convict's manner is uncouth, his speech ragged, his thoughts indecently naked. For only the convict, the outcast from the fold of ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (606 Words / 3,894 Characters)
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. TO OUR COMRADES EVERYWHERE       The anarchist movement is passing through a very difficult time. The World War, the Russian Revolution, and the present international reaction have resulted in the disorganization of our movement in the disheartening and disillusionment of many comrades. We are facing a serious task of reorganization; many vital problems are pressing for solution -- problem so grave that they can be solved only by the closest cooperation of the comrades in a spirit of mutual understanding earnestness and responsibility.   &... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1919 ~ (13,068 Words / 81,606 Characters)
This pamphlet appears in Anarchy Archives courtesy of International Institute for Social History. Deportation Its Meaning and Menace: Last Message to the People of America. by Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman. Ellis Island, New York, U.S.A., December, 1919. INTRODUCTION.       WITH pencil and scraps of paper concealed behind the persons of friends who had come to say good-bye at the Ellis Island Deportation Station, Alexander Berkman hastily scribbled the last lines of this pamphlet.       I THINK it is the best introduction to this pamphlet to say that before its writing was finished the rulers of America began deporting men directly and... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (1,684 Words / 12,863 Characters)
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. EARLY DAYS: Life at home and school in St. Petersburg. My bourgeois father and aristocratic mother. Jews and gentiles. I question my father about the Turkish prisoners of war begging alms in the streets. OUR FAMILY SKELETON: Strange rumors about my mother and her brother Maxim. Echoes of the Polish rebellion of 1863. I hear of the dreaded Nihilists and revolution. A TERRIFIED HOUSEHOLD: A bomb explodes as I recite my lesson in school. The assassination of Czar Alexander II. Secret groups in our class. Police search our house. Uncle Maxim is arrested for conspiring aga... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (2,445 Words / 15,489 Characters)
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. THE IDEA IS THE THING       Did you ever ask yourself how it happens that government and capitalism continue to exist in spite of all the evil and trouble they are causing in the world?       If you did, then your answer must have been that it is because the people support those institutions, and that they support them because they believe in them.       That is the crux of the whole matter: present-day society rests on the belief of the people that it is good and useful. It is founded on the ide... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (674 Words / 4,494 Characters)
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. THE JOBLESS By Alexander Berkman Generally speaking, there is neither any sincere and intelligent plan among the reformers, of whatever hue, to solve this great problem, nor any possibility of a thorough and final solution of unemployment within the legal and industrial boundaries of present-day capitalist society. Unemployment is no sporadic phenomenon of modern life. It is inherent in the character and mode of functioning of our industrial system. The jobless man is always with us, and industrial crises or stagnation, eliminating hundreds of thousands of workers, for a... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1922 ~ (12,099 Words / 81,555 Characters)
From my copy of Alexander Berkman's The Kronstadt Rebellion, Berlin: Der Sindikalist, 1922. Russian Revolution Series The Kronstadt Rebellion By Alexander Berkman Fifteen Cents 1922 I. LABOR DISTURBANCES IN PETROGRAD It was early in 1921. Long years of war, revolution, and civil struggle had bled Russia to exhaustion and brought her people to the brink of despair. But at last civil war was at an end: the numerous fronts were liquidated, and Wrangel -- the last hope of Entente intervention and Russian counter-revolution -- was defeated and his military activities within Russia terminated. The people now confidently looked forward to the mitigation of the severe Bolshevik régime. It was expected that wit... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (543 Words / 3,559 Characters)
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. The Lesson of the 11th Nov. 1887. We have assembled here today to honor the memory ___________ But not merely to honor their memory. They are dead and the loving one cannot be recalled to life; but the living may profit by the experience of the past. And this is the great curse of humanity that we seldom, very seldom profit by the experience of the years behind. And yet, the lesson of the past is very simple; if it teaches us anything it is the persistence of the idea. Persecution -- the prison and scaffold, and tortures and fire and the cross were used t... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1920 ~ (571 Words / 3,084 Characters)
---------3--------- life be good to you. Whether we shall ever meet again, who know? I am losing hope, together with many other things I have been losing since December. But still I cling to the straws of possibilities. If I could at least hear from yourself as to how things stand, and whether he near or even the distant future may be looked forward to with any expectation. But in any event, and whatever may be hidden in the lap of the Gods for me, should even no line ever reach you from me again, you need but re-read my notes from Ellis Island, or to recollect their contents in case the notes do not exist any more, and to feel that they express my feelings now just as they did then. That is sufficient to say, and I know you will ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1910 ~ (1,783 Words / 11,202 Characters)
The Need Of Translating Ideals Into Life One year has passed since the death of Francisco Ferrer. His martyrdom has called forth almost universal indignation against the cabal of priest and ruler that doomed a noble man to death. The thinking, progressive elements throughout the world have voiced their protest in no ambiguous manner. Everywhere sympathy has been manifested for Ferrer, the modern victim of the Spanish Inquisition, and deep appreciation expressed for his work and aims. In short, the death of Ferrer has succeeded - as probably no other martyrdom of recent history - in rousing the social conscience of man. It has clarified the eternally unchanging attitude of the church as the enemy of progress; it has convincingly exposed ... (From : Kate Sharpley Library, http://www.katesharpleylibr....)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (478 Words / 3,322 Characters)
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. [are] very far from the truth... [kee]pers and jailers are but human, and may occasionally be guilty of abuse of power. It is only an awakened public consciousness that can progressively and successfully cope with such abuses, whether they be perpetrated in congress, in our courts of justice, or in the penitentiaries. Second bourgeois paper:     A book by a degenerate who did not find prison to his taste. An indecent book, that is both a glorification of assassination and an apology, even justification, of unmentionable crimes. Mr. Comstock ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1929 From: Alexander Berkman, Now and After: The ABC of Communist Anarchism, New York: Vanguard Press, 1929. What Is Communist Anarchism? Forward      I consider anarchism the most rational and practical conception of a social life m freedom and harmony. I am convinced that its realization is a certainty in the course of human development.      The time of that realization will depend on two factors: first, on how soon existing conditions will grow spiritually and physically unbearable to considerable portions of mankind, particularly to the laboring classes; and, secondly, on the degree in which Anarchist views will become understood and accepted.      Our social institutions are founded on certain ideas; as long as the latter are generally believed, the institutions built on them are safe. Government remains strong because people think political authority and legal compulsion necessary. Capitalism will con...

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1916 ~ (1,263 Words / 7,812 Characters)
The Only Hope of Ireland by Alexander Berkman [Originally published in The Blast! vol.1, no.13, page 2; May 15, 1916] Most Irishmen, in and out of Ireland, seem unanimous in condemning the brutality of the British government toward the leaders of the unsuccessful revolt. There is no need to recite here the atrocious measures of repression practiced by England toward her subject races. The arrogant and irresponsible tyranny of the British government in this relation is a matter of history. The point of interest just now is, what did the Irish people, or at least the Sinn Feiners, expect England to do in the given circumstances? I am not interested in the weak-kneed editors of Irish-American papers who bemoan, with all due decoru... (From : Spunk.org.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (362 Words / 2,659 Characters)
From Prison Notebooks            Les Miserable ". By Victor Hugo. 2 Vol      "The Man Who Laughs."    ",      "The Rag Picker".   "      The Scarlett Letter". By Hawthorne.      "Sunrise". By Wm Black.      "Oliver Twist". By Charles Dickens.      "Underground Russia". Stepmiak.      "Under Sealed Orders" 2 Vol By ?      "Popes of Rome". By ?      "Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt". By Jacob Abbot    &n... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (2,501 Words / 16,349 Characters)
The Paris Commune and Kronstadt By Alexander Berkman March is a historic month: in the struggle of mankind against the power of darkness and oppression it has frequently played a very significant role. But the most important March event of modern times is of comparatively recent date. It took place in Russia just ten years ago in 1921, and is known as the Kronstadt Rebellion. In many of its characteristics the Kronstadt Rebellion had great similarity with another great historic uprising, namely that of the proletariat of Paris in 1870, which is known as the Paris Commune. The month of March is the anniversary of the Paris Commune, as well the as the Kronstadt Rebellion, and it is fitting that the two great events be celebrat... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1912 4 THE ATTENTAT THE DOORS OF Frick's private office, to the left of the reception-room, swings open as the colored attendant emerges, and I catch a flitting glimpse of a black-bearded, well-knit figure at a table in the back of the room.       "Mistah Frick is engaged. He can't see you now, sah," the negro says, handing back my card.       I take the pasteboard, return it to my case, and walk slowly out of the reception-room. But quickly retracing my steps, I pass through the gate separating the clerks from the visitors, and brushing the astounded attendant aside, I step into the office on the left, and find myself facing Frick.       For an instant the sunlight, streaming through the windows, dazzles me. I discern two men at the further end of the long table.       "Fr-," I begin. The look of terror on his face strikes me speechless. It is the dread of the conscious presence of death. "He understands," ...

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (855 Words / 5,272 Characters)
This manuscript is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission. Prisons and Crime. Three Essays by A.B. III. Crime.       Society makes not the least effort to prevent crime, as it could and should by pursuing such methods which would tend to remove the conditions breeding criminals. It deals with criminals, not with crime. It concerns itself only with the classes or individuals already criminal --- generally after the commitment of a crime and occasionally while in the act of commitment --- completely disregarding those standing on the precipice. of criminality; ready to take their fatal leap. Along t... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1917 ~ (254 Words / 1,818 Characters)
Text from The Blast, Vol. 2, #5, 6/1/1917 REGISTRATION By Alexander Berkman Registration is the first step of conscription. The war shouters and their prostitute press, bet on snaring you into the army, tell you that registration has nothing to do with conscription. They lie. Without registration, conscription is impossible. Conscription is the abdication of your rights as a citizen. Conscription is the cemetery where every vestige of your liberty is to be buried. Registration is its undertaker. No man with red blood in his veins can be forced to fight against his will. But you cannot successfully oppose conscription if you approve of, or submit to, registration. Every beginning is hard. But if the ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1922 ~ (11,436 Words / 76,461 Characters)
This pamphlet appears in Anarchy Archives courtesy of International Institute for Social History. Russian Revolution Series, No. 2, 1922. The Russian Revolution and the Communist Party Berkman, Alexander PREFACE       Clarity of ideas is not characteristic of the average mind. Many people still continue to think and to talk of the Russian Revolution and of the Bolsheviki as if the two were identical. In other words, as if nothing had happened in Russia during the last three years.       The great need of the present is to make clear the difference between that grand social event and the ruling, political party --- a difference ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1922 ~ (9,088 Words / 58,455 Characters)
The Russian Revolution Series No.1 The RUSSIAN TRAGEDY (A Review and An Outlook) by Alexander Berkman FOREWORD We live at a time when two civilizations are struggling for their existence. Present society is at death grips with the New Ideal. The Russian Revolution was but the first serious combat of the two forces, whose struggle must continue till the final triumph of the one or of the other. The Russian Revolution has failed - failed of its ultimate purpose. But that failure is a temporary one. In the point of revolutionizing the thought and feeling of the masses of Russia and of the world, in undermining the fundamental concepts of existing society, and lighting the torch of faith ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (1,995 Words / 12,511 Characters)
This manuscript is part of the International Institute of Social History's Alexander Berkman Archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with IISH's permission. Some Reminiscences of Kropotkin By Alexander Berkman       It was about 1890, when the anarchist movement was still in its infancy in America. We were just a handful then, young men and women fired by the enthusiasm of a sublime ideal, and passionately spreading the new faith among the population of the New York Ghetto. We held our gatherings in an obscure hall in Orchard Street, but we regarded our efforts as highly successful. Every week greater numbers attended our meetings, much interest was manifested in the revolutionary teachings, and vi... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (1,610 Words / 10,260 Characters)
THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION      It is only a few months now to the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. Great preparations are being made by the Communist Party and Government of Russia for the celebration of the important event. Numerous committees are at work to make the day the most memorable in the annals of Soviet Russia, and to demonstrate to the country and to the world at large the achievements of the first decade of Bolshevik rule.      There is no doubt that the October Revolution was the most significant social upheaval known in human history. It broke all the molds of established society - not merely political forms, as was the case in previo... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1917 ~ (327 Words / 2,030 Characters)
Text from The Blast, Vol. 2, #5, 6/1/1917 TO THE YOUTH OF AMERICA By Alexander BerkmanTyranny must be opposed at the start. Autocracy, once secured in the saddle, is difficult to dislodge. If you believe that America is entering the war "to make democracy safe," then be a man and volunteer. But if you know anything at all, then you should know that the cry of democracy is a lie and a snare for the unthinking. You should know that a republic is not synonymous with democracy, and that America has never been a real democracy, but that it is the vilest plutocracy on the face of the globe. If you can see, hear, feel, and think, you should know that King Dollar rules the United States, and that the workers are robbed an... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1917 ~ (227 Words / 1,764 Characters)
Text from The Blast, Vol. 2, #5, 6/1/1917 WAR DICTIONARY By Alexander Berkman ALLIES- The fairies of Democracy. BARBARIANS- The other fellows. CONGRESS- The valet of Woodrow the First. CENSORSHIP- The rape of Free Speech. CONSCRIPTION- Free men fighting against their will. CIVILIZATION- In God We Trust. DEMOCRACY- The voice of the Gallery Gods. FREE SPEECH- Say what you please, but keep your mouth shut. HUNS- Loyal patriots from Central Europe. HUMANITY- Treason to government. JUSTICE- Successful target shooting. KAISER- A President's ambition. LIBERTY BOND- A bone from a bonehead. LIBERTY LOAN- The bread line of the Unborn. LOYAL CITIZEN- Deaf, dumb, and blind. MILITARISM- Christianity in action. PATRIOTISM- Hatin... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1916 ~ (8,033 Words / 51,091 Characters)
Alexander Berkman died 61 years ago on June 28th, 1936. We enclose here his editorial for the first issue of The Blast published in San Francisco on 15th January 1916. Why The Blast? Do you mean to destroy? Do you mean to build? These are questions we have been asked from any quarters, by inquirers sympathetic and otherwise. Our reply is frank and bold: We mean both: to destroy and to build. For, socially speaking, Destruction is the beginning of Construction. Superficial minds speak sneeringly of destruction. O, it is easy to destroy -they say- but to build, to build, that’s the important work. Its nonsense. No structure, social or otherwise, can endure if bui... (From : Kate Sharpley Library.)

Chronology

November 21, 1870 :
Birth Day.

June 28, 1936 :
Death Day.

November 15, 2016 ; 4:58:00 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

March 12, 2018 ; 6:36:02 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
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Alexander Berkman
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