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

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(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 1

Alexander Berkman 1

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 167 documents, with 440,282 words or 2,725,919 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.)
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 G... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
A Note The manifesto below was issued on February 15, 1915. It was signed by thirty-five well-known libertarians of various nationalities—among them Errico Malatesta, Alexander Schapiro, Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman, Domela Nieuwenhuis, etc. Malatesta and Schapiro were two of the five secretaries of the International Bureau, elected at the international anarchist congress in 1907. Another of the secretaries, Rudolf Rocker,[1] had not been able to append his signature, in that he was an internee at the time—but he too was against the war. The Manifesto Europe in flames, tens of millions of men at loggerheads in the most frightful butchery in recorded history, hundreds of millions of women and childr... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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 l... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 rejoicing in the plenitude of earth's bounty, and he chall... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 the... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
We have just received the following letter from our comrades Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, who are now stranded in Stockholm. This letter gives us the truth about the terrible persecution of Anarchists in Russia. We ask all Anarchist and Syndicalist papers to republish this letter, and we hope comrades in this country will help us in pushing the sale of this issue, of which we have printed a much larger number than usual. Dear Comrades, — The persecution of the revolutionary elements in Russia has not abated with the changed political and economic policies of the Bolsheviki. On the contrary, it has become more intense, more determined. The prisons of Russia, of Ukraina, of Siberia, are filled with men and women — ay... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
(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 commonplace respectability and dull conformity, can afford... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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.   &n... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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.)
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 agai... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 idea... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
We could not of course credit the report that Peter Kropotkin, Our old comrade and teacher, took sides in the war. It was tragic enough to witness the Socialists and other radicals of Europe swept off their feet by the murderous blast that is turning Europe into a human slaughterhouse. But the attitude of the Social Democrats could at least be explained to some extent: they have remained good patriots and believers in the State and authority, with all the prejudices and narrow attitude of bourgeois morality and nationalism. But Kropotkin—the clear Anarchist thinker, the uncompromising revolutionist and antigovernmentalist—he take sides in the European slaughter and give aid and encouragement to this or that government? Im... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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.)
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 with... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 to ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 understand, even if you ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 the State as the crafty foe of popular advanc... (From : Kate Sharpley Library, http://www.katesharpleylibr....)
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 ha... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
[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 decorum, Great Britain's "lack of generosity" in dealing... (From : Spunk.org.)
     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      "Hero". By Jacob Abbot      "Genghis K... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 celebrated at the same time. I say " celebrated" advisedly. For ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 th... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Modern philanthropy has added a new role to the repertoire of penal institutions. While, formerly, the alleged necessity of prisons rested, solely, upon their penal and protective character, to-day a new function, claiming primary importance, has become embodied in these institutions — that of reformation. Hence, three objects — reformative, penal, and protective — are now sought to be accomplished by means of enforced physical restraint, by incarceration of a more or less solitary character, for a specific, or more or less indefinite period. Seeking to promote its own safety, society debars certain elements, called criminals, from participation in social life, by means of imprisonment. This temporary isolati... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
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.)
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 a... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 an... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
Published Essays and Pamphlets Sacco and Vanzettiby Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman[Published in The Road to Freedom (New York), Vol. 5, Aug. 1929.] THE names of the "good shoe-maker and poor fish-peddler" have ceased to represent merely two Italian workingmen. Throughout the civilized world Sacco and Vanzetti have become a symbol, the shibboleth of Justice crushed by Might. That is the great historic significance of this twentieth century crucifixion, and truly prophetic, were the words of Vanzetti when he declared, "The last moment belongs to us--that agony is our triumph." We hear a great deal of progress and by that people usually mean improvements of various kinds, mostly life-saving discoveries and labor-saving ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 vit... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
SUGGESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION It seems to me that our old pro-revolutionary Anarchist literature has ceased to answer the demands of the modern day. Without going now into any discussion as to whether Anarchist literature has ever adequately dealt with the practical application of our ideas, the question at issue now is whether the time has not come for a new and more popular interpretation of our ideas, particularly in light of the World War, the Russian Revolution and the subsequent vital social developments. I feel that with the almost generally admitted fact of the bankruptcy of Socialism and the growing conviction of the failure of Bolshevism and of revolutionary party dictatorship, the opportunities for Anarchist propaganda... (From : TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
     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 previous revolutions, but the very economic foundations th... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 and ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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- Hating y... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
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 buil... (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.

April 21, 2019 ; 4:57:02 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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