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. PREFACE Revolution breaks the social forms grown too narrow for man. It bursts the molds which constrict him the more solidified they become, and the more Life ever striving forward leaves them. In this dynamic process the Russian Revolution has gone further than any previous revolution. The abolition of the established --- politically and economically, socially and ethically --- the attempt to replace it with something different, is the reflex of man's changed needs, of the awakened consciousness of the people. Back of revolution are the millions of living humans who embody its inner spirit, who feel, think, and have their being in it. To them revolution is not a mere change of externals: it implies the complete dislocation of life, t...
The month of October 1917 is a great historical watershed in the Russian revolution. That watershed consists of the awakening of the toilers of town and country to their right to seize control of their own lives and their social and economic inheritance; the cultivation of the soil, the housing, the factories, the mines, transportation, and lastly the education which had hitherto been used to strip our ancestors of all these assets. However, as we see it, it would be wide of the mark if we were to see all of the content of the Russian revolution encapsulated in October: in fact, the Russian revolution was hatched over the preceding months, a period during which the peasants in the countryside and the workers in the towns grasped the essenti... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)
(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....)
• "Long live the fratenal and shared hopes of all Anarchist militants that they may see the realization of that grand undertaking -- the endeavor of our movement and of the social revolution for which we struggle!" (From : "On the History of the Spanish Revolution of 1931,....)
• "...any State, whether bourgeois or proletarian, tends, by its very nature, simply to exploit and oppress man, to destroy in each and every one of us all the natural qualities of the human spirit that strive for equality and for the solidarity that underpins it." (From : "Paths of 'Proletarian' Power," Probuzdeniye, No. ....)
CHAPTER VIII THE FIRST OF MAY IN PETROGRAD In 1890 the First of May was for the first time celebrated in America as Labor's international holiday. May Day became to me a great, Inspiring event. To witness the celebration of the First of May in a free country-it was something to dream of, to long for, but perhaps never to be realized. And now, in 1920, the dream of many years was about to become real in revolutionary Russia. I could hardly await the morning of May First. It was a glorious day, with the warm sun melting away the last crust of the hard winter. Early in the morning strains of music greeted me: groups of workers and soldiers were marching through the streets, singing revolutionary songs. The city was gaily decorated: the Uritski Square, facing the Winter Palace, was a mass of red, the streets near by a veritable riot of color. Great crowds were about, all wending their way to the Field of Mars where the heroes of the Revolution were buri...
Translators Introduction The Ukrainian peasant anarchist Nestor Makhno visited Moscow in June 1918 and was granted extensive interviews with the Bolshevik leaders Sverdlov and Lenin. Many years later Makhno, an exile in France, wrote his memoirs of the tumultuous years 1917-18. "My Visit to the Kremlin" is a translation of the two chapters which deal with his encounters with the Bolshevik titans. Excerpts from these interviews have been quoted in various works in English but the full account was presented here for the first time . (i) (This pamphlet was sent by us to a Moscow publisher in 1992 and will appear in a re-translated edition in Russia for the first time simultaneously with this new edition - 1993 note). Moscow in June 1918 In Jun... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)
(1896 - 1965) ~ Anarchist, Feminist Organizer and ILGWU Leader : ...an anarchist, feminist labor organizer and vise president within the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. Born Rakhel Peisoty in Derazhnia, Ukraine in 1896 to a family of grain merchants, Pesotta was well educated during her childhood and, influenced by People's Will, would eventually adopt anarchist views. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "Soon after the 1929 stock market crash 30,000 persons in that city were jobless. Some organized the Unemployed Citizens' League, which set the pace for similar self-help groups all over the United States. Harvesting fruit and vegetable crops on a sharing basis, it set up various co-operative enterprises, which, however, were opposed by business men, who feared these would cut into their profits." (From : "Bread Upon the Waters," by Rose Pesotta.)
• "In the brief span of its life, the IWW produced men who became internationally known and whose names were torches of inspiration in many lands. Most of them paid a high price for their fame, some with their lives." (From : "Bread Upon the Waters," by Rose Pesotta.)
• "I had no ambition to hold executive authority. Valuing my own freedom, I wanted to avoid getting into harness, and to keep from becoming enmeshed in inner-circle politics. Too, I felt that I could serve the cause of my fellow-unionists just as effectively as a rank-and-file member. And it was my contention that the voice of a solitary woman on the General Executive Board would be a voice lost in the wilderness." (From : "Bread Upon the Waters," by Rose Pesotta.)
9. THE PATHS OF "PROLETARIAN" POWER It is a long time now since the avant-garde socialist intelligentsia framed, in more or less rounded form, the aims of the historical struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie and since proletarians, swallowing that formulation by the intelligentsia whole, entered the lists of that struggle under the intelligentsia's leadership. There is no denying that this was a triumph for the intelligentsia which has thus set itself the target of leading the proletariat on to complete emancipation, by means of the destruction of bourgeois power and the bourgeois State, which are to be supplanted by a "proletarian" State and power. Very naturally, neither the intelligentsia nor the proletariat itself has been stinting in its efforts and investigations designed to expose to the widest possible audience all the harm done by the bourgeois State. Thanks to which, they have been able to nurse and develop among the toiling masses the...
Jewish citizens! In my first "Appeal to Jews", published in the French libertarian newspaper, Le Libertaire, I asked Jews in general, which is to say the bourgeois and the socialist ones as well as the 'anarchist' ones like Yanovsky, who have all spoken of me as a pogromist against Jews and labeled as anti-Semitic the liberation movement of the Ukrainian peasants and workers of which I was the leader, to detail to me the specific facts instead of blathering vacuously away: just where and just when did I or the aforementioned movement perpetrate such acts? I had expected that Jews in general would answer my "Appeal" after the manner of people eager to disclose to the civilized world the truth about these blackguards responsible for the massa... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)
Foreword Independently of the reactions towards the right [which took place in Russia after the October Revolution of 1917] there also occurred, during and after the same period, a series of movements in the opposite direction. These were revolutionary movements, which fought the Bolshevik power in the name of true liberty and of the principles of the Social Revolution which that power had scoffed at and trampled underfoot. Indeed, even within the ranks of the government and of the Communist Party itself, movements of opposition and revolt were provoked by the stifling statism and centralism, the terrifying tendency towards bureaucracy, the flagrant social impotence and the shameless violence of the Bolsheviks. It was thus that, in the summer of 1918, the Left Social-Revolutionaries, who until then had participated in the government, left it, broke with the Bolsheviks, and declared against them. They soon succumb...