Browsing Revolt Library By Tag : workers and peasants

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Life imposes strange situations on all of us. For forty-eight years I was considered an extremist in our ranks. One who refused to compromise our ideas or tactics for any purpose whatsoever--one who always insisted that the Anarchist aim and methods must harmonize, or the aim would never be achieved. Yet here I am trying to explain the action of our Spanish comrades to the European opponents, and the criticism of the latter to the comrades of the CNT-FAI. In other words, after a lifetime of an extreme left position I find myself in the center, as it were. I have seen from the moment of my first arrival in Spain in September 1936 that our comrades in Spain are plunging head foremost into the abyss of compromise that will lead them far away f... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

A MATTER OF WORDS The word anarchy is as old as the world. It is derived from two ancient Greek words, av (an), apxn (arkhe), and means something like the absence of authority or government. However, for millennia the presumption has been accepted that man cannot dispense with one or the other, and anarchy has been understood in a pejorative sense, as a synonym for disorder, chaos, and disorganization. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was famous for his quips (such as "property is theft") and took to himself the word anarchy. As if his purpose were to shock as much as possible, in 1840 he engaged in the following dialogue with the "Philistine." "You are a republican." "Republican, yes; but that means nothing. Res publica is 'the State.' Kings, too, are republicans." "Ah well! You are a democrat?" "No." "What! Perhaps you are a monarchist?" "No." "Constitutionalist then?" "God forbid." "Then you are an aristocrat?" "Not at...

Theory and Practice[Originally published in 1938 by Martin Secker and Warburg Ltd] Anarchism: Its Aims and Purposes; The Proletariat and the Beginning of the Modern Labor Movement; The Forerunners of Syndicalism; The Objectives of Anarcho-Syndicalism; The Methods of Anarcho-Syndicalism; The Evolution of Anarcho-Syndicalism. 1. Anarchism: Its Aims and Purposes Anarchism versus economic monopoly and state power; Forerunners of modern Anarchism; William Godwin and his work on Political Justice; P.J. Proudhon and his ideas of political and economic decentralization; Max Stirner's work, The Ego and Its Own; M. Bakunin the Collectivist and founder of the Anarchist movement; P. Kropotkin the exponent of Anarchist Communism and the philosophy of Mutual Aid; Anarchism and revolution; Anarchism a synthesis of Socialism and Liberalism; Anarchism versus economic materialism and Dictatorship; Anarchism and the state; Anarchism a tendency of h...

In the "Universalist" Club on Tverskaya Street I was surprised to meet a number of the Buford deportees. They had grown tired waiting to be assigned to work in Petrograd, they said, and had decided to come to Moscow. They are quartered in the Third Soviet House, where they receive less than a pound of bread and a plate of soup as their daily ration. Their American money is spent: the Petrograd authorities had paid them 18 rubles for the dollar, but in Moscow they learned that the rate is 500. "Robbed by the great revolutionary Government," Alyosha, the ship zapevalo, commented bitterly. "We are selling our last American things," Vladimir remarked. "It's lucky some markets are open yet." "Trading is forbidden," I warned him. "Forbidden!" he laughed scornfully. "Only to the peasant women and the kids peddling cigarettes. But look at the stores --- if they pay enough graft they can keep open all they want. You've never seen such corruption; Ameri...

This manuscript was provided to Anarchy Archives by the author. The Ghost of Anarcho-Syndicalism by Murray Bookchin One of the most persistent of human frailties is the tendency of individuals and groups to fall back, in times of a terribly fragmented reality, onto obsolete, even archaic ideologies for a sense of continuity and security. Today we find this not only on the right, where people are evoking the ghosts of Nazism and deadly forms of an embattled nationalism, but also on the "left" (whatever that word may mean anymore), where many people evoke ghosts of their own, be they the Neolithic goddess cults that many feminist and ecological sects celebrate or the generally anti-civilizational ambiance that exists among young middle-class ... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

March 7th is a harrowing date for the toilers of the so-called "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" who participated in one capacity or another in the events that occurred on that date in Kronstadt. The commemoration of that date is equally painful for the toilers of all countries, for it brings back the memory of what the free workers and sailors of Kronstadt demanded of their Red executioner, the "Russian Communist Party," and its tool, the "Soviet" government, busy doing the Russian revolution to death. Kronstadt insisted of these statist hangmen that they hand back everything that belonged to the toilers of town and country, given that it was they who had carried out the revolution. The Kronstadters insisted upon the practical implemen... (From :

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 the end of civil war the Commu... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

From: International Publishers, International Pamphlets No. 12, sponsored by the John Reed Club, an organization of revolutionary writers and artists in New York. Third edition, 1934. On March 18, 1871, the revolutionary workers of Paris established the Commune. It was the first attempt at a proletarian dictatorship. Again and again the story has been told: how Napoleon III (the Little) attempted to bolster up the decaying regime of the Second Empire by declaring war on Prussia in July, 1871; how he met his debacle at Sedan and exposed Paris to the Prussian troops; how a bourgeois republic was proclaimed in September and a so-called Government of National Defense organized; how this Government betrayed the besieged city and how the Parisian... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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 :

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 as fundamental as it has been fatal to the Revolution. The following pages present a clear and historically true picture of the ideals that inspired the Revolution, and of the role played by the Bolsheviki. This pamphlet conclusively proves what the Russian Revolution IS and what the BoIshevik State, alias the Communist Party, IS... (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 and hope for the Better Day, the Russian Revolution has b... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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 essential point. Indeed, the revolution of February 1917 came to be a symbol for the toilers of their economic and political liberation. However, they quickly noticed that the February revolution as it evolved adopted the degenerated format cha...

The Anarchist and Syndicalist Revolution of 1936Preface These essays are less an analysis of the Spanish Revolution and Civil War of 1936-39 than an evocation of the greatest proletarian and peasant revolution to occur over the past two centuries. Although they contain a general overview and evaluation of the Anarchist and Anarchosyndicalist movements (the two should be clearly distinguished) in the three-year struggle at the end of the 1930s, they are not intended to be a full account of those complex events. It is no exaggeration to say that the Spanish Revolution was the farthest-reaching movement that the Left ever produced, for reasons the essays that follow will make clear. The Spanish proletariat and peasantry, led largely by Anarchist militants whose names will never be known to us, strained the limits of what we in the 1930s called "proletarian socialism" and went appreciably beyond them. Far more than the leaders of the Anarchosyndicalist National Confederation of Labor and the Iberian Anarchist Fe...

The Tragedy of Spain by Rudolf Rocker Table of Contents The Role of Foreign Capital 3 The Role of Germany and Italy 6 The Situation in Spain Before the Revolt 7 The Role of England and France 9 Under the Lash of Foreign Powers 12 The Role of Russia 14 The Great Transformation in Russia and its Consequences 17 The Attitude of the Communist Party in Spain 19 The Communist U.G.T. in Catalonia 22 The Constructive Socialist Work of the C.N.T. and the F.A.I. 24 Moscow's Campaign of Lies Against the C.N.T. 27 The Fight Against the P.O.U.M. (From : Anarchy Archives.)

The victorious revolution of the workers and peasants in 1917 was legally established in the Bolshevik calendar as the October Revolution. There is sane truth in this, but it is not entirely exact. In October 1917 the workers and peasants of Russia surmounted a colossal obstacle to the development of their Revolution. They abolished the nominal power of the capitalist class, but even before that they achieved something of equal revolutionary importance and perhaps even more fundamental. By taking the economic power from the capitalist class, and the land from the large owners in the countryside, they achieved the right to free and uncontrolled work in the towns, if not the total control of the factories. Consequently, it was well before Oct... (From :

Chapter 4. The End of the Century; Marxism; Rapid Evolution; Reaction (1881–1900) After the failure of the Narodnaya Volya party’s violent campaign against Czarism, other events contributed to the fundamental transformation of the Russian revolutionary movement. The most important was the appearance of Marxism. As is known, Marxism expressed a new conception of social struggle: a conception which led to a concrete program of revolutionary action and, in western Europe, to a working class political party called the Social Democratic Party. In spite of all the obstacles, the socialist ideas of Lassalle and the concepts and achievements of Marxism were known, studied, preached, and clandestinely practiced in Russia; even the legal literature excelled in the art of dealing with socialism by using a veiled language. The well-known “large journals” reappeared with great enthusiasm; among their contributors were the be...

Part I: Two Conceptions of the Revolution Chapter 1. Two Opposing Conceptions of Social Revolution Our principal task herein is to examine and establish, to the extent of our ability, what is unknown or little known about the Russian Revolution. We begin by emphasizing a fact which, without being ignored, is considered only superficially in the western world. This: In October, 1917, this revolution entered upon wholly new terrain — that of the great Social Revolution. Thus it advanced on a very special route which was totally unexplored. It follows that the subsequent development of the Revolution assumed an equally new and original character. Therefore, our account will not resemble any of the existing histories of that revolt. Its general appearance, the factors it comprised, its very language, will change, taking on an unaccustomed and singular aspect. We go on to another fact which is less well known, and which for...

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 succumbed under the blows of repression.

Now and After: The ABC of Communist AnarchismBut take a closer look at it and see how the system 'works'. Consider how life and its real meaning have become turned upside down and topsy-turvy. See how your own existence is poisoned and made miserable by the crazy arrangement. Wherein is the purpose of your life, where the joy of it? The earth is rich and beautiful, the bright sunshine should gladden your heart. Man's genius and labor have conquered the forces of nature and harnessed the lightning and the air to the service of humanity. Science and invention, human industry and toil have produced untold wealth. We've bridged the shoreless seas, the steam engine has annihilated distance, the electric spark and gasoline motor have unfettered man from the earth and chained even the atmosphere to do his bidding. We have triumphed over space, and the farthest corners of the globe have been brought close together. The human voice now circles the hemispheres, and through the azure there dart-fleet messengers,...


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