Nestor Makhno : Anarchist Leader of the Anti-Bolshevik, Anti-Capitalist Partisans of the Ukraine

Revolt Library >> People >> Makhno, Nestor

(1888 - 1934)

Description

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.

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From : Intro to Struggle Against the State

Quotes

"The more a man becomes aware, through reflection, of his servile condition, the more indignant he becomes, the more the anarchist spirit of freedom, determination and action waxes inside him. That is true of every individual, man or woman, even though they may never have heard the word 'anarchism' before."

From : "The ABC of the Revolutionary Anarchist," by Nestor Makhno, Probuzdeniye, No. 18, Jan. 1931

"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 Nestor Makhno, Probuzdeniye, No. 18, Jan. 1931

"Arrest all governors for as long as need be, tear up and burn their laws! Tear down the prisons, once you have annilihated the executioners and eradicated all State power!"

From : "The ABC of the Revolutionary Anarchist," by Nestor Makhno, Probuzdeniye, No. 18, Jan. 1931

"The free man, on the other hand, has thrown away the trammels of the past together with its lies and brutality. He has buried the rotten corpse of slavery and the notion that the past is better. Man has already partially liberated himself from the fog of lies and brutality, which enslaved him from the day of his birth, from the worship of the bayonet, money, legality, and hypocritical science."

From : "The Anarchist Revolution," by Nestor Makhno

"Burn their laws and destroy their prisons, kill the hangmen, the bane of mankind. Smash authority!"

From : "The Anarchist Revolution," by Nestor Makhno

"The first of May is the symbol of a new era in the life and struggle of the toilers, an era that each year offers the toilers fresh, increasingly tough and decisive battles against the bourgeoisie, for the freedom and independence wrested from them, for their social ideal."

From : "The First of May," by Nestor Makhno, First Published: May 1, 1928

"I take revolutionary discipline to mean the self-discipline of the individual, set in the context of a strictly-prescribed collective activity equally incumbent upon all."

From : "On Revolutionary Discipline," Dyelo Truda, No. 7-8, December 1925-January 1926

"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," France 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. 18, January 1932

"'Soviet' power is a power no better and no worse than any other. Currently, it is every bit as wobbly and absurd as any State power in general."

From : "'Soviet' Power -- Its Present and Its Future," Bor'ba (The Struggle), Paris, No. 19-20

Biography


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About Nestor Makhno

 Nestor Makhno 1

Nestor Makhno 1

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.

Makhno was a committed anarchist who had spent years in Russian prisons for his political activities. Released from jail by the February revolution he returned to his village of Gulai-Polye and threw himself into organizing unions, communes and soviets.

During the Russian civil-war he proved himself to be a brilliant military commander, whose partizans saved the Red Army from crushing military defeat at the hands of the Whites. When the White threat had been removed, the Bolshevik State turned on the Machnovshchina and eventually defeated them and their revolutionary achievements.

The history of the Machnovshchina has been consistently distorted by the Soviet state and its apologists.

Nestor Makhno was born in 1888 and was brought up by his mother only. His father died in his early years. He went to school from ages 8-11. He worked partially as a shepherd from age 7 to 12, and from age 12-15 as an agricultural worker. From age 15 to 17 he worked in a local casting factory. He was part of the Revolutionary effort of 1905. He was sent to jail for murdering a police officer, and during his nine-year term is where he learned and first encountered anarchism. He studied anarchism in jail with Peter Arshinov. Prison was like school to him. He spent a whole lot of time in solitary confinement. He was condemned to death at age 17 but was given a long sentence because of his age.

From : Anarchy Archives

Works

This person has authored 32 documents, with 62,489 words or 401,192 characters.

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1932 ~ (5,824 Words / 36,833 Characters)
Anarchism means man living free and working constructively. It means the destruction of everything that is directed against man's natural, healthy aspirations. Anarchism is not exclusively a theoretical teaching emanating from programs artificially conceived with an eye to the regulation of life: it is a teaching derived from life across all its wholesome manifestations, skipping over all artificial criteria. The social and political visage of anarchism is a free, anti-authoritarian society, one that enshrines freedom, equality and solidarity between all its members. In anarchism, Right means the responsibility of the individual, the sort of responsibility that brings with it an authentic guarantee of freedom and social justice for each and for all, in all places and at all times. It is out of this that communism springs. Anarchism is naturally innate in man: communism is the logical... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (4,139 Words / 25,357 Characters)
1. ANARCHISM - a life of freedom and creative independence for humanity. Anarchism does not depend on theory or programs, which try to grasp man's life in its entirety. It is a teaching, which is based on real life, which outgrows all artificial limitations, which cannot be constricted by any system. Anarchism's outward form is a free, non-governed society, which offers freedom, equality and solidarity for its members. Its foundations are to be found in man's sense of mutual responsibility, which has remained unchanged in all places and times. This sense of responsibility is capable of securing freedom and social justice for all men by its own unaided efforts. It is also the foundation of true communism. Anarchism therefore is a part of human nature, communism its logical extension. This led to the necessity of formulating anarchism's basic theories by the use of factual material and by systematized analysis. Some... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1929 ~ (3,052 Words / 18,767 Characters)
In reply to "A project of anarchist organization" Dear Comrade Malatesta, I have read your response to the project for an 'Organizational Platform of a General Union of Anarchists', a project published by the group of Russian anarchists abroad. My impression is that either you have misunderstood the project for the 'Platform' or your refusal to recognize collective responsibility in revolutionary action and the directional function that the anarchist forces must take up, stems from a deep conviction about anarchism that leads you to disregard that principle of responsibility. Yet, it is a fundamental principle, which guides each one of us in our way of understanding the anarchist idea, in our determination that it should penetrate to the masses, in its spirit of sacrifice. It is thanks to this that a man can choose the revolutionary way and ignore others. Without it no revolutionary could have the necessary strength or will o... (From : Flag.Blackened.net.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1928 ~ (525 Words / 3,226 Characters)
First Published: May 1, 1928 in Dyelo Truda No. 36, p. 2-3; Source: Infoshop.org; Transcription/Markup: Infoshop.org/B. Baggins; In the socialist world, the first of May is considered the Labor holiday. This is a mistaken description that has so penetrated the lives of the toilers that in many countries that day is indeed celebrated as such. In fact, the first of May is not at all a holiday for the toilers. No, the toilers should not stay in their workshops or in the fields on that date. On that date, toilers all over the world should come together in every village, every town, and organize mass rallies, not to mark that date as statist socialists and especially the Bolsheviks conceive it, but rather to gauge the measure of their strength and assess the possibilities for direct armed struggle against a rotten, cowardly, slave-holding order rooted in violence and falsehood. It is easiest for all the toilers to come together on that historic date, al... (From : Marxists.org.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1927 ~ (1,565 Words / 10,136 Characters)
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 adopte... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1926 ~ (696 Words / 4,623 Characters)
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 implementation of the foundations of the October revolution: Freely elected soviets, freedom of speech and freedom of the press for workers and peasants, anarchists and Left Socialist Revol... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1931 ~ (797 Words / 5,182 Characters)
Dear Comrades Carbó and Pestaña! Convey to our Spanish friends and comrades and, through them, to all the workers in general my encouragement to them not to let their resolution falter in the revolutionary process which has been launched, as well as to make haste in uniting around a practical program drafted of a specific ideological direction. At all costs there must be no let up in the pace of the masses' revolutionary action. On the contrary, we must rush to help them compel (by force if there is no other way, no other means) the acting republican government which is hindering and distracting the revolution with its absurd decrees to desist from such harmful endeavors. The Spanish toilers - workers, peasants and working intelligentsia - must unite and display the utmost revolutionary energy so as to conjure into existence a situation whereby the bourgeoisie may be precluded from opposing the revolution and t... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1979 ~ (9,314 Words / 66,570 Characters)
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 June 1918 the Bolshevik regime was enjoying a brief respite from... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1933 ~ (2,403 Words / 15,613 Characters)
ON THE HISTORY OF THE SPANISH REVOLUTION OF 1931 AND THE PART PLAYED BY THE LEFT- AND RIGHT-WING SOCIALISTS AND THE ANARCHISTS Nestor Makhno Whenever a revolution breaks out - and regardless of its character - (the most important point is that broad masses of workers and peasants should have a hand in it) and its guides, whether a compact group or a scattering of individuals, enjoying a special authority in the eyes of the workers, place themselves above these masses and do not march in step with them and do not earn their trust, waiting for something out of the ordinary to happen or even, worse still, seek to subordinate them by trying to point them along the "only" path to follow, well, the revolution fails to develop thoroughly enough and fails to resolve or even correctly formulate the attendant problems in need of resolution. Then it cannot devise new and additional... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 6. THE MAKHOVSHCHINA AND ANTI-SEMITISM For the past seven years, almost, the enemies of the Makhnovist revolutionary movement have wallowed in so many lies about it that one might marvel that these people do not take a red face, once in a while at least. It is rather characteristic that these shameless lies directed against myself and the Makhnovist insurgents, indeed against our movement as a whole, can unite folk from very different socio-political camps: among them one can find journalists of every persuasion, writers, scholars and laymen who place obstacles in their path, mavericks and speculators, who occasionally have no hesitation in putting themselves forward as pathfinders for avant-garde revolutionary ideas. One can also come across supposed anarchists, like Yanovsky, from the Freie Arbeiter Stimme. All such folk, folk of every persuasion and every hue, have no shame about employing lies against us, without even knowing us, sometimes without any real belief i...

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- (241 Words / 1,574 Characters)
This poem by Nestor Makhno was written when he was 23 years old and had been in prison for two years for "illegal subversive association." Summons. Let us rise in revolt, brethren, and with us the people Beneath the black flag of Anarchy will revolt. We will surge boldly forward, under the fire of enemy bullets in the battle for faith in libertarian communism, Our just regime. We shall cast down all thrones and bring low the power of Capital. We will seize the gold and purple scepter And pay no more honor to anything. Through savage struggle We shall rid ourselves of the State and its laws. We have suffered long under the yoke Of chains, prisons and teeming gangs of executioners. The time has come to rise in rebellion and close ranks. Forward beneath the black flag of Anarchy, on to the great struggle! Enough of serving tyrants as their tools, That is the sourc... (From : LibCom.org.)

Anarchism : Anarchist and Anti-Authoritarianism -- 1927 ~ (1,001 Words / 6,436 Characters)
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 massacres of Jews in the Ukraine, or indeed that they might attempt to base their shameful anecdotes about me and the Makhnovist movement upon fairly authentic data in that they involve me in them and pedd... (From : NestorMakhno.info.)

Chronology

October 26, 1888 :
Birth Day.

July 06, 1934 :
Death Day.

November 15, 2016 ; 5:24:33 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

April 21, 2019 ; 5:02:48 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Last Updated on https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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