Peter Arshinov: Russian, Anarchist Revolutionary and Makhnovist Partisan

1886 — 1937

Revolt Library People Peter Arshinov

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In prison he met Makhno. Both Makhno and Arshinov were released in 1917 and Arshinov joined Makhno in the Ukraine when the Makhnovite Insurrectionary Army took control.

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From : Anarchy Archives

"The question for anarchists of all countries is the following: can our movement content itself with subsisting on the base of old forms of organization, of local groups having no organic link between them, and each acting on their side according to its particular ideology and particular practice?"

From : "The Old and New in Anarchism: A Reply to Comrade Malatesta," by Peter Arshinov, Delo Truda, No.30, May 1928, pages 4-11, from LibCom.org


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About Peter Arshinov

Arshinov was a metal worker in the Ukraine who joined the Bolshevik party in 1904 and became an anarchist in 1905 after the 1905 uprising. He was later imprisoned but escaped to France, returning to Russia in 1909 when he was caught smuggling arms from Austria. In prison he met Makhno. Both Makhno and Arshinov were released in 1917 and Arshinov joined Makhno in the Ukraine when the Makhnovite Insurrectionary Army took control. He was the leader of "Nabat", a confederation of anarchist organizations in the Ukraine. In 1921, Arshinov left Russia, but returned in 1936 and was executed in 1937. (From: Anarchy Archives)

Peter Arshinov was born in Yekaterinoslav. In 1904 he become involved with the revolutionary movement. In 1905 he worked as a locksmith in the railway workshops of Kizyl-Arvat (now Serdar in Turkmenistan), where he joined the Bolshevik section of the Russian Social Democratic Party. From here he led the organization of the RSDLP and was the editor of the illegal Bolshevik newspaper Molot. Hiding from the police, he soon returned to Ukraine where he joined the workers at a factory in Ekaterinoslav. In December 1906, after the autumn defeat, he united the militant anarchist survivors of Ekaterinoslav into a terrorist group and organized a series of attacks - including the assassination of a ruthless railroad boss and the bombing of a village police station on 23 December 1906, in which a number of Cossack and police officers were killed.

On 9 March 1907 he was arrested and condemned to death by hanging by a military tribunal. In 22 April 1907 he escaped from prison. Arshinov then found refuge in France, venturing to Russia two years later. In the autumn of 1909 he was arrested for spreading anarchist propaganda. He would escape before sentencing and would go onto to participate in underground propaganda work. In May-July 1910 he performed a robbery with fellow anarchists on a wine depot in the village of Filopovo. This would soon lead to his arrest in Austria and subsequent trial in Russia. In October 1911 he was again imprisoned for a 20-year sentence in Moscow's Butyrka prison. There he met fellow convict and anarchist leader Nestor Makhno. They were released seven years later, in 1917, during the February Revolution. While Makhno returned to Ukraine, Arshinov joined the Moscow Federation of Anarchist Groups. Arshinov returned to Ukraine to participate in Makhno's 1919 Makhnovist insurrection, which lasted until 1921.

Arshinov emigrated to Germany in 1922, later moving to France and the United States. In 1923 he published his "History of the Makhnovist Movement", which was used as evidence for defence in the court proceedings against Nestor Makhno in Paris, and helped obtain his exoneration. Arshinov got in contact with Communist leader Sergo Ordzhonikidze, who promised to help Arshinov if he formally broke all ties with anarchism. Arshinov produced two anti-anarchist pamphlets, Anarchism and the dictatorship of the proletariat in 1931 and Anarchism in our age, in 1933, which both gained him notoriety in anarchist circles with Camillo Berneri remarking that he "had not left the movement quietly and with dignity, but had slammed the door behind him like a drunk". After breaking up with anarchism Arshinov returned to the USSR in 1934 with permission of the Soviet authorities. He was arrested in 1937, accused of creation of anarchist underground network, and was summarily executed. (From: Wikipedia.org)

From : Anarchy Archives and Wikipedia.org

Works

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This person has authored 20 documents, with 107,690 words or 696,213 characters.

1928
Comrade Isidine counters our conception of a revolutionary anarchist organization with the old conception corresponding to an age when anarchists had no real organization, but, by means of mutual understanding, came to agreement upon goals and the means of achieving them. In fact, the old party was confined to analogous ideas and was bereft of authentic organizational format; it corresponded above all to the birth of the anarchist movement, when its pioneers were groping their way forward, not having been tempered by the harsh experience of life. Socialism too, in its day, had a difficult gestation. However, as the masses' social struggle evolved and became acute, all the tendencies that were vying to influence the outcome took on mor... (From: NestorMakhno.info.)
1923
To clarify the development of the Russian revolution, it is necessary to examine the propaganda and the development of revolutionary ideas among the workers and the peasants throughout the period from 1900 to 1917, and the significance of the October upheaval in Great Russia and in the Ukraine. Beginning with the years 1900–1905, revolutionary propaganda among workers and peasants was carried out by spokesmen of two basic doctrines: state socialism and anarchism. The state socialist propaganda was carried out by a number of wonderfully organized democratic parties: Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, Socialist-Revolutionaries and a number of related currents. Anarchism was put forward by a few numerically small groups who did not have a su... (From: TheAnarchistLibrary.org.)
1919
Composed of the poorest peasants, who were united by the fact that they all worked with their own hands, the Makhnovist movement was founded on the deep feeling of fraternity which characterizes only the most oppressed. During its entire history it did not for an instant appeal to national sentiments. The whole struggle of the Makhnovists against the Bolsheviks was conducted solely in the name of the rights and interests of the workers. Denikin's troops, the Austro-Germans, Petliura, the French troops in Berdyansk Wrangel - were all treated by the Makhnovists as enemies of the workers. Each one of these invasions represented for them essentially a threat to the workers, and the Makhnovists had no interest in the national f... (From: NestorMakhno.info.)
1928
[A reply to comrade Malatesta] Translators introduction Malatesta wrote a reply to the Organizational Platform of the Libertarian Communists whilst under house arrest in fascist Italy. It appeared in the Swiss anarchist paper Le Reveil and then as a pamphlet in Paris. One of the authors of the Platform, Piotr Arshinov, replied to Malatesta's criticisms in the paper set up by him and Nestor Makhno in Paris, Dielo Trouda. Equally, Makhno sent a long letter to Malatesta , stating that a misunderstanding of the text by Malatesta must have led to their disagreement. Malatesta did not get this letter for over a year, and replied as soon as he could. He still expressed disagreement with the Platform, opposing moral responsibility to coll... (From: NestorMakhno.info.)
1927
Group of Russian Anarchists Abroad (also known as the Dielo Truda group) with a foreword by Piotr Arshinov FOREWORD: THE CRUX OF THE MATTER The debates provoked by the "Organizational Platform" have thus far focused chiefly upon its various arguments or indeed the draft organization proposed by it. Most of its critics, as well as several of its supporters, have at no time been clear-sighted in their appreciation of the matter of the Platform's premises: they have never tried to discover what were factors that prompted its appearance, the point of departure adopted by it's authors. And yet these are matters of the greatest importance to those who seek to understand the spirit and importance of the Platform. The recently publish... (From: NestorMakhno.info.)
1927
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... (From: Flag.Blackened.net.)

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Quotes by Peter Arshinov

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"The question for anarchists of all countries is the following: can our movement content itself with subsisting on the base of old forms of organization, of local groups having no organic link between them, and each acting on their side according to its particular ideology and particular practice?"

From : "The Old and New in Anarchism: A Reply to Comrade Malatesta," by Peter Arshinov, Delo Truda, No.30, May 1928, pages 4-11, from LibCom.org

"For the masses sense the futility of contradictory notions and avoid them instinctively; in spite of this, in a revolutionary period, they act and live in a libertarian fashion."

From : "The Old and New in Anarchism: A Reply to Comrade Malatesta," by Peter Arshinov, Delo Truda, No.30, May 1928, pages 4-11, from LibCom.org

"Libertarian communism cannot linger in the impasse of the past; it must go beyond it, in combating and surmounting its faults."

From : "The Old and New in Anarchism: A Reply to Comrade Malatesta," by Peter Arshinov, Delo Truda, No.30, May 1928, pages 4-11, from LibCom.org

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An icon of a baby.
1886
Birth Day.

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1937
Death Day.

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November 15, 2016; 4:53:23 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
Added to https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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October 30, 2021; 5:17:27 PM (America/Los_Angeles)
Updated on https://www.RevoltLib.com.

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