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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.)

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 Germany, despotism in Russia, destructive dictatorship in other countries. Every progressive and radical party, every revolutionary movement has suffered from the present reaction. In some countries they had been entirely crushed; in others their activities are paralyzed for the time being... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

Once I discovered that there were so many of our comrades in prison, I arranged, together with the French syndicalist delegates to make overtures to Dzerzhinsky, the People's Commissar for the Interior, implicitly obedient to Lenin. Being wary of me, my fellow delegates chose Joaquin Maurin to speak on behalf of the CNT delegation. Maurin reported back on their first audience. At the sight of the list of the prisoners whose release was being sought, Dzerzhinsky blanched, then went red with fury, arguing that these men were counterrevolutionaries in cahoots with the White generals: he accused them of having derailed trainloads of Red Army troops and of being responsible for the deaths of thousands of soldiers, in the Ukraine especially. We w... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

(1901 - 1936) ~ Anarcho-Syndicalist and CNT Militia During the Spanish Civil War : Francisco Ascaso Abadia was part of "Los Solidarios" with Durruti, Gregorio Jover, Juan García Oliver, Antonio Ortiz, Ricardo Sanz, etc. They fought against the "Pistoleros" (hired by cleric employers to assassinate trade unionists). (From : Anarchopedia.)
• "The electoral struggle is no more than a simple process whose sole and exclusive aim is the maintenance of a bourgeois regime." (From : "Anarchosyndicalism, Libertarian Communism and the....)
• "Anyone who believes that in depositing a piece of paper in a box he has fulfilled his duty to society is indulging in a crass error." (From : "Anarchosyndicalism, Libertarian Communism and the....)
• "Let no-one doubt that we will not achieve our aims until we create the revolution." (From : "Anarchosyndicalism, Libertarian Communism and the....)

From: G.P. Maximoff, Syndicalists in the Russian Revolution The Author GREGORI PETROVICH MAXIMOFF was born on November 10, 1893, in the Russian village of Mitushino, province of Smolensk. After studying for the priesthood, he realized this was not his vocation and went to St. Petersburg, where he graduated as an agronomist at the Agricultural Academy in 1915. He joined the revolutionary movement, while a student, was an active propagandist and, after the 1917 revolution, joined the Red Army. When the Bolsheviks used the Army for police work and for disarming the workers, he refused to obey orders and was sentenced to death. The solidarity of the steelworkers' union saved his life. He edited the Anarcho-Syndicalist papers Golos Trouda (Voice... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

(1928 - ) ~ Popluar Modern American Anarchist Author, Linguist, Scientist, and Historian : Though his stance on these issues is that of an admitted anarchist/libertarian, Noam Chomsky prefers to act as an analyst and critic of the state rather than a social theorist.... Chomsky continues to teach at MIT, where he holds an endowed chair in linguistics. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• " solidarity can take new and more constructive forms as the great majority of the people of the world come to understand that their interests are pretty much the same and can be advanced by working together. There is no more reason now than there has ever been to believe that we are constrained by mysterious and unknown social laws, not simply decisions made within instutitions that are subject to human will -- human institutions, that have to face the test of legitimacy and, if they do not meet it, can be replaced by others that are more free and more just, as often in the past." (From : "Profit Over People", by Noam Chomsky, page 62, ch....)
• "Neoliberal doctrines, whatever one thinks of them, undermine education and health, increase inequality, and reduce labor's share of income; that much is not serously in doubt." (From : "Profit Over People," written by Noam Chomsky, pag....)
• "The importance of "controlling the public mind" has been recognized with increasing clarity as popular struggles succeeded in extending the modalities of democracy, thus giving rise to what liberal elites call "the crisis of democracy" as when normally passive and apathetic populations become organized and seek to enter the political arena to pursue their interests and demands, threatening stability and order. As Bernays explained the problem, with "universal suffrage and universal schooling... at last even the bourgeoisie stood in fear of the common people. For the masses promised to become king."" (From : "Profit Over People," by Noam Chomsky, pages 53-54....)

(1902 - 1990) ~ Russian Emigre and American Anarchist Activist : He rode the rails for the Wobblies, sometimes as a gandy dancer (or maintenance man), or else hopping boxcars, and he always looked for the chance to stand in front of a crowd and, in that broken cello of a voice. (From :
• "Society without order (as the word "society" implies) is inconceivable. But the organization of order is not the exclusive monopoly of the State. For, if the State authority is the sole guarantee of order, who will watch the watchmen?" (From : "The Relevance of Anarchy to Modern Society," by S....)
• "The increasing complexity of society is making anarchism MORE and NOT LESS relevant to modern life. It is precisely this complexity and diversity, above all their overriding concern for freedom and human values that led the anarchist thinkers to base their ideas on the principles of diffusion of power, self-management and federalism." (From : "The Relevance of Anarchy to Modern Society," by S....)
• "The very fact that autonomy, decentralization and federalism are more practical alternatives to centralism and statism already presupposes that these vast organizational networks now performing the functions of society are prepared to replace the old bankrupt hyper-centralized administrations." (From : "The Relevance of Anarchy to Modern Society," by S....)

(1896 - 1936) ~ Heart of the Anarchist Soldiers and Anarcho-Syndicalism During the Spanish Civil War : On the 15 Durruti arrived with a force of 1800 men to reinforce the defense of Madrid, where they went immediately to the toughest section and on the 19 he was struck by a bullet as he walked by a supposedly secure area. (From : Communiello Bio.)
• "You have to lead the struggle yourselves, without bosses or leaders." (From : "Durruti," by Abel Paz, part 1, chapter 11.)
• "Socialism is either active or isn't Socialism." (From : "Durruti," by Abel Paz, part 1, chapter 1.)
• "The emancipation of the working class requires the complete destruction of capitalism and we can't stop our revolutionary efforts until that happens." (From : "Durruti," by Abel Paz, part 1, chapter 1.)

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.)

CHAPTER II The Coasts of Bohemia; Fighting Fascism; The Battle of Cable Street; Schoolboy Anarchist; Castles in Spain; Frustration on Spain The Coasts of Bohemia The first Anarchist meeting I attended was at the old National Trade Union Club in New Oxford Street. The speaker was the well-known Emma Goldman, who was on that occasion talking about arms manufacture, not Anarchism as such. As I was the only stranger at the meeting, attention turned to me when inquiries elicited the fact that I had never heard of Emma Goldman and more particularly when I had the temerity to contradict her. I believe it was on the fallacy that as 'aggression' caused war, boxing, which I then esteemed highly, taught aggression. I was overawed by my elders being surprised at my audacity, and did not continue after her scornful dismissal of the argument. She felt thereafter that she had brought me into the movement from knowing nothing about Anarch...

(1895 - 1978) ~ CNT Radical, Anarcho-Syndicalist, and Spanish Civil War Historian : He was a French anarchist during the Spanish Civil War and was the son of a French Communard. Leval, himself was a French anarcho-syndicalist militant and a participant in the foundation congress of the Red International of Labor Unions from June-August 1921. (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "...the Spanish Libertarian workers co-ordinate and rationalize production in a much more satisfactory way than Capitalism had done. And I lay special stress on the disappearance of small unhealthy and costly workshops and factories, besides the correct use of machinery for the work most suited to it." (From : "Collectives in Spain," by Gaston Leval, 1945.)
• "...the means of production remained unused in the barns of the rich, whilst the poor peasants worked the land with roman plows drawn by worn out donkeys and mules!" (From : "Collectives in Spain," by Gaston Leval, 1945.)
• "The methodical police terror, the [Bolshevik] Party's tightening grip upon the whole of social life, the systematic annihilation of all non-Bolshevik currents, the no less systematic extermination of all revolutionaries who thought along lines different from those of the new masters, and indeed the eradication of every hint of dissent within the Party all proved that we were on the road to a new despotism that was not merely political but also intellectual, mental and moral, reminiscent of the darkest days of the Middle Ages." (From : "Anarchists Behind Bars," by Gaston Leval, Summer,....)

(1839 - 1893) ~ Anarchist Writer for the Black International : His career as a participant in the labor movement grew out of his reflections on the Pittsburgh riots during the 1877 railroad strike, but before Haymarket had swung over to the extreme left position of the anarchists and mutualists, impressed with the possibilities of cooperation in economics. (From : James Martin Bio.)
• "The renaissance of mind from scholastic tyranny; the revolt of Luther and his followers against mental dictation; the temporary compromise in religious toleration; the insurrection against kingcraft leading in its triumph to the toleration of political opinions; -- have now logically led to an insurrection against economic subjection to the privileges usurped and hotly defended by capital in its alliance with labor..." (From : "The Economics of Anarchy: A Study Of The Industri....)
• "Let us beware the militant assumption that man exists for the State, and trust to theoretical brakes to check the momentum of a body moving with increasing velocity. The social aggregate is not something over and above the units which constitute it." (From : "The Economics of Anarchy: A Study Of The Industri....)
• "Force, however used, can teach no economic truth, yet events flowing from it often awaken consciousness of what equity demands." (From : "The Economics of Anarchy: A Study Of The Industri....)

(1893 - 1950) ~ Ukrainian Anarcho-Syndicalist Involved with the Bolshevik-Aligned Nabat : Secretary of Russia's Anarcho-Syndicalist Confederation and editor of Golos Truda (The Voice of Labor). He experienced at first hand the Bolshevik repression which crushed other revolutionaries and subordinated popular revolt to party dictatorship. (From : AK Press Bio.)
• "In the past, capitalism would have saved itself from deadly crisis by seizing colonial markets and those of agrarian nations. Nowadays, most of the colonies are themselves competing in the world market with the metropolitan countries, while the agrarian lands are proceeding in the direction of intensive industrialization." (From : "My Social Credo," by Grigori Petrovitch Maximov.)
• "I believe that only a stateless form of society is compatible with human progress, and that only under such a form of commonwealth will humanity be able to attain full liberty, and therefore I am an anarchist." (From : "My Social Credo," by Grigori Petrovitch Maximov.)
• "Innumerable warehouses are filled with unsold wares, while other goods are destroyed so as to prevent a slump in market prices. Production comes to a standstill, unemployment increases, the destitution and political oppression of the people reach an unprecedented intensity, and bourgeois democracy turns into open dictatorship..." (From : "My Social Credo," by Grigori Petrovitch Maximov.)

(1905 - 1994) ~ Anarchist Leader of the FAI during the Spanish Civil War : Montseny served as one of the FAI's prominent activists and in November of 1936, she became the first woman in Spanish history to serve as the Minister of Health. One of her most controversial accomplishments in this position was the legalization of abortion... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "That is why a fascist victory is impossible. Because it must not be forgotten that this is not only a civil war-a social war is also being waged. It is the war of the common people against the rich, against the militarists, against the politicians-all of whom were responsible for the misery and poverty of the proletariat." (From : "Militant Anarchism and the Reality in Spain," by ....)
• "...triumph over fascism alone is worth the sacrifice of our lives." (From : "Militant Anarchism and the Reality in Spain," by ....)
• "We need no messiah and no sterile conception of a god menacing us with hell and purgatory. Love, as the basis of life will bind us together." (From : "Militant Anarchism and the Reality in Spain," by ....)

1. Anarchism was built up and invented by the working class to meet with specific problems in working class organization and to point the way to a society free from oppression. It differed from Marxism or authoritarian socialism in that it saw that copying bourgeois forms of organization or government was a mistaken tactic; also that government could form a new tyranny. It was not generally realized at the time that there could be two forms of aspirants to tyranny - capitalists and bureaucrats could take over a new government, but prior to that the middle classes were also divided in their attitude to socialism. The middle class as defined by Marx - the profit making class ^^ had a corollary in the mandarin class aiming at power and its cla... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

(1901 - 1980) ~ FAI Labor Unionist and Anti-Fascist Militant During the Spanish Civil War : ...a native of Catalonia and member of the Catalan Regional Committee of the C.N.T. or National Labor Federation, where he was a close associate of Buenaventura Durruti. He led a group in battle against the military uprising of July 1936 in Barcelona, occupying the women's prison and releasing all its prisoners. (From : Blood of Spain Bio.)
• "If these syndicates are of an anarchist orientation and their militants have been formed by an anarchist moral then, to presuppose that they'll act the same as if they were Marxist, for example, is as good as saying that anarchism and Marxism are fundamentally the same ideology, being as they produce the same fruit. I don't accept such simplifications." (From : "Wrong Steps: Errors in the Spanish Revolution," b....)
• "Without this demonstration that we can build Libertarian Socialism, the future will continue to belong to the sort of politics that came out of the French Revolution -- with many political parties to begin with, and just one at the end." (From : "Wrong Steps: Errors in the Spanish Revolution," b....)
• "We had no use for anything connected to the past, a past which had in some ways sunk already, but which would still make inexhaustible attempts to reassert itself. All revolutions carry with them a counter revolution. A Revolution is a forward murch from ac ertain point, whereas counter revolution is a return to that point, or in some cases to a point that is further back." (From : "Wrong Steps: Errors in the Spanish Revolution," b....)

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 methods... (From :

On my first visit to Spain in September 1936, nothing surprised me so much as the amount of political freedom I found everywhere. True it did not extend to fascists; but outside of these deliberate enemies of the revolution and the emancipation of the workers in Spain, everyone of the anti-fascist front enjoyed political freedom which hardly existed in any of the so called European democracies. The one party that made the utmost use of this was the PSUC, the Stalinist party in revolutionary Spain. Their radio and loudspeakers filled the air. Their daily marches in military formation with their flags waving were flaunted in everybody’s face. They seemed to take a special pleasure in marching past the house of the Regional Committee as ... (From :

(1873 - 1958) ~ German Father of Anarcho-Syndicalism : Rocker was born in Mainz, Germany, son of a workingman who died when the boy was five years of age. It was an uncle who introduced him to the German SociaI Democratic movement, but he was soon disappointed by the rigidities of German socialism. (From : Irving Horowitz Bio.)
• "...only by the elimination of economic monopolies and by common ownership of the means of production does a condition of social justice become feasible, a condition in which society shall become a real community, and human labor shall no longer serve the ends of exploitation but assure the well being of everyone." (From : "Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism," by Rudolph Ro....)
• "Every type of political power presupposes some particular form of human slavery, for the maintenance of which it is called into being." (From : "Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism," by Rudolph Ro....)
• "...Anarchism has to be regarded as a kind of voluntary Socialism." (From : "Anarchism and Anarcho-Syndicalism," by Rudolph Ro....)

"Discussing the activities and role of the Anarchists in the Revolution, Kropotkin said: 'We Anarchists have talked much of revolutions, but few of us have been prepared for the actual work ,to be done during, the process. I have indicated some things in this relation in my Conquest of Bread. Pouget and Pataud have also sketched a line of action in their work on Syndicalism and the Cooperative Commonwealth. Kropotkin thought that the Anarchists had not given sufficient to the fundamental elements of the social revolution. The real facts in a revolutionary process do not consist so much in actual fighting--that is, merely the destructive phase necessary to clear the way for constructive effort. The basic factor in a revolution is the organiz... (From : Anarchy Archives.)

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...


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