RlEKander Berhmon





Series Editor William G. Nowlin Jr.

THE RUSSIAN TRAGEDY, Alexander Bcrkman.

First published as three separate pamphlets in 1922 by Per Syndikalist, Berlin.

This edition first published 1976 by Cienfuegos Press Ltd.,

Over The Water, San day, Orkney.

Cover illustration by Flavio Cos tan t in i.

Cover design by Simon Stern

Typeset by Marigold.

Printed by D.A. Hodgson.

ISBN 0-904564-11-8


Publishers, Distributors & International Booksellers Box A. Over The Water, Sanday, Orkney, KWI7 2BL




The Russian Tragedy


The Russian Revolution and

The Communist Party


The Kronstadt Rebellion


Publishing History


Alexander ficrkrruii (courtesy Tavninenl Library. Now Y*fk University)


THESE PAMPHLETS, ISSUED HERE in book form for the first time, are Alexander Berkman\s first writings after leaving Russia in December of 1921. He had entered Russia just two years earlier, filled with devotion to the ideals of the Russian revolution and anxious to contribute his share to the revolutionary process. It was a return home for him, as he had lived his first 17 years in Russia and had grown up among the revolutionaries of that era. Now he was welcomed back as an important revolutionary exile from his adopted United States.

Alexander Berkman, Emma Goldman, and 247 other ''politicals" had been deported from the United States on December 21, 1919. Berkman and Goldman, the two most active anarchists in America since the turn of the century, had only recently each completed two year prison scntcnccs for active opposition to the World War I draft (as founders and organisers of the No-Conscription League) and, though resentful of being so abruptly forced to terminate their organising in America, looked forward to enthusiastic participation in the revolutionary experiment in their native land, Russia.

Among the reasons for their deportation was, in fact, their active propagandising in support of the Russian Revolution within the United States, Berkman writes, "Without exaggeration I may say that the happiest day of my existence was passed in a prison cell — the day when the first news of the October Revolution and the victory of the Bol-sheviki reached me in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary.' As anarchists, both had reservations about the Marxist Bolsheviks, though Berkman said:

"I placed the Revolution above theories, and it seemed to me that the Bolsheviki did the same. Though Marxists, they had been instrumental in bringing about a Revolution that was entirely un-Marxian; that was indeed in defiance of Marxian dogma and prophecy. Ardent advocates of parliamentarism, they repudiated it in their acts. Throwing overboard the democratic planks of its programme, it proclaimed the slogans of the Social Revolution in order to gain control of the movement of the masses ... Furthermore, the Communist Party exploited all the popular demands of the hour: termination of the war, all power to the revolutionary proletariat, the land for the peasants. This attitude of the Bolsheviki was of tremendous psychological effect in hastening and stimulating the Revolution ... In short, the Bolsheviki

1. Berkman, The Atiti*Climax% p.9.

appeared in practice a thoroughly revolutionary party whose sole aim was the success of the Revolution; a party possessing the moral courage and integrity to subordinate its theories to the common welfare/'

Alexander Berkman represents an unusual figure uniquely qualified to report on revolutionary Russia in 1920 and 192L His finished work on the subject, based on his Russian diaries, is The Bolshevik Myth (Boni & Liveright, 1925), a book sorely in need of reissue. The Bolshevik Myth ccrtainly compares in its own way with a sclect few other books of the time, such as John Reed's Ten Days That Shook the World. The present work, which we have titled The Rt4ssian Tragedy, comprises his first writings on Russia and the revolution and its lessons and contains the essence, though not the artistry, of the later work. Unlike most Westerners, Berkman was in Russia for an extended period of time and he spoke Russian - a matter of no small significance. His reputation made him one that various individuals and groups sought out. (During the Mooney case in San Francisco, Berkman's life had been threatened by the California authorities; revolutionary workers and sailors from Petrograd and Kronstadt demonstrated repeatedly at the American Embassy and even threatened to hold the American ambassador hostage until Berkman was out of danger). His fourteen years in prison for the attempted assassination of Carnegie's Henry Clay Frick in Pittsburgh during the Homestead strike of 1892 brought him down from a more or less aristocratic perch and taught him how to communicatc honestly and equally with people of all backgrounds, how to learn from those he had held in contempt as the dregs of civilisation: the "criminal element." His Prison Memoirs Of An Anarchist is an invaluable aid in understanding this development, as well%as a good autobiography of his early life. Characterised by a unique personal honesty and frankness, the Prison Memoirs offer a good insight into how revolutionaries sometimes hold themselves superior to the People they claim to serve. This was a lesson the Bolsheviks never learned.

Before Berkman's questioning became too embarrassing to the authorities of the new regime, he was invited to ride in Zinoviev's car, to the platform at banquets and parades (often as official interpreter); he was even asked to prepare the official English translation of Lenin's Left Wing Communism, ironically enough, but refused unless permitted to add his own preface. Appointed Chairman and General Manager by the Museum of the Revolution for an extended journey throughout Russia to collect material for the Museum, Berkman travelled widely in the Ukraine, through Kharkov, Kiev, and Odessa, and later made a trip to Archangel, investigating in all places factories, peasant lands, prisons, party headquarters, scenes of pogroms, and meeting with revolutionaries of every tendency. Berkman's 33 years in America gave him the necessary critical distance to see things as an outsider (and many peasants approached him as an American with stories they would hesitate to tell a Russian, for fear the Russian might prove a Chekist or

2. Berkman, ibid., pp. 10. 18. VI

other Communist Party functionary). Yet his Russian background, language, and facility for open discourse filled in those hidden areas the outsider inevitably would overlook.

Yet Berkman was no impartial observer standing aloof from the Revolution. Active as an interpreter, appointed to organise the reception and care for future groups of American deportees (such a group turned out to be returning Russian prisoners of war), and given charge of a mammoth project to convert the villas of the old nobility into "proletarian rer.t homes" for thousands of workers, in addition to the Museum expedition, Berkman was active in the constructive effort. On top of this, he was constantly interceding with the Cheka or top Party leaders on behalf of arrested comrades and other unfortunates. His enthusiasm for the cause led, in fact, to a split with Emma Goldman. As her biographer Richard Drinnon reports in his Rebel in Paradise: Berkman continued to defend their hosts against Emma's criticism. He admitted that the bureaucracy had become suffocating and that there were inequalities and injustices, but he argued that Russia would outgrow these evils once the blockade was lifted. The important thing was that the revolution had gone beyond mere political change to root out the larger part of the capitalist system. In return for this great achievement, he was willing to excuse much. In the fall of 1920 he was still asking critical anarchist comrades if they had anything to propose in place of the dictatorship: "Not the faults and shortcomings of the Bolsheviki are at issue/' he argues, "but the dictatorship itself. Does not the success of the Revolution presuppose the forcible abolition of the bourgeoisie and the imposing of the proletarian will upon society? In short, a dictatorship?'

His associated belief in "historical necessity" and his refusal to be concerned with the "few specks of dust" who were victims of Bofthcvik repression and executions are symptomatic of a relapse into an earlier mode of his thought, the "end-justifying-the-means" philosophy which led him to assassinate Frick. He had given up this belief in accordance with a mature anarchism but under the pressure of counter-revolutionary threat in Russia he retreated to this simpler, if less human, posture. The revolutionary often falls victim to the abstraction of a "correct" stance, a mechanical view of social process, which divides all social phenomena into "either/or/' good or evil, a frequent trap for those who believe in linear social development along a fore ordained path (or who believe inordinately in their own personal solutions to social problems). Needless to say, Berkman held to this belief only in abstract discussions; when faced with real life victims of the repression, his heart opened up. It was an unnatural posture for Berkman. for it didn't coincide with his anarchist convictions and was in tension with his life-long crusade to abolish prisons and barbarous concepts such as punishment and retribution. Berkmanvs life, indeed, can be seen as an extended series of attempts to grapple with the questions of crime and punishment, justice and morality. His most developed, and most

Utopian, thought on the subject provides the core of his last book. What Is Communist Anarchism?

His contacts with the Makhnovists and the Bolshevik brutality at Kronstadt, plus the obvious impact of hundreds of daily experiences, brought him "back to his senses."4 He and Emma decided to leave Russia and tell the world what they had found. His first public statement, issued from Stockholm, was an appeal for aid to the political prisoners in Russia, to the revolutionists imprisoned by the Communist regime. The language was strong:

. „ . that a political party that calls itself revolutionary, a Government that dares to speak in the name of the proletariat, should drown that proletariat's cry for justice and liberty in a sea of blood, — that stands as the most monumental Judas crime in all history. That it should, moreover, blacken and denounce the popular, heroic attempt at social justice as counter-revolution is a crime so monstrous that humanity will never forgive. Though Berkman was cruelly disillusioned and saw through the myth, his post-Russian writings are not those of a jilted or spiteful man. Nor did he write with the arrogance of one who would claim to have reached a higher plane of wisdom than others had yet been able to attain. As a self-proclaimed "free. Anarchist Communist/1 Alexander Berkman had remained close to the Bolsheviks for quite some time and spoke harshly to other anarchists who criticised Bolshevik methods. Yet in time the weight of evidence became compelling:

At first I could not believe that what I saw was real. I would not believe my eyes, my ears, my judgment. As those trick mirrors that make you appear dreadfully monstrous, so Russia seemed to me to reflect the Revolution as a monstrous perversion. It was an appalling caricature of the new life, the world's hope ... I fought relentlessly, bitterly, against myself. For two years I fought. It is hardest to convince him who does not want to be convinced. And, I admit, 1 did not want to be convinced that the Revolution in Russia had become a mirage, a dangerous deception.6 For eighteen months he would not piece together the indictment which the events surrounding him demanded. He consistently maintained only the loosest of ties with the anarchist movement in Russia, much to their dismay. Indeed, his defcnce of the Bolsheviks isolated him from many Russian anarchists who were disappointed by his failure to join them in their resistance to the Bolshevik consolidation of power. But at long last the elements of the indictment began to converge, and Kronstadt was the final straw that snapped his links with the Bolsheviks.

4. For more information on Makhno, see: Arshinov, History of the Makhno-ifist Movement, Black and Red/Solidarity 1974 and Voline, The Unknown Revolution, as well as my articlc "The Makhnovist Movement" Black Rose No. 2 1975. For Kronstadt, see esp. Paul Avrich, Kronstadt 1921, Princeton University Press, 1970, and Ida Mett, llie Kronstadt Uprising London, Solidarity, 1967.

5. Berkman, "Kronstadt : The Paris Commune of Russia9', leaflet, Stockholm March 1922. An original is at the Labadie Collection, Univ. of Michigan.

6. Berkman, "The Russian Tragedy Mt pamphlet, Der Syndikalist, Berlin, May 1922. p.13.

As exiled celebrities, %4Sasha,% and Emma were in close contact will) the leading figures of the Soviet regime. Quartered in the First Mouse of the Soviet at the invitation of Zorin. Secretary of the Communist Party in Pctrograd, they lived within the inner sanctum of the new authority with all the privileges and access that their status entailed. The other deportees suffered for their anonymity; all of them were arrested and placed under house arrest for protesting the proclamation of Bakaiev, head of the Petrograd Cheka greeting them upon their arrival, that ''anarchist foolishness would not be tolerated.'The Soviet "citizen" (already the State was making its claim) lacking the proper papers led a quite different life. At a raid on a pathetic "market" (desperate people trying to sell anything of value they might have in order to be able to buy a few crumbs on which to live), Berkman meets a young woman, Lena, and visits her home. By the next time he meets her she has lost her mother and two young brothers: starved to death.® Though the large shopkeepers .stay open, the ragged people gathered in the "market" are arrested for "speculation/1

Though Berkman consciously held himself at a distance from the Russian anarchists, who he felt were excessively critical in a non-co-operative spirit, lacking in solidarity, his anarchist background led him to be suspicious of Marxists and sensitive to hierarchical and authoritarian modes of organisation. However much he wanted to believe or however doggedly he defended the Bolsheviki to his critical anarchist comrades, his experiences at (he market place, the obviously staged Party functions for foreign visitors, the evident growth of a New Class all these and more began to have their effect. Theories of the degeneration or outright betrayal of the Revolution by the Bolsheviks had already established themselves in Russia by this time (and by 1920 the Bolsheviks retained almost no trade union support).9 Berkman felt that the revolution itself had occurred relatively peacefully due to the unity of the various revolutionary forces and the fact that they met almost no active opposition from the Russian bourgeoisie, which was "unorganised, weak, and not of a militant disposition/'10 The October Revolution was not really so much a bold stroke bv the Bolsheviki under Lenin as it was a culmination of months of progressive social revolution occurring throughout the country. The ubiquitous growth of peasants and workers committees and soviets sapped the power from the hands of Kerensky and the bourgeois provisional government, which surrendered without a fight as its capacity to govern had completely dissolved.11 7. limma Goldman, Livingr My l ife. NY, Dover Books 1970. p. 785. ft. Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, p.86, 304.

9. One account is that of Jay Sorcnscn, The Life and Death of Soviet Trade Unionism 19! 7-/928, NY, Atherton, 1969. From page 9: "Bolshevik support quickly evaporated after 1914. By March 1917 they were little more than a small isolated sect. Outside of a handful of unions . . . and a handful of worker-Bolsheviks, Lenin was hard pressed to find worker support for his party." As late as August 1917 John Reed also used the characterisation ivsmal) sect." See also Leonard Schapiro, Origin of the Communist Autocracy, p. 201.

10. Berkman, "The Russian Tragedy." p. 15.

11. Maurice Brinton, The Bolsheviks and Workers Control : The State and Counter-Revolution, London: Solidarity, 1970 presents a detailed chronological account as well as an excellent analysis.

Continued unity amongst the revolutionary parties and a co-opera-tive spirit, working with the people as they continued to push forward, could have ensured a tremendous period of social and economic construction and experimentation. But here is where the ideology, the arrogance, the thirst for power and the coup mentality of the Bolsheviks intruded on the revolution. The charge of betrayal of the revolution is a familiar one by now. advanced by no less than Trotsky as against Stalin at a later time. Bcrkman argues that the betrayal was fundamental to Bolshevism auu that Trotsky, recent convert to Bolshevism that he was, was as guilty of betrayal as the rest of his newly adopted party:

It must always be remembered and remembered well - that revolution does not mean destruction only. It means destruction plus construction, with the greatest emphasis on the plus. Most unfortunately. Bolshevik principles and methods were soon fated to prove a handicap, a drawback upon the creative activities of the masses. The Bolsheviki arc Marxists. Though in the October days they had accepted and proclaimed anarchist watchwords (direct action by the people, expropriation, free Soviets, and so forth), it was not their social philosophy that dictated this attitude. They had felt the popular pulse - the rising wave of the Revolution had carried them far beyond their theories. But they remained Marxists. At heart they had no faith in the people and their creative initiative. As social-dcmocrats they distrusted the peasantry, counting rather upon the support of the small revolutionary minority among the industrial element. They had advocated the Constituent Assembly, and only when they were convinced that they would not have a majority there, and therefore not be able to take State power into their own hands, they suddenly decided upon the dissolution of the Assembly, though the step was a refutation and denial of fundamental Marxist principles. As Marxists, the Bolsheviki insisted upon the nationalisation of the land: ownership, distribution and control were to be in the hands of the State. They were in principle opposed to socialisation, and only the pressure of the Left faction of the Social-Revolutionaries (the Spiridonova/Katkov wing) whose influence among the peasants was traditional, forced the Bolsheviki to "swallow the agrarian programme of the Social Revolutionists whole," as Lenin later put it . . . The very cornerstone of the Marxian credo, the dictatorship of the proletariat, served as an affront and an injury to the peasantry.12 Bcrkman points out that the peasants were constantly under-represented at All-Russian conferences. National Conferences, and in the Bolshevik-led Soviets.13 The distinction between nationalisation

12. Bcrkman, "The Russian Tragedy", pp 16, 17. Regarding the Constituent Assembly, elections held a few days after the fall of Kerensky yielded only 175 of 707 seats to the Bolsheviks. The S-Hs won 410. (E.H. Carr The Bolshevik Revolution, I, p. 120, who comments: "If this could be read as a verdict on the government set up by the October revolution, it was a crushing vote of non-confidence.")

13. See also Carr, I. pp. 153, 154. Mitrany's Marx Against the Peasant is also worthy of consultation

and socialisation, a fundamental one. is a lesson still to be learned by most self-proclaimed "socialists" throughout the world, who tend to ignore the distinction and identify the two as if they were the same. Nationalisation lends to become a substitute for true socialisation, the worker remains in a dependent and subordinate position. The power and privileges of private capital may have been abrogated but not always, for "national socialism" and fascism both permitted wide leeway for private capital in their haphazard schemes of nationalisation. Even under more comprehensive systems of nationalisation as in Soviet Russia the old managers are often invited back and a new managerial and ruling class develops. The behaviour of capital, whether it be privately owned or State owned, appears to remain relatively constant, certainly without dramatically differing modes of behaviour one might expect. The idea that State capitalism inevitably leads to Slate socialism and then l«> stateless socialism docs read well. The Marxist would argue that the progress is inevitable, and Lenin advanced this same argument when he proudly proclaimed that what he had done was institute State capitalism in Russia, (see fn. 30 below). To the anarchists. State capitalism was not the Social Revolution: it was debatable whether it could even be considered a step in that direction. Sixty years after the Russian Revolution, one hundred years after Bakuniifs death, we might all question the inevitability, and thus the alleged superiority of State capitalism over private capitalism. Nationalisation is not socialisation, and is not necessarily a step in the direction of socialisation. Insofar as it may be harder for people to seize the means of production, their workplaces and environments back from the State than from far less powerful private capitalists, nationalisation could well be argued to be in many ways a step away from socialisation. Public employees in certain categories are not "allowed" to strike. Private owners have to call upon the State and hope the State will respond. The State does not find its power one step removed.

As above. Bcrkman argues that the Revolution of 1917 was not really led by the Bolsheviks at all, though they provided an inspiration and rallying point through jettisoning their own policies and adopting those which were popular. The Bolsheviks were constantly scrambling to keep up with the pace set by the workers and peasants, and their decrees were usually ex ftosf facto ratifications of actions already carried out by the direct action of the people themselves who often defied stated Bolshevik policy and sped the Revolution along.14 In

14. Carr, II, p. 52, 64; Brinton. pp. 13, 14-16. Sorensen also lias material. Carr: "The mounting tide of anarchy in the factories served their revolutionary purposes. They could not have dammed it even if they had desired to; but they could partly steer it so long as they were prepared to ride with it. It was this situation which involved (hem in accepting and acclaiming as their own practices which were anarchist and syndicalist rather than Bolshevik.

What, however, nobody had foreseen was that the seizure of factories by the workers was in the long term even less compatible than the seizure of the land by the peasants with the establishment of a socialist order." (p.64).

Brinton referring to Lenin's Draft Decree on Workers' Control (Nov. 3, 1917): "These excellent, and often quoted, provisions in fact only listed and legalised what had already been achieved and implemented in many

fact* one of the greatest (ears of the Bolsheviks seems to have been that the workers, having taken control of the factories, and the peasants the land, might feci thai they had already accomplished the revolution and had no real need for Bolshevik leadership. As both Brinton and Carr make abundantly clear, the first actions to subordinate tiie autonomous organisations of workers and peasants becatt in 1917 - in other words, immediately well before the failure of the German Revolution, well before the beginnings of the Civil War, the Allied blockade and the other excuses usually offered for the "emergency" measures only temporary, of course.

The Mensheviks were to the Bolsheviks as the Bolsheviks were to the people. The Russian Social Democrats Mensheviks and Bolsheviks alike - did not believe that the small percentage of industrial workers in overwhelmingly agrarian Russia could maintain and carry through a full socialist revolution. The Mensheviks seemed content to achieve merely a bourgeois revolution, not believing that the appropriate conditions existed to go beyond that. The Bolsheviks distinguished themselves by being more flexible and working harder to keep up with, yet appear to be leading, the actions of the "masses/1 As has often been remarked, Lenin suddenly adopted an uncharacteristic libertarian position in The State and Revolution, much to the shock and consternation of neatly everyone else in his party.45 Events proved Lenin to have been tactically correct in assuming, temporarily, this libertarian stance.

The seizure and retention of power alone is not a revolution, though. The attempts to consolidate state power stopped the revolution and this Berkman began to see. Travelling for the Museum of the Revolution in the town of Sebezh lie learned of the opposition of the peasants to the Communists:

"We were treated like cattle before . .. and it was in the name of the Little Father. Now they speak to us in the name of the Party and the proletariat, but we are treated like cattle, the same as before."

4\ . . but the Bolshcviki gave you the land/' I remonstrated. He slowly scratched his head and a sly smile came into his eyes. "No, gotuhtchik" he replied, "the land we took ourselves. Isn't it so, little brothers?"16

places by the working class in the course of the struggles of the previous months. They were followed by three further provisions of ominous import. It is amazing that these are riot better known. In practice they were soon to nullify the positive features of the previous provisions." fp. 16). In essence, these later provisions state that (point 5) "the decisions of the elected delegates of the workers and employees [could be| annulled by trade unions and congresses (and were| answerable to the State for the maintenance of the strictest order and discipline and for the protection of property." (point 6).

15. Carr, L p.90 reports that only one person, Alexandra Kollontai, supported Lenin when he first read the April These*. The best account of all the shifting intra-Party alliances and factions Lenin was constantly juggling and splitting is Robert Daniels, The Conscience of the Revolution.

16. Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, p. 107.

So often lie found that the peasants thought the Bolsheviks to have been good, but found the Communists bad and feared them.17 The tragedy of the Russian people could not have been better portrayed than through this confusion so common in rural Russia. In Krasnoye Selo the villagers:

stood timidly on the threshhold, observing us with unfriendly eyes and exchanging whispered remarks- Gradually they regained confidence, advanced toward the table, and began conversing. They were totally ignorant of the events in the world at large; what was happening in Russia, even, was entirely incomprehensible to them. They knew that the Tsar was no more and that freedom had been given the peasant. But they felt that some huge deceit had been played on the "dark people" by those in high places. They were constantly harassed by the military, they complained; soldiers of every kind kept swooping down upon the village, taxing, confiscating, and pillaging. One by one their male folks had been drafted, often not even knowing into what army, and then the boys began to be taken, as young as sixteen. Generals and commissars kept coming and carrying the last away, and now all the cattle are gone, and the fields cannot be worked except by hand in little patches, and even the smallest children must help. Frequently the older girls arc dragged away by officers and soldiers, returning later hurt and sick. In a neighbouring village the punitive expedition whipped old peasants on the public square. In a place thirty versts from Krasnoye eighteen peasants hanged themselves after the commissars had left.

"Is it as bad in other parts?" my hostess asked. "How is it in Germany — my people come from there/'

"Germany has also had a revolution," 1 informed her. 'The Kaiser is gone."

kwRev - o - lution?" she repeated in utter incomprehension. "Did Germany have a war?"18 No less outrageous than the situation forced upon these innocent people was the clampdown on those consciously revolutionary. Berkman claims that the "fundamental characteristic of Bolshevik psychology is distrust of the masses" and that, paradoxical as it may sound, "the Communist dictatorship had no better ally, in the sense of strengthening its life, than the reactionary forces which fought against it.1 ^ Distrust of the peasantry was endemic to Marxism. The Bolsheviks took this one step further to distrust of the industrial proletariat as well. Since the unions were under Menshevik control for

17. In March 1918 the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Party (Bolsheviks) formally changed their name to the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) arid Party members became known as Communists rather than Bolsheviks. The distinction seemed more than just a change in name to the contused population that had seen the Bolsheviks as bearers of the revolutionary standard, but the Communists as the new State authority.

18. Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, pp. 264, 265.

19. Berkman, "The Anti-Climax", p. 20.

the most part and the peasants firmly backed the SR's, the Bolsheviks had very little in the way of a popular base,20 and only retained their influence through sloganising, exemplary posturing, and organisation. A brilliant series of alliances and realignment out-manoeuvred all of their competitors for power and the Bolsheviks then quickly launched into direct attacks on any who would challenge their prerogatives of rule on grounds of principle. On April 11/12th of 1918 over 25 anarchist centres in Moscow alone were raided, with over 40 killed and 500 imprisoned.21 Rather quickly, the trade unions were taken under Bolshevik control despite strong resistance in certain unions; the soviets themselves were either absorbed or dismantled.22 Berkman reports a meeting with the Secretary of the Soviet I-abour Unions in Kharkov; the Secretary says:

I am not a local man. 1 was sent from Moscow only a few weeks ago. You see. Comrade, it became necessary to liquidate the whole management of the Soviet and of most of the unions. At their heads were Mensheviki. They conducted the organisation on the principle of the alleged protection of the workers' interests. Protection against whom?" he raged. "You understand how counter-revolutionary such a concept is!"23 Brinton's book provides a comprehensive study of the Bolshevik subversion of workers control. The appelation "Soviet Union" remains a cruel misnomer today.

Berkman called the 1918 Treaty of Brest-I.itovsk the "death blow" to the Revolution. March of 1918 saw I.enin calling for a fcibieathing-speir for the Revolution and the Treaty obtained one, but only by giving over the greater part of Russia, Finland, Latvia. Lithuania, Ukrainia, White Russia, and Bessarabia to the Germans.24 When the Left SR's assassinated the German Ambassador in protest, the Bol-sheviki found themselves in "the anomalous position of a gendarme for the Kaiser" as D7herzinsky, head of the Cheka, called for the delivery of the assassin. The l-eft SR's, in a brilliant move, responded by arresting Dzherzinsky! In the end, though, they were outlawed and the Bolshevjki began in earnest their drive to crush all organised non-Bolshevik revolutionary groups. Trotsky ordered the Russian army to forcibly put down peasant guerrilla bands who were fighting to keep the Germans and White counter-revolutionaries out of the Ukraine.25 Here, Berkman argues, began the period of dictatorship over the proletariat.

20. Sorensen, op. cit.. p. 9 among other sources.

21. Paul Avrich, The Russian Anarchists, pp. 184. 185. This book is the best introduction and study of Russian anarchism. These arc the same anarchists Berkman wax later accusing of not showing adequate solidarity with the Bolsheviki. His abstract conception of revolutionary unity blinded him to the reality of the situation

22. Sorensen and Daniels both provide excellent accounts of this process. In The RoUhevik Myth we find a bit of background to the arrests of the union (pp. 150, 151). Sorensen covers the Railway Workers' Union, the State I mployecs* Union, and the Printers' Union.

23. Berkman, The Rohhevik Myth, pp. 179, 180.

24. Berkman, "The Russian 'lrase<iy" p. 18; Voline, op. cit.. p.80 or an> good history.

25. Berkman, "The Russian Tragecly%\p. 19. Arshinov and Volinc both discuss this in the particular situation of Makhno.

In March and April of 1918 Carr reports that there was an extended debate within the Communist Party over a proposal by Meshchersky, a "prominent iron and steel magnate/' that private capital^and the State run industry together on the basis of a 50/50 split in shares. The Supreme Council of National l-conomy dccidcd to negotiate on this basis and, although the project was ultimately rejected, it was at this time that Lenin published his remarkable Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Govern merit.

After the initial flirtation with expropriations and workers control, stances dictated by the developing popular revolution, Lenin again begins to emerge clearly as the supreme centraliser and statist, the advocate of state-planned and directed economic centralisation to overcome the backwardness of Russia. Communist revolution on the Leninist model can be seen as simply a telescoping of capitalist development for the underdeveloped countries, leaping over the Stage of private entrepreneurial dominance of the economy. Marx taught that capitalist development was essential to the organisation of resources necessaiy to provide the material preconditions for a socialism free from the burdens of scarcity. Lenin in The Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government elaborates, adding another aspect:

Large-scale machine industry which is precisely the material source* the productive source, the foundation of socialism calls for absolute and strict unity of will, which directs the joint labours of hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of people . . . unquestioning subordination to a single will is absolutely necessary for the success of processes organised on the pattern of large-scale machine industry ... the same revolution demands - precisely in the interests of its development and consolidation, precisely in the interests of socialism that the people unquestioningly obey the single will of the leaders of labour . , . iron discipline while at work, with unquestioning obedience to the will of a single person, the Soviet leader, while at work.26 (all emphases Lenin's).

Umn then goes on to call for higher salaries and privileges for specialists, the introduction of piece work to raise industrial productivity, the application of "much of what is progressive and scientific in the Taylor system."27 the establishment of one-man management instead of collective decision-making, and concludes by saying that one should "learn how to realise socialism from the organisers of trusts ... irrespective of their moral qualities." From Left Wing Childishness and the Petty Bourgeois Mentality: . . . our task is to study the state capitalism of the Germans, to spare no effort in copying it and not shrink from adopting dictatorial methods to hasten the copying of it. Our task is to hasten this copying even more than Peter hastened the copying of Western culture by barbarian Russia, and we must not hesitate to use barbarous methods in fighting barbarism.28

26. I.cnin, Selected Works, Vol 2, pp. 671h673, Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1970.

27. Lenin, Six Theses, Sclcctcd Works, Vol. 2, p. 680. (May 1918).

28. Lenin, Vol. 2. p. 694.

The anarchist G.P. Maximoff acids a couple more quotations from i-enin on the same theme:

The Socialist state gives the capitalist the means of production now constituting its property: factories, raw materials, mines; the capitalist works as a contractor, as a lessee, using the Socialist means of production, receiving profits of his capital, giving hack to the Socialist state part of the product . .. The capitalists will be growing alongside of you, they will he making big money on you. Let them! But you in the meantime will learn to manage the economy, and only then will you be able to build up a Communist republic . . . govern with greater firmness than the capitalists did. Otherwise, you will not win. You must remember: your administration must be more stringent and firm than the old administration . . . going as far as shootings, measures which even the old government did not visualise. The Philistines kept on writing and shouting: 'There you have it, the Bolsheviks have introduced shootings." We must say to that: yes. we did it, and we did it knowingly,29 Carr says, "This conception of a highly concentrated and monopolistic economy operated by capitalists nominally under private ownership, but under close state supervision, was what I enin meant by 'state capitalism' " and then quotes Lenin: "state capitalism would be a step forward . . .that should be a victory." State capitalism was the ally of socialism against "the small proprietor, small capital . „ . petty bourgeoisie."30 Lenin in 1918 was asking for a halt to independent action in the economic realm, for a "refusal to continue the break-up of capitalist productive relationships and even a partial restoration of them."31

Lenin introduced shootings, the Cheka gained more and more influence, and dozens of further quotations could easily be assembled to document Lenin's constant prodding against sentimentalism and hesitancy in carrying out what he frankly called the "terror."32 Bcrkman comments: "The fanatical delusion that a little conspirative group, as it were, could achieve a fundamental social transformation proved the Frankenstein of the Bolsheviki . . . The methods of such a

29. G. \\ Maximoff, The Guillotine At Work. pp. 146, 152 quoting Lenin, Sobranie Sochincniy. Vol. XVIII, part one, pp. 374, 375, 379. l.cnin may have been excellent at economic co-ordination, though one C3n easily have one's doubts, considering the estimated five million that died of famine during this period, but lie certainly did not seem to rate Marx's concern with alienated labour very highly. And, of course, these weren't the large industrialists who were bcinjr shot.

30. Carrtop at11, pp. 97,98.

31. fbid.% II, p. 95. By "independent action", of course, he means direct expropriation by workers and peasants no! sanctioned by the Communist authorities.

32. Maximoff estimates, calling it conservative, "no less than 200,000'' shootings, adding: "Some place it as the much higher figure of 1,500,000/* The Guillotine At Work, p. 240. Despite his strident and frenetic style, Maximoff (anarchist and frequenter of Bolshevik prisons) has assembled an impressive amount of documentation. It is unfortunate that his style of presentation tends to mar the material he presents. Sometimes it is difficult to restrain one's emotions when dealing with what one feels to be the most monstrous perversion and betrayal of people's hopes.

theory, its inevitable means, are twofold: decrees and terror."33 Lenin was bluntly frank about the need for terror and enjoyed terming freedom a "bourgeois prejudice/'34 In the Bolshevik Myth, Berkman recounts meeting some of the sadists who inevitably burgeon under such a system. One also finds the growth of such creatures as Petrovsky, Chairman of the All-lJkrainian Central Executive Committee, for whom "Communism is a simple matter of a strong government and determination to execute its will. It is not a question of experimentation or idealistic possibilities ... A powerful central authority, consistently carrying out its policies, would solve all problems, he believes. Opposition must be eliminated; disturbing elements and inciters of the peasantry against the Soviet regime such as Makhno. crushed."35

The peasants took the land; the workers the factories. Lenin set out to retake them both — in the name of the workers and the peasants! Although Maximoff seems to go too far in calling Lenin the "first theoretician of fascism" the relationship between state capitalism, state socialism and fascism remains inadequately explored.

With the publication of Solzhcnitsyn's Gulag Archipelago comes a revival of interest in the charges that "Stalinism" was not at all idiosyncratic to Stalin but had its roots much earlier. Berkman, no Tsarist or friend of religion, traces it to the Jesuitism and Jacobinism of the Bolsheviks and would, with Bakunin, take it back to elements in Marx's own work. Even such thorough critiques of Stalinism as Roy Mcdvedev's Let History Judge, certainly the work of an exceptionally honest and concerned man, preserves the sacrosanct status of Lenin and portrays Stalin as an aberration. Though Medvedev has the courage to call the present-day leaders of his land to account, he allows Lenin's memory to rest in untroubled peace.36 Solzhcnitsyn's project, how-

33. Berkman, "The Russian Tragedy p. 22.

34. Berkman himself was, of course, accused of this for his concern with those imprisoned by the new regime. A few other interesting points: in 1919 a "military opposition" accused Trotsky of "building up new national conscript army with professional officers partly drawn from the old Tsarist army/' (Carr, I, p.202). The election of officers was abandoned and the death penalty applied to conscientious objectors to the universal military conscription. (Berkman, "The Russian Tragedy," p. 23). By contrast, Makhno's peasant guerrillas organised only voluntarily. With Trotsky as Commissar of War "thousands" of former imperial officers were brought back to service. (Avrich, Kronstadt 1921. p. 66). At the Ninth Party Congress (March 1920) Lenin and Trotsky call for the "militarisation of labour" and for one-man management to take the place of collective management. Berkman also reports on the alliance of the Bolsheviks with professional criminal gangs in Odessa. (Bolshevik Myth, pp. 251, 252).

35. Berkman, Bolshevik Myth, p. 176.

36. Solzhenitsyn's work already begins to have a bit of an effect on Medvedev, though. See his response in Ramparts, Jan. 1974. Very important also is David Horowitz's reaction to leftists who criticise or attempt to ignore Solzhcnitsyn. Goldman and Berkman met a similar kind of hostility, though in their ease they were accusing the Communists of not being revolutionary enough and playing, m essence, a counter-revolutionary role. Sol2henitsyn, as we know, comes from a different angle.

ever, seems concerned with demythologising l-enin and leninism only to promote the tired myths of God and State as guarantors of social order.

Lenin's tremendous achievements as developer of modern Russia cannot be undercut, yet one can question the severity of his methods, the price paid by the peoples of the Soviet Union and, in fact, the price paid by all subsequent revolutionary movements. The appeal of Marxism/Leninism, though, today remains strong, especially to developing countries seeking quicker development and to intellectuals frustrated with the slowness of the masses to respond to their intellectual conceptions of how to effect social change. Yet it was Marx who said: "the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves/'1

In concluding his study The Bolshevik and Workers Control: The State and Counterrevolution, Maurice Brinton stresses:

'Workers' power' cannot be identified or equated with the power of the Party - as it repeatedly was by the Bolsheviks. In the words of Rosa Luxemburg, workers' power must be implemented "by the class, not a minority, managing things in the name of the class. It must emanate from the active involvement of the masses, remain under their dirept influence, be submitted to control by the entire population, result from the increasing political awareness of the people."2Brinton concludes by contending that, rather than being a fundamentally new ideology, Bolshevism is but "the last garb donned by a bourgeois ideology as it was being subverted at the roots," that the essence of bourgeois ideology is the division of society into leaders and led and the extension of authoritarian social relationships into all aspects of life. To use another terminology, Leninism is essentially a supremely macho concept or world view, an arrogating presumption which reinforces and builds on ingrained behaviour modes of hierarchy and dominance rather than helping search for new modes of true liberation from hierarchy and from domination. Once Marxist/Leninism is recognised as the last, most sophisticated, and quite seductive attempt of the bourgeois intellectual to rework social arrangements to fit a preconceived, abstract notion, rather than to permit and encourage the people themselves to handle this process, it will then become possible to re-open authentic revolutionary experimentation and explorations toward freedom.

William G. Nowlin Jnr.

April, 1976

Alexander Btrkmatt. Moscow, 1920. (IntcriutiofttI Institute of Social History* Amsterdam).

A^ .it upon demonstrate for the pjwer of the rovten. IVI 7. <The Unknot Revolution. BAH. DcwolO.


(A Review and An Outlook)




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We live at a time when two civilisations arc struggling for their existence. Present socicty is at death grips with the "New Ideal. The Russian Revolution was but the firsl serious combat of the two forces, whose struggle must con? tinue 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 revolutionising the thought and feeling of the masses of Russia and of the world, in undermining the fundamental conccpts of existing society, and lighting the torch of faith and hope for the Better Day, the Russian Revolution has been of incalculable educational and inspirational value to mankind.

Though the Russian Revolution failed to achieve its true goal, it will forever remain a most magnificent historic event. And yet — tremendous as it is — it is but an incident in the gigantic war of the two worlds.

That war will go on, is going on. In that war capitalism is already facing its doom. Yet more: with capitalism, cen* traliscd political government, the STATE, is also doomed, — and that is the most significant lesson of the Russian Revo* Iution, as I see it.

This pamphlet was recently published in the Dutch language, whereupon a Holland critic wrote to me: "You have failed to give the full lesson of the Russian Revolution".

I agree with him. It will require a great many volumes to give "the full lesson" of so tremendous an event as the Russian Revolution. My purpose is more modest. It will require the effort of many minds to clarify to the world the full significance of the Russian Revolution, the potentials ties of the ideals and ideas involved in it. I merely want to contribute my little share.

I have decided to incorporate the result of my two years* study and observation in Russia in a scries of pamphlets under the general caption of the RUSSIAN REVOLUTION SERIES.

The Series will comprise a critical review of the most important phases of the Revolution, together with a con« structive analysis of some of the vital lessons to be drawn.

If the present Scries will help to make things a little clearer in regard to Russia, if it will aid the workers to see the path of liberation a little straightcr, then I shall consider my effort fully repaid.

May, 1922




It is most surprising how little is known, outside of Russia, about the actual situation and the conditions prevails ing in that country, liven intelligent persons, especially among the workers, have the most confused ideas about the character of the Russian Revolution, its development, and its present political, economic and social status. Understand* ing of Russia and of what has been happening there since 1917 is most inadequate, to say the least. Though the great majority of people side either with or against the Revolution, speak for or against the Bolsheviki, yet almost nowhere is there concrete knowledge and clarity in regard to the vital subjects involved. Generally speaking, the views expressed

— friendly or otherwise — are based on very incomplete and unreliable, frequently entirely false, information about the Russian Revolution, its history and the present phase of the Bolshevik regime. But not only are the opinions enter? taincd founded, as a rule, on insufficient or wrong data; too often they arc deeply colored — properly speaking, distorted

— by partisan feeling, personal prejudice, and class interests. On the whole, it is sheer ignorance, in one form or another, which characterises the attitude of the great majority of people toward Russia and Russian events.

And yet, understanding of the Russian situation is most vital to the future progress and well*bcing of the world. On the correct estimation of the Russian Revolution, the role played in it by the Bolsheviki and by other political parties and movements, and the causes that have brought about the present situation, — in short, on a thorough conception of the whole problem depends what lessons we shall draw from the great historic events of 1917. Those lessons will, for good or evil, affect the opinions and the activities of great masses of mankind. In other words, coming social changes — and the labor and revolutionary efforts preceding and accom* panying them — will be profoundly, essentially influenced by the popular understanding of what has really happened in Russia.

It is generally admitted that the Russian Revolution is the most important historic event since the Circat French Revolution. I am even inclined to think that, in point of its potential consequences, the Revolution of 1917 is the most significant fact in the whole known history of mankind. It is the only Revolution which aimed, de facto, at social world? revolution; it is the only one which actually abolished thccapi* talist system on a countrywide scale, and fundamentally altered all social relationships existing till then. An event of such human and historic magnitude must not be judged from the narrow viewpoint of partisanship. No subjective feeling or preconception should be consciously permitted to color one's attitude. Above all, every phase of the Revolution must be carefully studied, without bias or prejudice, and all the facts dispassionately considered, to enable us to form a just and adequate opinion. I believe — I am firmly con* vinced — that only the whole truth about Russia, irrespective of any considerations whatever, can be of ultimate benefit.

Unfortunately, such has not been the case so far, as a general rule. It was natural, of course, for the Russian Revo* Iution to arouse bitterest antagonism, on the one hand, and most passionate defense, on the other. But partisanship, of whatever camp, is not an objective judge. To speak plainly, the most atrocious lies, as well as ridiculous fairy tales, have been spread about Russia, and are continuing to be spread, even at this late day. Naturally, it is not to be wondered at that the enemies of the Russian Revolution, the enemies of revolution, as such, the reactionaries and their tools, should have flooded the world with most venomous misrcprcsenta* tion of events transpiring in Russia. About them and their "information" I need not waste any further words: in the eyes of honest, intelligent people they are discredited long


But, sad to state, it is the would-be friends of Russia and of the Russian Revolution who have done the greatest harm to the Revolution, to the Russian people, and to the best in* terests of the working masses of the world, by their exercise of zeal untempcrcd by truth. Some unconsciously, out of ignorance, but most of them consciously and intentionally have been lying, persistently and cheerfully, in defiance of all facts, in the mistaken notion that they are "helping the Revolution". Reasons of "political expediency", of "Bolshc* vik diplomacy", of the alleged "necessity of the hour", and frequently motives of less unselfish considerations, have actuated them. The sole legitimate consideration of decent men, of real friends of the Russian Revolution and of man's emancipation, — as well as of reliable history — considera* Hon for trufh, they have entirely ignored.

There have been honorable exceptions, unfortunately too few: their voice has almost been lost in the wilderness of misrepresentation, falsehood, and overstatement. But most of those who visited Russia simply lied about the conditions in that country, — I repeat it deliberately. Some lied because they did not know any better: thev had had neither the time nor the opportunity to study the situation, to learn the facts. They made "flying trips", spending ten days or a few weeks in Pctrograd and Moscow, unfamiliar with the language, never for a moment coming in direct touch with the real life of the people, hearing and seeing only what was told or shown them by the interested officials accompanying them at every step. In many cases these "students of the Revo* lution" were veritable innoccnts abroad, naive to the point of the ludicrous. So unfamiliar were they with the environ* mcnt, that in most cases they had not even the faintest suspi* cion that their affable "interpreter", so eager to "show and explain everything", was in reality a member of the "trusted men", specially assigned to "guide" important visitors. Many such visitors have since spoken and written voluminously about the Russian Revolution, with little knowledge and less understanding.

Others there were who had the time and the opportunity, and some of them really tried to study the situation seriously, not merely for the purpose of journalistic "copy". During my two years' stay in Russia I had occasion to come in per? sonal contact with almost every foreign visitor, with the La* bor missions, and with practically every delegate from Europe, Asia, America and Australia, who gathered in Mos* cow to attend the International Communist Congress and the Revolutionary Trade Union Congress held there last year. (1921.) Most of them could see and understand what was happening in the country. But it was a rare exception, indeed, that had vision and courage enough to realize that only the whole truth could serve the best interests of the situation.

As a general rule, however, the various visitors to Russia were extremely careless of the truth, systematically so, the moment they began "enlightening" the world. Their asser* tions frequently bordered on criminal idiocy. Think, for in* stance, of George Lansbury (publisher of the London "Daily Herald") stating that the ideas of brotherhood, equality, and love prcachcd by Jesus the Nazarcne were being realised in Russia — and that at the very time when Lenin was deploring the "necessity of military communism forced upon us by Allied intervention and blockade". Consider the "equality" that divided the population of Russia into 36 categories, according to the ration and wages rcccived. Another Eng* lishman, a noted writer, emphatically claimcd that everything would be well in Russia, were it not for outside interference — while whole districts in the East, the South, and in Siberia, some of them larger in area than France, were in armed rc« bellion against the Bolsheviki and their agrarian policy. Other literati were extolling the "free Soviet system" of Russia, while 18,000 of her sons lay dead at Kronstadt in the struggle to achieve free Soviets.

But why enlarge upon this literary prostitution? The reader will easily recall to mind the legion of Ananiascs who have been strenuously denying the very existence of the things that Lenin tried to explain as inevitable. I know that many delegates and others believed that the real Russian situation, if known abroad, might strengthen the hand of the reactionists and interventionists. Suth a belief, however, did not necessitate the painting of Russia as a veritable labor Eldorado. But the time when it might have been considered inadvisable to speak fully of the Russian situation is long past. That period has been terminated, relegated into the archives of history, by the introduction of the "new economic policy". Now the time has come when we must learn the full lesson of the Revolution and the causes of its debacle. That we may avoid the mistakes it made (Lenin frankly says they were many), that we be enabled to adopt its best fea* tures, we must know the whole truth about Russia.

It is therefore that I consider the present activities of certain labor men as positively criminal and a betrayal of the true interests of the workers of the world. I refer to the men and women, some of them delegates to the Cons grosses held in Moscow in 1921, that still continue to propa* gate the "friendly" lies about Russia, delude the masses with roseate pictures of labor conditions in that country, and even seek to induce workers of other lands to migrate in large numbers to Russia. They are stregthening the appalling con; fusion already existing in the popular inind, deceive the pro* letariat by false statements of the present and vain promises for the near future. They arc perpetuating the dangerous dc* lusion that the Revolution is alive and continuously active in Russia. It is most despicable tactics. Of course, it is easy for an American labor leader, playing to the radical element, to write glowing reports about the condition of the Russian workingmcn, while he is being entertained at State expense at the Luxe, the most lucrative hotel in Russia. Indeed, he may insist that "no money is needed", for does he not receive everything his heart desires, free of charge? Or why should the President of an American ncedlesworkers' union not state that the Russian workers enjoy full liberty of speech? He is careful not to mention that only Communists and "trusties" were permitted within speaking distance while the distin? guished visitor was "investigating" conditions in the fac* tories.

May history be merciful to them.


That the reader may form a just estimate of what I shall say further, I think it necessary to skctch briefly my mental attitude at the time of my arrival in Russia.

It was two years ago. A democratic government, "the freest on earth", had deported me — together with 248 other politicals — from the country I had lived in over thirty years. I had protested emphatically against the moral wrong per* petratcd by an alleged democracy in resorting to methods it had so vehemently condemned on the part of the Tsarist autocracy. I branded deportation of politicals as an outrage on the most fundamental rights of man, and I fought it as a matter of principle.

But my heart was glad. Already at the outbreak of the February Revolution I had yearned to go to Russia. But the Mooney case had detained me: I was loath to desert the fight. Then I myself was taken prisoner by the United States, and penalised for my opposition to world slaughter. During two years the forccd hospitality of the Federal penitentiary at Atlanta, Ga., prevented my departure. Deportation followed.

My heart was glad, did I say? Weak word to express the passion of joy that filled me at the certainty of visiting Russia. Russia! I was going to the country that had swept Tsardom off the map, I was to behold the land of the Social Revolution! Could there be greater joy to one who in his very childhood had been a rebel against tyranny, whose youth's unformed dreams had visioncd human brotherhood and happiness, whose entire life was devoted to the Social Revolution?!

The journey was an inspiration. Though we were prison? ers, treated with military severity, and the "Buford" a leaky old tub repeatedly endangering our lives during the month's Odyssey, yet the thought that we were on the way to the land of revolutionary promise kept the whole company of deportees in high spirits, a«tremble with expectation of the great Day soon to come. Long, long was the voyage, shame* ful the conditions we were forccd to endure: crowded below deck, living in constant wetness and foul air, fed on the poor? est rations. Our patience was nigh exhausted, yet our courage unflagging, and at last we reached our destination.

It was the 19th of January, 1920, when we touched the soil of Soviet Russia. A feeling of solemnity, of awe, almost overwhelmed me. Thus must have felt my pious old forefathers on first entering the Holy of Holies. A strong desire was upon me to kneel down and kiss the ground — the ground consecrated by the life-blood of generations of suffering and martyrdom, consecrated anew by the thriumphant revolutionists of my own day. Never before, not even when released from the horrible nightmare of 14 years' prison, had I been stirred so profoundly, — longing to embrace humanity, to lay my heart at its feet, to give my life a thousand times, were it but possible, to the service of the Social Revolution. It was the most sublime day of my life.

We were received with open arms. The revolutionary hymn, played by the military Red Band, greeted us enthusi* asticallv as we crossed the Russian frontier. The hurrahs of the rcdscappcd defenders of the Revolution echoed through the woods, rolling into the distance like threats of thunder. With bowed head I stood in the presence of the visible svm* bols of the Revolution Triumphant. With bowed head and bowed heart. My spirit was proud, yet meek with the consciousness of actual Social Revolution. What depths, what grandeur lay therein, what incalculable possibilities stretched in its vistas!

I heard the still voice of my soul: "May your past life have contributed, if ever so little, to the realisation of the great human ideal, to this, its successful beginning". And I became conscious of the great happiness it offered me: to do, to work, to help with every fiber of my being the complete revolutionary expression of this wonderful people. They had fought and won. They proclaimed the Social Revolution. It meant that oppression has ceased, that submission and slavery, man's twin curses, were abolished. The hope of generations, of ages, has at last been realised: justice has been established upon the earth — at least upon that part of it that was Soviet Russia, and nevermore shall the pre* cious heritage be lost.

But years of war and revolution have exhausted the country. There is suffering and hunger, and much need of stout hearts and willing hands to do and help. My heart sang for joy. Aye, I will give myself fully, completely, to the service of the people; I shall be rejuvenated and grow young again in ever greater effort, in the hardest toil, for the furtherance of the common weal. My very life will I cons sccrate to the realisation of the world's great hope, the Social Revolution.

At the first Russian army outpost a massmecting was held to welcome us. The large hall crowded with soldiers and sailors, the nun^dressed women on the speaker's platform, their speeches, the whole atmosphere palpitating with Revo* lution in action, — all made a deep impression on me. Urged to say something, I thanked the Russian comradcs for their warm welcomc of the American deportees, congratulated them on their heroic struggle, and expressed my great joy at being in their midst. And then my whole thought and feel* ing fused in one sentence. "Dear Comrades", I said, "we came not to teach but to learn; to learn and to help".

Thus I entered Russia. Thus felt my fellow*deportccs.

I remained two years. What I learned, I learned gradually, day by day, in various parts of the country. I had exceptional opportunities for observation and study. I stood close to the leaders of the Communist Party, associated much with the most active men and women, participated in their work, and travelled extensively through the country under conditions most favorable to personal contact with the life of the workers and peasants. At first I could not believe that what I saw was real. I would not believe my eyes, my ears, my judgment. As those trick mirrors that make you appear dreadfully monstrous, so Russ sia seemed to reflect the Revolution as a frightful perversion. It was an appalling caricature of the new life, the world's hope. I shall not now go into detailed description of my first impressions, my investigations, and the long process that resulted in my final conviction. I fought relentlessly, bitterly, against myself. For two years I fought. It is hards est to convince him who does not want to be convinced. And, I admit, I did not want to be convinced that the Re* volution in Russia had become a mirage, a dangerous deceps tion. Long and hard I struggled against this conviction. Yet proofs were accumulating, and each day brought more damns ing testimony. Against my will, against, my hopes, against the holy fire of admiration and enthusiasm for Russia which burned within me, I was convinced — convinced that the Russian Revolution had been done to death.

How and by whom?


It has been asserted by some writers that Bolshevik accession to power in Russia was due to a coup de main, and doubt has been expressed regarding the social nature of the October change.

Nothing could be further from the truth. As a matter of historic fact, the great event known as the October Res volution was in the profoundest sense a social revolution. It was characterised by all the essentials of such a fundas mental change. It was accomplished, not by any political party, but by the people themselves, in a manner that radically transformed all the heretofore existing economic, political and social relations. But it did not take place in October. That month witnessed only the formal "legal sanction" of the revolutionary events that had preceded it. For weeks and months prior to it, the actual Revolution had been going on all over Russia: the city proletariat was taking possession of the shops and factories, while the peasants expropriated the big estates and turned the land to their own use. At the same time workers' commitecs, peasant committes and Soviets sprang up all over the country, and there began the gradual transfer of power from the provisional government to the Soviets. That took place, first in Petrograd, then in Moscow, and quickly spread to the Volga region, the Ural district, and to Siberia. The popular will found expression in the slogan, "All power to the Soviets", and it went sweep? ing through the length and breadth of the land. The people had risen, the actual Revolution was on. The keynote of the situation was struck by the Congress of the Soviets of the North, proclaiming: "The provisional government of Keren* sky must go; the Soviets are the sole power!"

That was on October 10th. Practically all the real power was already with the Soviets. In July the Petrograd uprising against Kerensky was crushed, but in August the influence of the revolutionary workers and of the garrison was strong enough to enable them to prevent the attack planned by Korniloff. The Petrograd Soviet gained strength from day to day. On October 16th it organised its own Revolutionary Military Committee, an act of definance of and open chaU lenge to the government. The Soviet, through its Revolution nary Military Committee, prepared to defend Petrograd against the coalition government of Kerensky and the pos* sible attack of General Kaledin and his counter-revolutionary cossacks. On October 22nd the whole proletarian popular tion of Petrograd, solidarically supported by the garrison, de* monstrated throughout the city against the government and in favor of "All power to the Soviets".

The AlbRussian Congress of Soviets was to open on October 25th. The provisional government, knowing its very existence in imminent peril, resorted to drastic action. On

October 23rd the Pctrograd Soviet ordered the Kerensky Ca* binet to withdraw within 48 hours. Driven to desperation, Kerensky undertook — on October 24th — to suppress the revolutionary press, arrest the most prominent revolutionists of Petrograd, and remove the active Commissars of the So* vict. The government relied on the "faithful" troops and on the young yunkcrs of the military student schools. But it was too late: the attempt to sustain the government failed. During the night of October 24—25 (November 6—7) the Kerensky government was dissolved — peacefully, without bloodshed — and the exclusive supremacy of the Soviets was established. The Communist Party stepped into power. It was the political culmination of the Russian Revolution.


Various factors contributed to the succcss of the Revo* lution. To begin with, it met with almost no active opposi? tion: the Russian bourgeoisie was unorganised, weak, and not of a militant disposition. But the main reasons lay in the all«absorbing enthusiasm with which the revolutionary slo* gatis had fired the whole people. "Down with the war!", "Immediate peace!", "The land to the peasant, the factory to the workers!", "All power to the Soviets!" — these were expressive of the passionate soul cry and deepest needs of the great masses. No power could withstand their mira* culous effect.

Another very potent factor was the unity of the various revolutionary elements in their opposition to the Kerensky government. Bolsheviki, Anarchists, the left faction of the Social s Revolutionist parly, the numerous politicals freed from prison and Siberian exile, and the hundreds of returned revolutionary emigrants, had all worked during the February? October months toward a common goal.

But if "it was easy to begin" the Revolution, as Lenin had said in one of his speeches, to develop it, to carry it to its logical conclusion was another and more difficult matter.

Two conditions were essential to such a consummation: con? tinucd unity of all the revolutionary forces, and the applica* tion of the country's goodswill, initiative and best energies to the important work of the new social construction. It must always be remembered — and remembered well — that revolution does not mean destruction only. It means dc* struction plus construction, with the greatest emphasis on the plus. Most unfortunately, Bolshevik principles and methods were soon fated to prove a handicap, a drawback upon the creative activities of the masses.

The Bolshcviki are Marxists. Though in the October days they had accepted and proclaimed an* archist watchwords (direct action by the people, expropriation, free Soviets, and so forth), it was not their social philosophy that dictated this attitude. They had felt the popular pulse — the rising waves of the Revolution had carried them far bevond their theories. But they remained Marxists. At heart they had no faith in the people and their creative initiative. As sociabdemocrats they distrusted the peasantry, counting rather upon the support of the small revolutionary minority among the industrial element. They had advocated the Constituent Assembly, and only when they were convinced that they would not have a majority there, and therefore not be able to take State power into their own hands, they suddenly decided upon the dissolution of the Assembly, though the step was a refutation and a denial of fundamental Marxist principles. (Incidentally, it was an Anarchist, Anatoly Zhcleznvakov, in charge of the palace guard, who took the initiative in the matter). As Marxists, the Bolsheviki insisted on the nationalisa* tion of the land: ownership, distribution and con? trol to be in the hands of the State. They were in principle opposed to socialisation, and only the pressure of the Left faction of the Social^Revolutionists (the Spiridonova?Kamkov wing) whose influence among the peasantry was traditional, forced the Bolsheviki to "swallow the agrarian programme of the Socialist^Revolutionists whole", as Lenin afterwards put it.

From the first days of their accession to political power the Marxist tendencies of the Bolsheviki began to manifest themselves, to the detriment of the Revolution. Sociakdemo* cratic distrust of the peasantry influenced their methods and measures. At the AlURussian Conferences the peasants did not rcccive equal representation with the industrial workers. Not only the village speculator and exploiter, but the agrarian population as a whole was branded by the Bolsheviki as ' petty bosses" and "bourgeois", "unable to keep step with the proletariat on the road to socialism". The Bolshevik government discriminated against the peasant represents? tives in the Soviets and at the National Conferences, sought to handicap their independent efforts, and systematically narrowed the scope and activities of the Land Commissariat, then bv far the most vital factor in the reconstruction of Russia. (The Commissariat was then presided over by a Left SociakRevolutionist). Inevitably this attitude led to much dissatisfaction on the part of the great peasant masses. The Russian muzhik is simple and naive, but with the instinct of the primitive man he quickly senses a wrong: 110 fine dialectics can budge his oncc settled conviction. The very cornerstone of the Marxian credo, the dictatorship of the proletariat, served as an affront and an injury to the peasantry. They demanded an equal share in the organisa? tion and administration of the affairs of the country. Had they not been enslaved, oppressed and ignored long enough? The dictatorship of the proletariat the peasant resented as discrimination against himself. "If dictatorship must be", he argued, "why not of all who labor, of the town worker and of the peasant, together?"

Then came the Brest*Litovsk peace. In its far?rcaching results it proved the death blow to the Revolution. Two months previously, in December, 1917, Trotzky had refused, with a fine gesture of noble indignation, the peace offered by Germany on conditions much more favorable to Russia. "We wage no war, we sign no peace!" he had said, and revo* lutionary Russia applauded him. "No compromise with German imperialism, no concessions", echocd through the length and breadth of the country, and the people stood ready to defend their Revolution to the very death. But now Lenin demanded (he ratification of a peace that meant the most mean-spirited betrayal of the greater part of Russia. Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraina, White Russia, Bessarabia — all were to be turned over to the oppression and exploits ation of the German invader and of their own bourgeoisie. Ir was a monstrous thing — the sacrifice at once of the prim ciples of the Revolution and of its interests as well.

Lenin insisted on ratification, on the ground that the Revolution needed a "breathing spell", that Russia was exhausted, and that peace would enable the "revolutionary oasis" to gather strength for new effort. Radek denounced acceptance of BresNLitovsk conditions as betrayal of the October Revolution. Trotzky disagreed with Lenin. The revolutionary forces split. The Left SociaWRevolu* tionists, most of the Anarchists and many of the non* partisan revolutionary elements were bitterly opposed to making peace with imperialism, especially on the terms dies tatcd then by Germany. They declared that such a peace would be fatal to the Revolution; that the principle of "peace without annexations" must not be sacrificed; that the Ger* man conditions involved the basest treachery to the workers and peasants of the provinces demanded by the Prussians; that the peace would subject the whole of Russia to eco* nomic and political dependence upon German Imperialism, that the invaders would possess themselves of the L'krainan bread and the Don coal, and drive Russia to industrial ruin.

But Lenin's influence was potent. I le prevailed. The BrcsM.itovsk treaty was ratified by the 4th Soviet Congress.

It was Trotzky who first asserted, in refusing the Gcr* man pcacc terms offered in December, 1917, that the workers and peasants, inspired and armed by the Revolution, could by guerilla warfare overcome any army of invasion. The Left SocialsRevolutionists now called for peasant uprisings to oppose the Germans, confident that no army could conquer the revolutionary ardor of a people fighting for the fruits of their great Revolution. Workers and peasants, responding to this call, formed military detachments and rushed to the aid of Ukraina and White Russia, then valiantly struggling against the German invaders. Trotzkv ordered the Russian army to pursue and suppress these partisan units.

The killing of Mirbach followed. It was the protest of the Left SociaURcvolutionist Party against, and the defiance of, Prussian imperialism within Russia. The Bolshevik government initiated repressive measures: it now felt itself, as it were, under obligations to Germany. Dzerzhinsky, head of the AIURussian Extraordinary Commission, demanded the delivery of the terrorist. It was a situation unique in revolutionary annals: a revolutionary party in power demanding of another revolutionary party, with which it had til! then cooperated, the arrest and punishment of a revolution* ist for executing the representative of an imperialist govern* merit! The Brest*Litovsk peace had put the Bolsheviki in the anomalous position of a gendarme for the Kaiser. The Left SociaURcvolutionists replied to Dzerzhinsky s demand by arresting the latter. This act, and the armed skirmishes which followed it (though insignificant in themselves) were tho* roughly exploited by the Bolshevik! politically. They de* clared that it was an attempt of the Left Social*Revolutionist Party to seize the reins of government. They announced that party outlawed, and their examination began.

These Bolshevik methods and tactics were not accident* al. Soon it became evident that it is the settled policy of the Communist State to crush every form of expression no* in accord with the government. After the ratification of thi BrestsLitovsk peace the Left Social*Rcvolutionist Part\ withdrew its representative in the Soviet of People's Com missars. The Bolsheviki thus remained in exclusive contro of the government. I'ndcr one pretext and another then followed most arbitrary and cruel suppression of all th< other political parties and movements. The Mcnshcviki am the Right SoeiaLRevolutionists had been "liquidated" long before, together with the Russian bourgeoisie. Now was the turn 01 the revolutionary elements — the Left SociaURevolu* tionists. the Anarchists, the non-partisan revolutionists.

But the "liquidation" of these involved much more than the suppression of small political groups. These revolutionary elements had strong fallowings, the Left SociakRcvolw tionists among the peasantry, the Anarchists mainly among the city proletariat. The new Bolshevik tactics encompassed systematic eradication of every sign of dissatisfaction, stifling all criticism and crushing independent opinion or effort. With this phase the Bolsheviki enter upon the dicta* torship over the proletariat, as it is popularly characterised in Russia. The government's attitude to the peasantry is now that of open hostility. More increasingly is violence resorted to. Labor unions arc dissolved, frequently by force, when their loyalty to the Communist Party is suspected. The cooperatives are attacked. This great organisation, the fraternal bond between city and country, whose economic functions were so vital to the interests of Russia and of the Revolution, is hindered in its important work of production, exchange and distribution of the necessaries of life, is diss organised, and finally completely abolished.

Arrests, night searches, zassada (house blockade), cxccu* tions, arc the order of the day. The Extraordinary Com* missions (Tchcka), originally organised to fight counters revolution and speculation, is becoming the terror of every worker and peasant. Its secret agents are everywhere, always unearthing "plots", signifying the razstrcl (shooting) of hundreds without hearing, trial or appeal, l'rom the intended defense of the Revolution the Tchcka becomes the most dreaded organisation, whose injustice and cruelty spread terror over the whole country. All?powcrful, owing no one responsibility, the Tchcka is a law unto itself, possesses its own army, assumes police, judicial, administrative and cxecu* tivc powers, and makes its own laws that supersede those of the official State. The prisons and concentration camps arc filled with alleged counter?revolutionists and speculators, 95 per cent of whom arc starved workers, simple peasants, and even children of 10 to 14 years of age. (Sec reports of prison investigations, Petrograd "Krasnaya Gazetta" and "Pravda"; Moscow "Pravda", May, June, July, 1920). Com* munism hccomcs synonymous in the popular mind with Tchckism, the latter the epitome of all that is vile and brutal. The seed of counterrevolutionary feeling is sown broadcast.

The other policies of the "revolutionary government" keep step with these developments. Mechanical ccntralisa* tion, run mad, is paralising the industrial and economic active itics of the country. Initiative is frowned upon, free effort systematically discouraged. The great masses are deprived of the opportunity to shape the policies of the Revolution, or take part in the administration of the affairs of the country. The government is monopolising every avenue of life: the Revolution is divorced from the people. A bureau* cratic machine is created that is appalling in its parasitism, inefficiency and corruption. In Moscow alone this new class of sovburs (Soviet bureaucrats) exceeds, in 1920, the total of office holders throughout the whole of Russia under the Tsar in 1914. (Sec official report of investigation by Corns mittcc of Moscow Soviet, 1921). The Bolshevik economic policies, effectively aided by this bureaucracy, completely disorganise the already crippled industrial life of the country. Lenin, Zinoviev, and other Communist leaders thunder philippics against the new Soviet bourgeoisie, — and issue ever new decrees that strengthen and augment its numbers and influence.

The system of yedinolitchiye is introduced: manage* mcnt by one person. Lenin himself is its originator and chief advocate. Henceforth the shop? and factory committees are to be abolished, stripped of all power. Every mill, mine, and factory, the railroads and all the other industries are to be managed by a single head, a "specialist", — and the old Tsarist bourgeoisie is invited to step in. The former bankers, bourse operators, mill owners and factory bosses become the managers, in full control of the industries, with absolute power over the workers. They are vested with authority to hire, employ and discharge the "hands", to give or deprive them of the payok (food ration), even to punish them and turn them over to the Tchcka. The workers, who had fought and bled for the Revolution and were willing to suffer, freeze and starve in its defense, resent this unheard of imposition. They regard it as the worst betrayal. They refuse to be dominated by the very owners and foremen whom they had driven, in the days of the Revolution, out of the factories and who had been so lordlv and brutal to them. They have no

• V

interest in such a reconstruction. The "new system", heralded by Lenin as the savior of the industries, results in the compictc paralysis of the economic life of Russia, drives the workers en masse from the factories, and fills them with bitterness and hatred, of everything "socialistic". The prin? ciples and tactics of Marxian mechanisation of the Revolution are sealing its doom.

The fanatical delusion that a little conspirative group, as it were, could achieve a fundamental social transformation proved the Frankenstein of the Bolsheviki. It led them to incredible depths of infamy and barbarism. The methods of such a theory, its inevitable means, arc twofold: decrees and terror. Neither of these did the Bolsheviki spare. As Bukharin, the foremost ideologue of the militant Commu« nists. taught, terrorism is the method by which capitalistic human nature is to be transformed into fit Bolshevik citizenship. Freedom is "a bourgeois prejudice" (Lenin's favorite expression), liberty of speech and of the press unnecessary, harmful. The ccntral government is the depo? sitory of all knowledge and wisdom. It will do everything. The sole duty of the citizen is obedience. The will of the State is supreme.

Stripped of fine phrases, intended mostly for Western consumption, this was and is the practical attitude of the Bolshevik government. This government, the real and only actual government of Russia, consists of five persons, mem* bers of the inner circle of the Central Committee of the Com? munist Party of Russia. These "Big Five" are omnipotent. This group, in its true essence conspiratory, has been con? trolling the fortunes of Russia and of the Revolution since the BrestsLitovsk peace. What has happened in Russia since, has been in strict accord with the Bolshevik interpretation of Marxism. That Marxism, reflected through the Com?

munist inner circle's megalomania of omniscience and omni* potcnce, has achieved the present debacle of Russia.

In consonance with their theory, the social fundamentals of the October Revolution have been deliberately destroyed. The ultimate objcct being a powerfully centralised State, with the Communist Party in absolute control, the popular initiative and the revolutionary creative forces of the masses had to be eliminated. The elective system was abolished, first in the armv and navv, then in the industries. The Soviets of peasants and workers were castrated and trans* formed into obedient Communist committees, with the dreaded sword of the Tcheka ever hanging over them. The labor unions governmcntalised, their proper activities supprcscd, they were turned into mere transmitters of the orders of the State. Universal military service, couplcd with the death penalty for conscientious ob jectors; enforced labor, with a vast officialdom for the apprehension and punishment of "deserters"; agrarian and industrial conscription of the peasantry; military Communism in the cities and the system of requisitioning in the country, characterised by Radek as simply grain plundering (International Press Correspondence, English edition, vol. 1, No. 17); the suppression of workers' protests by the use of the military; the crushing of peasant dissatisfaction with an iron hand, even to the extent of whip* ping the peasants and razing their villages with artillery — (in the Ural. Volga and Kuban districts, in Siberia and the Ukraina) — this characterised the attitude of the Com* munist State toward the people, this comprised the "con* structive social and economic policies" of the Bolshcviki.

Still the Russian peasants and workers, prizing the Revo* lution for which they had suffered so much, kept bravely fighting on numerous military fronts. They were defending the Revolution, as thev thought. They starved, froze, and died by the thousands, in the fond hope that the terrible things the Communists did would soon ccase. The Bolshevik horrors were, somehow — the simple Russian thought — the inevitable result of the powerful enemies "from abroad" attacking their beloved countrv. But when the wars will at last be over — the people naively echoed the official press — the Bolsheviki will surely return to the revolutionary path they entered in October, 1917, the path the wars had forced them temporarily to forsake.




The masses hoped and — endured. And then, at last, the wars were ended. Russia drew an almost audible sigh of relief, relief palpitating with deep hope. It was the crucial moment: the great test had come. The soul of a nation was a*quiver. To be or not to be? And then full realisation came. The people stood aghast. Repressions continued, even grew worse. The piratical razvyorstku, the punitive expeditions against the peasants, did not abate their murderous work. The Tcheka was unearthing more "conspiracies", executions were taking place as be* fore. Terrorism was rampant. The new Bolshevik bourgeoisie lorded it over the workers and the peasants, official corruption was vast and open, huge food supplies were rotting through Bolshevik inefficiency and centralised State monopoly, — and the people were starving.

The Petrograd workers, always in the forefront of revo* lutionary effort, were the first to voice their dissatisfaction and protest. The Kronstadt sailors, upon investigation of the demands of the Petrograd proletariat, declared them* selves solidaric with the workers, in their turn they an* nounced their stand for free Soviets, Soviets free from Com* rnunist coercion, Soviets that should in reality represent the revolutionary masses and voice their needs. In the middle provinces of Russia, in the Ukraina, on the Caucasus, in Siberia, everywhere the people made known their wants, voiced their grievances, informed the government of their demands. The Bolshevik State replied with its usual argu* ment: the Kronstadt sailors were decimated, the "bandits" of Ukraina massacred, the "rebels" of the Kast laid low with machine guns.

This done, Lenin announced at the X. Congress of the Communist Party of Russia (March, 1921) that his former policies were all wrong. The razvyorstka, the requisition of food, was pure robbery. Military violence against the peasantry a "serious mistake". The workers must reccivc some consideration. The Soviet bureaucracy is corrupt and criminal, a huge parasite. "The methods we have been using have failed." The people, especially the rural population, arc not yet up to the level of Communist principles. Private ownership must be reintroduced, free trade established. Henceforth the best Communist is he who can drive the best bargain. (Lenin's expression).


Back to Capitalism!

The present situation in Russia is most anomalous. Economically it is a combination of State and private capital* ism. Politically it remains the "dictatorship of the prolcta* riat" or, more correctly, the dictatorship of the inner circle of the Communist Party.

The peasantry has forccd the Bolsheviki to make con* cessions to it. Forcible requisitioning is abolished. Its place has taken the tax in kind, a certain percentage of the peasant produce going to the government. Free trade has been legalised, and the farmer may now exchange or sell his surplus to the government, to the re-established co-operatives or on the open market. The new economic policy opens wide J he door of exploitation. It sanctions the right of enrichment and of wealth accumulation. The farmer may now profit by his succcssful crops, rent more land, and exploit the labor of those peasants who have little land and no horses to work it with. The shortage of cattle and bad harvests in some parts of the country have created a new class of "farm hands" who hire themselves out to the wcll*to*do peasant. The poor people migrate from those regions which are suffering from famine and swell the ranks of this class. The village capital* ist is in the making.

The city worker in Russia today, under the new eco* nomic policy, is in exactly the same position as in any other capitalistic country. Free food distribution is abolished, except in a few industries operated by the government. The worker is paid wages, and must pay for his necessaries — as in any country. Most of the industries, in so far as they are active, have been let or leased to private persons. The small capitalist now has a free hand. lie has a large field for his activities. The farmer's surplus, the product of the industries, of the peasant trades, and of all the enterprises of private ownership, are subject to the ordinary processes of business, can be bought and sold. Competition within the retail trade leads to incorporation and to the accumulation of fortunes in the hands of individuals.

Developing city capitalism and village capitalism can not long coexist with "dictatorship of the proletariat". The unnatural alliance between the latter and foreign capitalism will in the near future prove another vital factor in the fate of Russia.

The Bolshevik government still strives to uphold the dangerous delusion that the "revolution is progressing", that Russia is "ruled by proletarian sovicts", that the Communist Party and its State are identical with the people. It is still speaking in the name of the "proletariat". It is seeking to dupe the people with a new chimera. After awhile — the Bolsheviki now pretend — when Russia shall have become industrially resurrected, through the achievements of our fast growing capitalism, the "proletarian dictatorship" will also have grown strong, and we will return to nationalisation. The State will then systematically curtail and supplant the private industries and thus break the power of the meanwhile developed bourgeoisie.

"After a period of partial denationalisation a stronger nationalisation begins", says Preobrazhensky, Finance Com* missar, in his recent article, "The Perspectives of the New Economic Policy". Then will "Socialism be victorious on the entire front" (ibid). Radek is less diplomatic. "We cert* ainly do not mean", he assures us in his political analysis of the Russian situation, entitled "Is the Russian Revolution a Bourgeois Revolution?" (I. P. C\, Dec. 16, 1921) "that at the end of a year we shall again confiscate the newly accu? mulatcd goods. Our economic policy is based upon a longer period of time. . . . We are consciously preparing ourselves for co-operating with the bourgeoisie; this is undoubtedly dangerous to the existence of the Soviet government, because the latter loses the monopoly on industrial production as against the peasantry. Does not this signify the decisive victory of capitalism? May we not then speak of our revo* lution as having lost its revolutionary character? . .

To these very timely and significant questions Radek cheerfully replies with a categoric No! It is true, of course, as Marx taught, he admits, that economic relations determine the political ones, and that economic concessions to the bourgeoisie must lead also to political concessions. lie remembers that when the powerful landowning class of Russia began making economic concessions to the bours gcoisic, those concessions were soon followed by political ones and finally by the capitulation of the landowning class. But he insists that the Bolshcviki will retain their power even under the conditions of the restoration of capitalism. "The bourgeoisie is a historically deteriorating, dying class. . . . That is why the working class (?) of Russia can refuse to make political concessions to the bourgeoisie; since it is justified in hoping that its power will grow on a national and international scale more quickly than will the power of the Russian bourgeoisie".

Meanwhile, though authoritatively assured that his "power is to grow on a national and international scale", the Russian worker is in a bad plight. The new economic policy has made the proletarian "dictator" a common, everysdav wage slave, like his brother in countries unblessed with Socialist dictatorship. The curtailment of the government's national monopoly has resulted in the throwing of hundreds of thousands of men and women out of work. Many Soviet institutions have been closed; the remaining ones have diss charged from 50 to 75 per cent of their employees. The large influx to the cities of peasants and villagers ruined by the razvyorstka, and those fleeing from the famine districts, has produced an unemployment problem of threatening scope. The revival of the industrial life through private capital is a very slow process, due to the general lack of confidcncc in the Bolshevik State and its promises.

But when the industries will again begin to function more or less systematically, Russia will face a very difficult and complex labor situation. Labor organisations, trade unions, do not exist in Russia, so far as the legitimate activis tics of such bodies arc concerned. The Bolsheviki abolished them long ago. With developing production and capitalism, governmental as well as private, Russia will sec the rise of a new proletariat whose interests must naturally come into conflict with those of the employing class. A bitter struggle is imminent. A struggle of a twofold nature: against the private capitalist, and against the State as an employer of labor. It is even probable that the situation may develop still another phase: antagonism of the workers employed in the State«owned industries toward the bctter?paid workers of private concerns. What will be the attitude of the Bolshe* vik government? The object of the new economic policy is to encourage, in every way possible, the development of private enterprise and to accelerate the growth of industry alism. Shops, mines, factories and mills have already been leased to capitalists. Labor demands have a tendency to curtail profits; they interfere with the "orderly processes" of business. And as for strikes, they handicap production, paralise industry. Shall not the interests of Capital and Labor be declared solidaric in Bolshevik Russia?

The industrial and agrarian exploitation of Russia, under the new economic policy, must inevitabely lead to the growth of a powerful labor movement. The workers' organisations will unite and solidify the city proletariat with the agrarian poor, in the common demand for better living conditions. From the present temper of the Russian worker, now enriched by his four years' experience of the Bolshevik regime, it may be assumed with considerable degree of probability that the coming labor movement of Russia will develop along syndicalist lines. This sentiment is strong among the Russian workers. The principles and methods of revolutionary syndicalism arc not unfamiliar to them. The effective work of the factory and shop committees, the first to initiate the industrial expropriation of the bourgeoisie in 1917, is an inspiring memory still fresh in the minds of the proletariat. liven in the Communist Party itself, among its labor elements, the syndicalist idea is popular. The famous Labor Opposition, led by Shliapnikov and Mme. Kolontay within the Party, is essentially syndicalistic.

What attitude will the Bolshevik government take to the labor movement about to develop in Russia, be it wholly or even only partly syndicalistic? Till now the State has been the mortal enemy of labor syndicalism within Russia, though encouraging it in other countries. At the X. Congress of the Russian Communist Party (March, 1921) Lenin declared merciless warfare against the faintest symptom of syndicalist tendencies, and even the discussion of syndicalist theories was forbidden the Communists, on pain of exclusion from the Party. (See official Report, X. Congress). A number of the Labor Opposition were arrested and imprisoned. It is not to be lightly assumed that the Communist dictatorship could satisfactorily solve the difficult problems arising out of a real labor movement under Bolshevik autocracy. Thev involve principles of Marxian centralisation, the functioning of trade or industrial unions independent of the omnipotent government, and active opposition to private capitalism. But not only the big and small capitalist will the workers of Russia soon have to fight. They will presently come to grips with State capitalism itself.

To correctly understand the spirit and character of the present Bolshevik phase, it is necessary to realise that the so*called "new economic policy" is neither new nor economic, properly considered. It is old political Marxism, the exclusive fountain-head of Bolshevik wisdom. As social^democrats they have remained faithful to their bible. Only a country where capitalism is most highly developed can have a social revolution — that is the acme of Marxian faith. The Bolshc* viki are about to apply it to Russia. True, in the October clays of the Revolution they repeatedly deviated from the straight and narrow path of Marx. Not because they doubted the prophet. By no means. Rather that Lenin and his group, political opportunists, had been forced by irresistible popular aspiration to steer a truly revolutionary course. But all the time they hung on to the skirts of Marx, and sought every opportunity to direct the Revolution into Marxian channels. As Radck naively reminds us, "already in April, 1918, in a speech by comrade Lenin, the Soviet government attempted to define our next tasks and to point out the way which we now designate as the new economic policy(I. P. C., Vol. 1, No. 17).

Significant admission! In truth, present Bolshevik poli? cies arc the continuation of the good orthodox Bolshevik Marxism of 1918. Bolshevik leaders now admit that the Revolution, in its post*October developments, was only poli? tical, not social. The mechanical centralisation of the Corns munist State — it must be emphasized — proved fatal to the economic and social life of the country. Violent party dictatorship destroyed the unity of the workers and the peasants, and created a perverted, bureaucratic attitude to revolutionary reconstruction. The complete denial of free spccch and criticism, not only to the masses but even to the rank and file of the Communist Party itself, resulted in its undoing, through its own mistakes.

And now? Bolshevik Marxism is continuing in poor Russia. But it is monstrously criminal to prolong this bloody Comedy of Errors. Communist construction is not possible alongside of a sickly capitalism, artificially developed. That capitalism can nevSr be destroyed — as Lenin & Co. pretend to believe — by the regular processes of the Bolshevik State grown economically strong. The "new" policies are there? fore a delusion and a snare, fundamentally reactionary. These policies themselves create the necessity for another revolution.

Must tortured humanity ever tread the same vicious circle?

Or will the workers at last learn the great lesson of the Russian Revolution that every government, whatever its fine name and nice promises, is by its inherent nature, as a government, destructive of the very purposes of the social revolution? It is the mission of government to govern, to subject, to strenghtcn and perpetuate itself. It is high time the workers learn that only their own organised, creative efforts, free from political and State interference, can make their age-long struggle for emancipation a lasting success.





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 iden* tical. 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 differ* cnce between that grand social event and the ruling politi* cal party — a difference as fundamental as it has been fatal to the Revolution.

The following pages present a clcar and historically true picturc 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 Bolshe* vik State, alias the Communist Party, IS NOT.

I consider this brochure a very able, and for popular reading sufficiently exhaustive, analysis of the Russian Re* volution and of the causes of its undoing. It may be regarded as an authoritative expression of the Anarchist movement of Russia, for it was written by Anarchists of differents schools, some of them participants and all of them well versed in the events of the Revolution. It is the joint work of four well known Moscow Anarchists. Their names cannot be men* tioncd at present, in view of the fact that some of them are still in Russia. Nor are their names important in this connection: rather is it the subject and its treatment. I hereby accept full responsibility for the contents of the following pages, as I am also responsible for the rendering of the Russian manuscript into English.

I take this occasion to correct the erroneous statement contained in Rudolf Rocker s Preface to the German edition of this pamphlet, regarding its authorship. This brochure was written in Moscow, in June, 1921, and secretly forwarded to Rocker. Because of a misunderstanding Comrade Rocker ascribed the authorship of the manuscript to o n e person, hinted at but unnamed in Rocker's Prcface. The fact of the authorship is as stated above.



The October Revolution was not the legitimate offspring of traditional Marxism. Russia but little resembled a country in which, according to Marx, "the concentration of the means of production and the socialisation of the tools of labor reached the point where they can no longer be contained within their capitalistic shell. The shell bursts. . .

In Russia, "the shell" burst unexpectedly. It at a stage of low technical and industrial development, when centralisation of the means of production had made little progress. Russia was a country with a badly organised system of transportation, with a weak bourgeoisie and weak proletariat, but with a numerically strong and socially important peasant population. In short, it was a country in which, apparently, there could be no talk of irreconcilable antagonism between the grown industrial labor forces and a fully ripened capitalist system.

But the combination of circumstances in 1917 involved, particularly for Russia, an exceptional state of affairs which resulted in the catastrophic breakdown of her. whole industrial system. "It was easy for Russia", Lenin justly wrote at the time, "to begin the socialist revolution in the peculiarly unique situation of 1917."

The specially favorable conditions for the beginning of the socialist revolution were:

1) the possibility of blending the slogans of the Social Revolution with the popular demand for the termination of the imperialistic world war, which had produced great exhaustion and dissatisfaction among the masses;

2) the possibility of remaining, at least for a certain period after quitting the war, outside the sphere of influence of the capitalistic European groups that continued the world war;

3) the opportunity to begin, even during the short time of this respite, the work of internal organisation and to prepare the foundation for revolutionary reconstruction;

4) the exceptionally favorable position of Russia, in case of possible new aggression on the part of West European imperialism, due to her vast territory and insufficient means of communication;

5) the advantages of such a condition in the event of civil war; and

6) the possibility of almost immediately satisfying the fundamental demands of the revolutionary peasantry, notwithstanding the fact that the essentially democratic viewpoint of the agricultural population was entirely different from the socialist program of the "party of the proletariat" which seized the reins of government.

Moreover, revolutionary Russia already had the benefit of a great experience — the experience of 1905, when the Tsarist autocracy succeeded in crushing the revolution for the very reason that the latter strove to be exclusively political and therefore could neither arouse the peasants nor inspire even a considerable part of the proletariat.

The world war, by exposing the complete bankruptcy of constitutional government, served to prepare and quicken the gieatest movement of the people — a movement which, by virtue of its very essence, could develop onl" into a social revolution.

Anticipating the measures of the revolutionary government, often even in defiance of the latter, the revolutionary masses by their own initiative began, long before the October days, to put in practice their social ideals. They took possession of the land, the factories, mines, mills, and the tools of production. They got rid of the more hated and dangerous representatives of government and authority. In their grand revolutionary outburst they destroyed every form of political and economic oppression. In the deeps of Russia the Social Revolution was raging, when the October change took place in the capitals of Pctrograd and Moscow.

The Communist Party, which was aiming at the dictatorship, from the very beginning correctly judged the situation. Throwing overboard the democratic planks of its platform, it energetically proclaimed the slogans of the Social Revolution, in order to gain control of the movement of the masses.. In the course of the development of the Revolution, the Bolsheviki gave concrete form to certain fundamental principles and methods of Anarchist Communism, as for instance: the negation of parliamentarism, expropriation of the bourgeoisie, tactics of direct action, seizure of the means of production, establishment of the system of Workers' and Peasants' Councils (Soviets), and so forth.

Furthermore, the Communist Party exploited all the popular demands of the hour: termination the war, all power to the revolutionary proletariat, the land for the peasants, etc. This, as we shall sec later, base demagoguery proved of tremendous psychologic effect in hastening and intensifying the revolutionary process.

But if it was easy, as Lenin said, to begin the Revolution, its further development and strengthening were to take place amid difficult surroundings.

The external position of Russia, as characterised by Lenin about the middle of 1918, continued to be "unusually complicated and dangerous", and "tempting for the neighboring imperialist States by its temporary weakness". The Socialist Soviet Republic was in an "extraordinarily unstable, very critical international position".

And, indeed, the whole subsequent external history of Russia is full of difficulties in consequence of the necessity of fighting ccasclcssly, often on several fronts at once, against the agents of world imperialism, and even against common adventurers. Only after the final defeat of the Wrangel forces was at last put an end to direct armed interference in the affairs of Russia.

No less difficult and complex, even chaotic, was the internal situation of the country.

Complete breakdown of the whole industrial fabric; failure of the national economy; disorganisation of the transportation system, hunger, unemployment; relative 'ack of organisation among the workers; unusually complex and contradictory conditions of peasant life; the psychology of the "petty proprietor", inimical to the new Soviet regime; sabotage of Soviet work by the technical intelligentsia; the great lack in the Party of trained workers familiar with local conditions, and the practical inefficiency of the Party heads; finally, according to the frank admission of the acknowledged leader of the Bolsheviki, "the greatest hatred, by the masses, and distrust of everything governmental" — that was the situation in which the first and most difficult steps of the Revolution had to be made.

It must also be mentioned that there were still other specific problems with which the revolutionary government had to deal. Namely, the deep-seated contradictions and even antagonisms between the interests and aspirations of the various social groups of the country. The most important of these were:

(a) the most advanced, and in industrial centers the most influential, group of factory proletarians. Notwithstanding their relative cultural and technical backwardness, these elements favored the application of true communist methods;

(b) the numerically powerful peasant population, whose economic attitude was decisive, particularly at a time of industrial prostration and blockade. This class looked with distrust and even hatred upon all attempts of the Communist government to play the guardian and control their economic activities;

(c) the very large and psychologically influential group (in the sense of forming public opinion, even if of a panicky character) of the common citizenry: the residue of the upper bourgeoisie, technical specialists, small dealers, petty bosses, commercial agents of every kind — a numerous group, in which were also to be found functionaries of the old regime who adapted themselves and were serving the Soviet government, now and then sabotaging; elements tempted by {he opportunities of the new order of things and seeking to make a career; and, finally, persons torn out of their habitual modes of life and literally starving. This class was approximately estimated at 70 % of the employees of Soviet institutions.

Naturally, each of these groups looked upon the Revolution with their own eyes, judged its further possibilities from their own point of view, ar.d in their own peculiar manner rcactcd on the measures of the revolutionary government.

All these antagonisms, rending the country and frequently clashing in bloody strife, inevitably tended to nourish counterrevolution — not mere conspiracy or rebel* lion, but the tcrrific convulsion of a country experiencing two world cataclysms at once: war and social revolution.

Thus the political party that assumed the role of dictator was faced by problems of unprecedented difficulty. The Communist Party did not shrink from their solution, and in that is its immortal historic merit.

Notwithstanding the many deep antagonisms, in spite of the apparent absence of the conditions necessary for a social revolution, it was too late to discuss about driving back the uninvited guest, and await a new, more favorable opportunity. Only blind, dogmatic or positively reactionary elements could imagine that the Revolution could have been "made differently". The Revolution was not and could not be a mechanical product of the abstract human will. It was an organic process burst with elemental force from the very needs of the people, from the complex combination of circumstances that determined their existence.

To return to the old political and economical regime, that of industrial feudalism, was out of the question. It was impossible, and first of all because it were the denial of the greatest conquest of the Revolution: the right of every worker to a decent human life. It was also impossible because of the fundamental principles of the new national economy: the old regime was inherently inimical to the development of free social relationship — it had no room for labor initiative.

It was apparent that the only right and wholesome solution — which could save the Revolution from its external enemies, free it from the inner strife which rent the country, broaden and deepen the Revolution itself — lay in the direct, creative initiative of the toiling masses. Only they who had for centuries borne the heaviest burdens could through conscious systematic effort find the road to a new, regenerated society. And that was to be the fitting cul* mination of their unexampled revolutionary zeal.

Lenin himself, replying in one of his works to the question, "How is the discipline of the revolutionary party of the proletariat to be maintained, how to be strengthened?" clearly and definitely replied: "By knowing how to meet, to combinc, to some extent even to merge, if you will, with the broad masses of the toilers, mainly with the proletariat, but also with the non:proletarian laboring masses". (Italics are Lenin's.)

However, this thought was and still remains, on the whole, in irreconcilable conflict with the spirit of Marxism in its official Bolshevik interpretation, and particularly with Lenin's authoritative view of it.

For years trained in their peculiar "underground" social philosophy, in which fervent faith in the Social Revolution was in some odd manner blended with their no less fanatical faith in State centralisation, the Bolsheviki devised an entirely new science of tactics. It is to the effect that the preparation and consummation of the Social Revolution necessitates the organisation of a special conspirative staff, consisting exclusively of the theoreticians of the movement, vested with dictatorial powers for the purpose of clarifying and per* fecting beforehand, by their own conspirative means, the classsconsciousncss of the proletariat.

Thus the fundamental characteristic of Bolshevik psychology was distrust of the masses, of the proletariat. Left to themselves, the masses — according to Bolshevik conviction — could rise only to the consciousness of the petty reformer.

The road that leads to the direct creativeness of the masses was thus forsaken.

According to Bolshevik conception, the masses are "dark", mentally crippled by ages of slavery. They are multicolored: besides the revolutionary advancesguard they comprise great numbers of the indifferent and many self* seekers. The masses, according to the old but still correct maxim of Rousseau, must be made free by force. To educate them to liberty one must not hesitate to use compulsion and violence.

"Proletarian compulsion in all its forms",'writes Bukharin, one of the foremost Communist theoreticians, "beginning with summary execution and ending with compulsory labor is, however paradoxical it may sound, a method of reworking the human material of the capitalistic epoch into Communist humanity".

This cynical doctrinairism, this fanatical quasi* philosophy flavored with Communist pedagogic sauce and aided by the pressure of "canonized officials" (expression of the prominent Communist and labor leader Shliapnikov) represent the actual methods of the Party dictatorship, which retains the trade mark of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" merely for gala affairs at home and for advertisement abroad.

Already in the first days of the Revolution, early in 1918, when Lenin first announced to the world his socio-economic program in its minutest details, the roles of the people and of the Party in the revolutionary reconstruction were strictly separated and definitely assigned. On the one hand, an absolutely submissive socialist herd, a dumb people; on the other, the omniscient, alkcontrolling Political Party. What is inscrutable to all, is an open book to It. In the land there may be only one indisputable source of truth — the State. But the Communist State is, in essence and practice, the dictatorship of the Party only, or — more correctly — the dictatorship of its Central Committee. Each and every citizen must be, first and foremost, the servant of the State, its obedient functionary, unqucstioningly executing the will of his master — if not as a matter of conscience, then out of fear. All free initiative, of the individual as well as of the collectivity, is eliminated from the vision of the State. The people's Soviets arc transformed into sections of the Ruling Party; the Soviet institutions become soulless offices, mere transmitters of the will of the center to the periphery. All expressions of State activity must be stamped with the approving seal of Communism as interpreted by the faction in power. Everything else is considered superfluous, useless and dangerous.

This system of barrack absolutism, supported by bullet and bayonet, has subjugated every phase of life, stopping neither before the destruction of the best cultural values, nor before the most stupendous squandering of human life and energy.

• •

By its declaration Letai e'est moi, the Bolshevik dictatorship has assumed entire responsibility for the Revolution in all its historic and cthical implications.

Having paraliscd the constructive efforts of the people, the Communist Party could hcnceforth count only on its own initiative. By what means, then, did the Bolshevik dictatorship cxpcct to use to best advantage the resources of the Social Revolution? What road did it choose, not merely to subject the masses mechanically to its authority, but also to educate them, to inspire them with advanced socialist ideas, and to stimulate them — exhausted as they were by long war, economic ruin and police rule — with new faith in socialist reconstruction? What has it substituted in place of the revolutionary enthusiasm which burned so intensely before?

Two things, which comprised the beginning and the end of the constructive activities of the Bolshevik dictatorship: 1) the theory of the Communist State, and 2) terrorism.

In his speeches about the Communist program, in discussions at conferences and congresses, and in his celebrated pamphlet on "Infantile Sickncss of 'Leftism' in Communism", Lenin gradually shaped that peculiar doctrine of the Communist State which was fated to play the dominant role in the attitude of the Party and to determine all the subsequent steps of the Bolsheviki in the sphere of practical politics. It is the doctrine of a zigzag political road: of "respites" and "tributes", agreements and compromises, profitable retreats, advantageous withdrawals and surrenders — a truly classical theory of compromise.

Scorning the "chuckling and giggling of the lackeys of the bourgeoisie", Lenin calls upon the laboring masses to "steer down the wind", to retreat, to wait and watch, to go slowly, and so on. Not the fiery spirit of Communism, but sober commercialism which can successfully bargain for a few crumbs of socialism from the still unconqucred bourgeoisie — that is the "need of the hour". To encourage and develop the virtues of the trader, the spirit of parsimony and profitable dealing: that is the first commandment to the "regenerated" people.

In the pamphlet referred to, Lenin scouts all stereotyped morality and compares the tactics of his Party with those of a military commander, ignoring the gulf which divides them and their aims. All means are good that lead to victory. There are compromises and compromises. "The whole history of Bolshevism before and after the October Revolution", Lenin sermonises the "naive German left Communists" who are stifling in their own revolutionary fervor, "is replete with instances of agreements and compromises with other parties, the bourgeoisie included". To prove his assertion, Lenin enumerates in great detail various cases of bargaining with bourgeoisie parties, beginning with 1905 and up to the adoption by the Bolsheviki, at the time of the October Revolution, "of the agrarian platform of the socialists*rcvolutionists, in toto, without change".

Compromise and bargaining, for which the Bolsheviki so unmercifully and justly denounced and stigmatised all the other factions of State Socialism, now become the Bethlehem Star pointing the way to revolutionary reconstruction. Naturally, . n methods could not fail to lead, with fatal inevitability, into the swamp of conformation, hypocrisy and unprinciplcdness.

The Brest Litovsk peace; the agrarian policy with its spasmodic changes from the poorest class of peasantry to the peasant exploiter; the perplexed, panicky attitude to the labor unions; the fitful policy in regard to technical experts, with its theoretical and practical swaying from collegiate management of industries to "onc*man power"; nervous appeals to West European capitalism, over the heads of the home and foreign proletariat; finally, the latest inconsistent and zigzaggy, but incontrovertible and assured restoration of the abolished bourgeoisie — such is the new system of Bolshevism. A system of unprecedented shamelessness practiced on a monster scale, a policy of outrageous double* dealing in which the left hand of the Communist Party is beginning consciously to ignore, and even to deny, on principle, what its right hand is doing; when, for instance, it is proclaimed, on the one hand, that the most important problem of the moment is the struggle against the small bourgeoisie (and, incidentally, in stereotyped Bolshevik phraseology, against anarchist elements), while on the other hand are issued new decrees creating the techno*economic and psychological conditions ncccssary for the restoration and strengthening of that same bourgeoisie — that is the Bolshevik policy which will forever stand as a monument of the thoroughly false, thoroughly contradictory, concerned only in sclfsprcscrvation, opportunistic policy of the Communist Party dictatorship.

However loud that dictatorship may shout about the great success of its new political methods, it remains the most tragic fact that the worst and most incurable wounds of the Revolution were received at the hands of the Communist dictatorship itself.

An inevitable consequence of Communist Party rule was also the other "method" of Bolshevik management: terrorism.

Long ago Engcls said that the proletariat docs not need the State to protect liberty, but needs it for the purpose of crushing its opponents; and that when it will be possible to speak of liberty, there will be no government. The Bolsheviki adopted this maxim not only as their socio-political axiom during the "transition period", but gave it universal application.

Terrorism always was and still remains the ultima ratio of government alarmed for its existence. Terrorism is tempting with its tremendous possibilities. It offers a mechanical solution, as it were, in hopeless situations. Psychologically it is explained as a matter of self«defense, as the necessity of throwing off responsibility the better to strike the enemy.

But the principles of terrorism unavoidably rebound to the fatal injury of liberty and revolution. Absolute power corrupts and defeats its partisans no less than its opponents. A people that knows not liberty becomes accustomed to dictatorship: fighting despotism and counter revolution, terrorism itself becomes their efficient school.

Once on the road of terrorism, the State necessarily becomes estranged from the people. It must reduce to the possible minimum the circle of persons vested with extraordinary powers, in the name of the safety of the State. And then is born what may be called the panic of authority. The dictator, the despot is always cowardly. He suspects treason everywhere. And the more terrified he becomes, the wilder rages his frightened imagination, incapable of distinguishing real danger from fancicd. He sows broadcast discontent, antagonism, hatred. Having chosen this course, the State is doomed to follow it to the very end.

The Russian people remained silent, and in their name — in the guise of mortal combat with counterrevolution — the government initiated the most merciless warfare against all political opponents of the Communist Party. Every vestige of liberty was torn out by the roots. Freedom of thought, of the press, of public assembly, self-determination of the worker and of his unions, the freedom of labor — all were declared old rubbish, doctrinaire nonsense, "bourgeois prejudices", or intrigues of reviving counterrevolution. Science, art, education fell under suspicion. Science is to investigate and teach only the truths of the Communist State: the schools and universities are speedily transformed into Party schools.

Election campaigns, as for instance the recent re* elections to the Moscow Soviet (1921), involve the arrest and imprisonment of opposition candidates who are not favored by the authorities. With entire impunity the government exposes non*Communist candidates to public insult and derision on the pages of the official newspapers pasted on bulletin boards. By numberless stratagems the electors are c.ojoled and menaced, in turn, and the result of the so*called elections is the complete perversion of the people's will.

State terrorism is exercised through government organs known as Extraordinary Commissions. Vested with unlimited powers, independent of any control and practically irresponsible, possessing their own "simplified" forms of investigation and procedure, with a numerous staff of ignorant, corrupt and brutal agents, these Commissions have within a short time become not only the terror of actual or fancied counterrevolution, but also — and much more so — the most virulent ulcer on the revolutionary body of the country.

The all-pervading secret police methods, the inseparable from them system of provocation, the division of the population into well-meaning and ill-disposed, have gradually transformed the struggle for the new world into an unbridled dcbauch of espionage, pillage and violence.

No reactionary regime ever dominated the life and liberty of its citizens with such arbitrariness and despotism as the alleged "dictatorship of the proletariat". As in the old days of Tsarism, the "okhranka" (secret police section) rules the land. The Soviet prisons are filled with socialists and revolutionists of every shade of political opinion. Physical violence toward political prisoners and hunger strikes in prison are again the order of the day. Summary executions, not only of individuals but en masse, are common occurrences. The Socialist State has not scrupled to resort to a measure which even the most brutal bourgeois governments did not dare to use: the system of hostages. Relationship or even casual friendship is sufficient ground for merciless persecution and, quite frequently, for capital punishment.

Gross and barbaric contempt for the most elementary human rights has become an axiom of the Communist Government.

With logical inevitability the Extraordinary Commissions have gradually grown into a monstrous autocratic mechanism, independent and unaccountable, with power over life and death. Appeal is impossible, non-existent. Even the supreme organs of State authority are powerless before the Extraordinary Commissions, as proven by bitter experience.

The Bolshevik Party is not in the habit of scorning any perversion of truth to stigmatise every antbBolshevik criticism or protest as "conspiracy" of one of the "right" socialist parties: of the sociaKdcmocratic Mcnsheviki and SocialisfcRcvolutionists. Thus the Communists seek to justify brutal repressions against the "right elements". In regard to the Anarchists, however, Bolshevist terrorism cannot be "justified" by such means.

It is apropos here to sketch, though very briefly, the mutual relations between Anarchism and Bolshevism during the Revolution.

When, in the first days of the Revolution (1917), the laboring masses began the destruction of the system of private ownership and of government, the Anarchists worked shoulder to shoulder with them. The October Revolution instinctively followed the path marked out by the great popular outburst, naturally reflecting Anarchist tendencies. The Revolution destroyed the old State mechanism and proclaimed in political life the principle of the federation of soviets. It employed the method of direct expropriation to abolish private capitalistic ownership: the peasants and workers expropriated the landlords, chased the financiers from the banks, seized the factories, mines, mills and shops. In the field of economic reconstruction the Revolution established the principle of the federation of shop and factory committees for the management of production. House committees looked after the proper assignment of living quarters.

In this early phase of the October Revolution, the Anarchists aided the people with all the power at their command, and worked hand in hand with the Bolsheviki in supporting and strengthening the new principles. Among the legion of enthusiastic fighters of the Revolution, who to the end remained true to the ideals and methods of Anarchism, v. e may particularly mention here Justin Zhook, the founder of the famous Schluesselburg powder mill, who lost his life while performing revolutionary military duty;

also Zhelesnyakov, who with rare strength and courage dispersed the Constituent Assembly, and who afterwards fell fighting against counter-revolutionary invasion.

But as soon as the Bolsheviki succeeded in gaining control of the movement of the masses, the work of social reconstruction suffered a sharp change in its character and forms.

From now on the Bolsheviki, under cover of the dictatorship of the proletariat, use every effort to build up a centralised bureaucratic State. All who interpreted the Social Revolution as, primarily, the sclf»detcrmination of the masses, the introduction of free, nongovernmental Communism, — they are henceforth doomed to persecution. This persecution was directed, first of all, against the critics from "the left", the Anarchists. In April, 1918, the ruling Communist Party decided to abolish all Anarchist organisations. Without warning, on the night of April 12th, the Anarchist club of Moscow was surrounded by artillery and machine guns, and those present on the premises ordered to surrender. Fire was opened on those resisting. The Anarchist quarters \vei*e raided, and the following day the entire Anarchist press was suppressed.

Since then the persecution of Anarchists and of their organisations has assumed a systematic character. On the one hand our comrades were perishing on the military fronts, fighting counterrevolution; on the other, they were struck down by the Bolshevik State by means of the Extraordinary Commissions (Tcheka).

The further the ruling Party departed from the path marked out by the October Revolution, the more determinedly it oppressed the other revolutionary elements and particularly the Anarchists. In November, 1918, the AlkRussian Conference of the Anarcho»Syndicalists, held in Moscow, was arrested in corpore. The other Anarchist organisations were broken up and terrorised. Because of the total impossibility of legal activity, some Anarchists dccided to "go underground". Several of them, in cooperation with some left SociaIist*Revolutionists, resorted to terrorism. On September 25,1919, they exploded a bomb in the building (Lcontevsky Pereulok) in which the Moscow Committee of the Party was in session. The Anarchist organisations of Moscow, not considering terrorism a solution of the difficulties, publicly expressed disapproval of the tactics of the underground group. The government, however, replied with repressions against all Anarchists. Many members of the underground group were executed, a number of Moscow Anarchists were arrested, and in the provinces every expression of the Anarchist movement was suppressed. The finding, during a search, of such Anarchist literature as the works of Kropotkin or Bakunin, led to arrest.

Only in the Ukraina, where the power of the Bolsheviki was comparatively weak, owing to the widespread rebel* peasant movement known as the Makhnovstschina (from its leader, the Anarchist Makhno), the Anarchist movement continued to some extent active. The advance of Wrangel into the heart of the Ukraina and the inability of the Red Army to halt his progress, caused Makhno temporarily to suspend his struggle with the Bolsheviki for free Soviets and the selfxdctermination of the laboring masses. He offered his help to the Bolsheviki to fight the common enemy Wrangel. The offer was accepted, and a contract officially concluded between the Soviet Government and the army of Makhno.

Wrangel was defeated and his army dispersed, with Makhno playing no inconsiderable part in this great military triumph. But with the liquidation of Wrangel, Makhno became unnecessary and dangerous to the Bolsheviki. It was dccidcd to get rid of him, to put an end to "Makhnovstschina", and, incidentally, dispose of the Anarchists at large. The Bolshevik government betrayed Makhno: the Red forces treacherously surrounded Makhno's army demanding surrender. At the same time all the delegates who had arrived in Kharkov to participate in the

Anarchist Congress, for which official permission had been given, were arrested, as well as the Anarchists resident in Kharkov and the comrades still en route to the Congress.

Yet, in spite of all the provocative and terroristic tactics of the Bolsheviki against them, the Anarchists of Russia refrained, during the whole period of civil war, from protesting to the workers of Europe and America — aye, even to those of Russia itself — fearing that such action might be prejudicial to the interests of the Russian Revo* lution and that it may aid the common enemy, world imperialism.

But with the termination of civil war the position of the Anarchists grew even worse. The new policy of the Bolsheviki of open compromise with the bourgeois world became clearer, more definite, and ever sharper their break with the revolutionary aspirations of the working masses. The struggle against Anarchism, till then often masked by the excuse of fighting "banditism in the guise of Anarchism", now became open and frank warfare against Anarchist ideals and ideas, as such.

The Kronstadt events offered the Bolsheviki the desired pretext for completely "liquidating" the Anarchists. Wholesale arrests were instituted throughout Russia. Irrespective of factional adherence, practically all known Russian Anarchists were taken into the police net. To this day all of them remain in prison, without any charges having been preferred against them. In the night of April 25th—26th, 1921, all the political prisoners in the Bootirka prison (Moscow), to the number of over 400, consisting of representatives of the right and left wings of socialist parties and members of Anarchist organisations, were forcibly taken from the prison and transferred. On that occasion many of the prisoners suffered brutal violence: women were dragged down the steps by their hair, and a number of the politicals sustained serious injuries. The prisoners were divided into several groups and sent to various prisons in the provinces. Of their further fate we have so far been unable to receive definite information.3)

Thus did the Bolsheviki reply to the revolutionary enthusiasm and deep faith which inspired the masses in the beginning of their great struggle for liberty and justice — a reply that expressed itself in the policy of compromise abroad and terrorism at home.

This policy proved fatal: it corrupted and disintegrated the Revolution, poisoned it, slayed its soul, destroyed its moral, spiritual significance. By its despotism; by strubborn, petty paternalism; by the perfidy which replaced its former revolutionary idealism; by its stifling formalism and criminal indifference to the interests and aspirations of the masses; by its cowardly suspicion and distrust of the people at large, the "dictatorship of the proletariat" hopelessly cut itself off from the laboring masses.

Thrust back from dircct participation in the construct* ive work of the Revolution, harassed at every step, the victim of constant supervision and control by the Party," the proletariat is becoming accustomed to consider the Revo* lution and its further fortunes as the private, personal affair of the Bolsheviki. In vain docs the Communist Party seek by ever new decrees to preserve its hold upon the country's life. The people have seen through the real meaning of the Party dictatorship. They know its narrow, selfish dogmatism, its cowardly opportunism; they are aware of its internal decay, its intrigues behind the scenes.

In the land where, after three years of tremendous effort, of terrible and heroic sacrifice, there should have come to bloom the wonder«flower of Communism, — alas, even its withered buds are killed in distrust, apathy, and enmity.

Thus came about the era of revolutionary stagnation, of sterility, which cannot be cured by any political party methods, and which demonstrates the complete social atrophy.

The swamp of compromise into which Bolshevik dictatorship had sunk proved fatal to the Revo* lution: it became poisoned by its noxious miasma. In vain do the Bolsheviki point to the imperialistic world war as the cause of Russia's economic breakdown; in vain do they ascribe it to the blockade and the attacks of armed counterrevolution. Not in them is the real source of the collapse and debacle.

No blockade, no wars with foreign reaction could dismay or conquer the revolutionary people whose unexampled heroism, self*sacrifice and perseverance defeated all its external enemies. On the contrary, it is probable that civil war really helped the Bolsheviki. It served to keep alive popular enthusiasm and nurtured the hope that, with the end of war, the ruling Communist Party will make effective the new revolutionary principles and secure the people in the enjoyment of the fruits of the Revolution. The masses looked forward to the vearned^for opportunity for social and economic liberty. Paradoxical as it may sound, the Communist dictatorship had no better ally, in the sense of stengthcning and prolonging its life, than the reactionary forces which fought against it.

It was only the termination of the wars which per* mitted a full view of the economic and psychologic demoralisation to which the blindly despotic policy of the dictatorship brought the revolutionary country. Then it became evident that the most formidable danger to the Revolution was not outside, but within the country: a danger resulting from the very nature of the social and economic arrangements which characterise the present "transitory stage".

We fully realise the gross error of the theoreticians of bourgeois political economy who wilfully ignore the study of industrial evolution from the historico*sociaI viewpoint, and stupidly confound the system of State capitalism with that of the socialist dictatorship. The Bolsheviki are quite right when they insist that the two types of socioeconomic development are "diametrically opposed in their essential character." However, it were wrong and useless to pretend that such a form of industrial life as expressed in the present system of proletarian dictatorship is anything essentially different from State capitalism.

As a matter of fact, the proletarian dictatorship, as it actually exists, is in no sense different from State capitalism.

The distinctive characteristics of the latter — inherent social antagonisms — are abolished only formally in the Soviet Republic. In reality those antagonisms exist and are very dcepsscatcd. The exploitation of labor, the enslavement of the worker and peasant, the cancellation of the citizen as a human being, as a personality, and his transformation into a microscopic part of the universal economic mcchanism owned by the government; the creation of privileged groups favored by the State; the system of compulsory labor service and its punitive organs — such arc the characteristic features of State capitalism.

All these features are also to be found in the present Russian system. It were unpardonable naivity, or still more unpardonable hypocrisy, to pretend — as do Bolshevik theoreticians, especially Bukharin — that universal compulsory labor service in the system of the proletarian dictatorship is, in contradistinction to State capitalism, "the self* organisation of the masses for purposes of labor", or that the existing "mobilisation of industry is the strengthening of socialism", and that "State coercion in the system of proletarian dictatorship is a means of building the Com* munist society".

A year ago Trotzky, at the Tenth Congress of the Com* munist Party of Russia, thundered against the "bourgeois notion" that compulsory labor is not productive. He sought to convince his audicnce that the main problem is to "draw the worker into the process of labor, not by external methods of coercion, but by means internal, psychological". But when he approached the concrete application of this principle, he advocated a "very complex system, involving methods of an ethical nature, as well as premiums and punishment, in order to increase the productivity of labor in consonance with those principles of compulsion according to which we arc constructing our whole economic life".

The experiment was made, and it gave surprising results. Whether the old "bourgeois notion" proved correct, or the newest socialism was powerless "internally, psychologically compulsory" to "draw the worker into the process of production", by means of premiums, punishment, etc., at any rate, the worker refused to be snared by the tempting formula of "psychologic coercion". Evidently the ideology as well as the practice of Bolshevism convinced the toilers that the socio-economic ideals of the Bolsheviki arc incidentally also a step forward in the more intensive exploitation of labor. For Bolshevism, far from saving the country from ruin and in no way improving the conditions of existence for the masses, is attempting to turn the serf of yesterday into a complete slave. How little the Com* munist State is concerned about the workers' welkbeing is seen from the statement of a prominent Communist delegate to the Tenth Congress of the Party: "Up till now Soviet policy has been characterised by the complete absence of any plan to improve the living conditions of labor". And further: "All that was done in that regard happened accidentally, or was done by fits and starts, by local authorities under pressure of the masses themselves".

Is this, then, the system of proletarian dictatorship or State capitalism?

Chained to their work, deprived of the right to leave the job on pain of prison or summary execution for "labor desertion"; bossed and spied upon by Party overseers; divided into qualified sheep (artisans) and unqualified goats (laborers) receiving unequal food rations; hungry and insufficiently clad, deprived of the right to protest or strike — such are the modern proletarians of the Communist dictatorship. Is this "self*organisation" of the toiling masses not a step backward, a return to feudal serfdom or negro slavery? Is the hand of the Communist State executioner less ruthless than the whip of the plantation boss? Only scholasticism or blind fanaticism can see in this, the most grievous form of slavery, the emancipation of labor or even the least approach to it.

It is the height of tragedy that State Socialism, enmeshed in logical antitheses, could give to the world nothing better than the intensification of the evils of the very system whose antagonisms produced socialism.

The Party dictatorship applies the same policy, in every detail, also to the peasantry. Here, too, the State is the universal master. The same policy of compulsory labor service, of oppression, spying, and systematic expropriation of the fruits of the peasant's toil: the former method of requisition which frequently stripped the peasants even of the necessaries of life; or the newly initiated, but no less predatory, food tax; the senseless, enormous waste of foodstuffs due to the combrous system of centralisation and the Bolshevik food policy; the dooming of whole peasant districts to slow starvation, disease and death; punitive expeditions, massacring peasant families by the wholesale and razing entire villages to the ground for the slightest resistance to the plundering policy of the Communist dictatorship — such are the methods of Bolshevik rule.

Thus, neither economic nor political exploitation of the industrial and agrarian proletariat has ceased. Only its forms have changed: formerly exploitation was purely capitalistic; now, labeled "workers' and peasants' govern* ment" and christened "communist economy", it is State capitalistic.

But this modern system of State capitalism is pernicious not only because it degrades the living human into a soulless machine. It contains another, no less destructive, element. By its very nature this system is extremely aggressive. Far from abolishing militarism, in the narrow sense of the term, it applies the principle of militarisation — with all its attributes of mechanical discipline, irresponsible authority and repression — to every phase of human effort.

Socialist militarism is not only admitted, but defended and justified by the theoreticians of the Party. Thus Bukharin in his work on the "Economics of the Transition Period" writes: "The workers' government, when waging war, seeks to broaden and strengthen the economic foundations on which it is built — that is, socialist forms of production. Incidentally, it is clear from this that, in principle, even an aggressive revolutionary socialist war is permissible". And, indeed, we are already familiar with some imperialistic pretensions of the "workers" dictatorship.

Thus the "bourgeois prejudices" kicked out through the window re-enter through the door.

It is evident that the militarism of the "labor" dictatorship, like any other militarism, necessitates the formation of a gigantic army of non*producers. Moreover, such an army and all its various organs must be supplied with technical resources and means of existence, which puts additional burdens on the producers, that is, the workers and the peasants.

Another and the most momentous internal danger is the dictatorship itself. The dictatorship which, despotic and ruthless, has alienated itself from the laboring masses, has strangled initiative and liberty, suppressed the creative spirit of the very elements which bore the brunt of the Revolution, and is slowly but effectively instilling its poison in the hearts and minds of Russia.

Thus does the dictatorship itself sow counter* revolution. Not conspiraces from without, not the campaigns of the Denikins and Wrangels are the Damocles sword of Russia. The real and greatest danger is that countrywide disillusionment, resentment and hatred of Bolshevik despotism, that counterrevolutionary attitude of the people at large, which is the legitimate offspring of the Communist Party dictatorship itself.

Even in the ranks of the proletariat is ripening, with cumulative force, the protest against the reactionary "big

stick" policy of Bolshevism.

• *

The organised labor movement of Russia developed immediately after the February Revolution. The formation of shop and factory committees was the first step toward actual control by labor of the activities of the capitalist owners. Such control, however, could not be general without coordinating the work of all other similar committees, and thus came to life Soviets, or General Councils, of shop ana factory committees, and their AlURussian Congress.

In this manner the shop and factory committees (zahvkomy) were the pioneers in labor control of industry, with the prospect of themselves, in the near future, managing the industries entire. The labor unions, on the other hand, were engaged in improving the living conditions and cultural environment of their membership.

But after the October Revolution the situation changed. The centralisation methods of the Bolshevik dictatorship penetrated also into the unions. The autonomy of the shop committees was now declared superfluous. The labor unions were reorganised on industrial principles, with the shop committee emasculated into a mere "embryo" of the union, and entirely subjected to the authority of the central organs. Thus all independence of action, all initiative was torn from the hands of the workers themselves and transferred to the union bureaucracy. The result of this policy was the compelete indifference of the workers to their unions and to the fate of the industries.

Then the Communist Party began to fill the labor unions with its own party members. They occupied the union offices. That was easily done because ail the other political parties were outlawed and there existed no public press except the official Bolshevik publications. No wonder that within a short time the Communists proved an overwhelming majority in all the provincial and central executive committees, and had in their hands the exclusive management of the labor unions. They usurped the dominant role in every labor body, including even such organisations where the membership (as in the Union of Soviet Employees) is manifestly and most bitterly opposed to the Bolsheviki. Whenever an occasional union proved refractory, as the printers, for instance, and refused to yield to "internal psychologic persuasion", the Communists solved the difficulty by the simple expedient of suspending the entire administration of the union.

Having gained control of the political machinery of the labor organisations, the Communist Party formed in every shop and factory small groups of its own members, so*called Communist "cells", whidh became the practical masters of the situation. The Communist "cell" is vested with such powers that no action of the shop or factory committee (even if the latter consist of Communists) is valid unless sanctioned by the "cell". The highest organ of the labor movement, the AlURussian Central Soviet of Labor Unions, is itself under the direct control of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.

Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders take the position that the labor union must be, first and foremost, a "school of Communism". In practice the role of the labor union in Russia is reduced to that of an automatic agency for the execution of the orders of the ruling Party.

However, this state of affairs is becoming unbearable even to that labor element which is still faithful to the commandments of State Communism. In the ranks of the Communist Party itself there has developed an opposition movement against the military governmentalisation of the labor unions. This new movement, known as the Labor Opposition, though still loyal to its Communist parent, yet realises the full horror of the hopeless position, the "blind alley" into which the criminally stupid policies of the Bolsheviki have driven the Russian proletariat and the Revolution.

The Labor Opposition is characterised by the good orthodox Communist Kolontay as "the advance guard of the proletariat, class conscious and welded by the ties of class interests", an element which "has not estranged itself from the rank and file of the working masses and has not become lost among Soviet office holders." This Labor Opposition protests "against the bureaucratisation, against the differentiation between the 'upper' and the 'lower' people", against the excesses of the Party hegemony, and against the shifting and twisting policy of the ruling central power. "The great creative and constructive power of the proletariat", says the Labor Opposition, "cannot be replaced, in the task of building the Communist society, by the mere emblem of the dictatorship of the working class", — of that dictatorship which a prominent Communist characterised at the last Congress of the Communist Party as "the dictatorship of the Party bureaucracy".

Indeed, the Labor Opposition is justified in asking: "Are we, the proletariat, really the backbone of the working class dictatorship, or arc we to be considered merely as a will'Iess herd, good enough only to carry on our backs some party politicians who are pretending to reconstruct the economic life of the country without our control, without our constructive class spirit?"

And this Labor Opposition, according to Kolontay, "keeps on growing in spite of the determined resistance on the part of the most influential leaders of the Party, and gains more and more adherents among the laboring masses throughout Russia".

But the Tenth Congress of the Communist Party of Russia (April, 1921) put its decisive veto on the Labor Opposition. Henceforth it is officially doomed, discussion of its ideas and principles forbidden because of "their Anarchossyndicalist tendency", as Lenin expressed himself. The Communist Party declared war on the Labor Opposition. The Party Congress decided that "propagation of the principles of the Labor Opposition is incompatible with membership in the Communist Party". The demand to turn the management of the industries over to the

proletariat was outlawed.

• •

The October Revolution was initiated with the great battle cry of the First International, "The emancipation of the workers must be accomplished by the workers themselves". Yet we saw that, when the period of constructive destruction had passed, when the foundations of Tsarism had been razed, and the bourgeois system abolished, the Communist Party thought itself sufficiently strong to take into its own hands the entire management of the country. It began the education of the workers in a spirit of strictest authoritarianism, and step by step the Soviet system became transformed into a bureaucratic, punitive police machine. Terrorism became its logical, inevitable handmaid.

General indifference and hatred, and complete social paralysis, were the result of the government course. An atmosphere of slavish submission, at once revolting and disgusting, pervades the whole country. It stifles alike the oppressed and the oppressors.

What boots it that the sober minded, compromise ready Lenin begins his every speech with the confession of the many and serious mistakes which have been made by the Party in power? No piling up of mistakes by the "ingenious opportunist", as Lunacharsky dubs Lenin, can dismay the champions of Bolshevism intoxicated with their Party's political dominion. The mistakes of their leaders become, in the interpretation of Communist theoreticians and publicists, "eminent necessity", and the convulsive attempts to correct them (the whole agrarian policy) arc hailed as acts of the greatest wisdom, humanity und loyalty to Bolshevik principles.

In vain the impatient cry of Kolontay: "The fear of criticism, inherent in our system of bureaucracy, at times reaches the point of caricature". The Party Elders brand her a heretic for her pains, her pamphlet "The Labor Opposition" is prohibited, and Iilitch himself (Lenin) "settles" her with a few sarcastic personal slurs. The syndicalist "peril" is supposedly removed.

xMeanwhile the Opposition is growing, deepening, spreading throughout working Russia.

Indeed, what shall the impartial observer think of the peculiar picture presented by Bolshevik Russia? Numerous labor strikes, with scores of workers arrested and often summarily executed; peasant uprisings and revolts, continuous revolutionary insurrections in various parts of the country. Is it not a terribly tragic situation, a heinous absurdity? Is not the rebellion of workers and peasants, however lacking in class consciousness in some eases, actual war against the workers* and peasants' government — the very government which is flesh of the flesh and blood of the blood of themselves, which had been called to guard their interests, and whose existence should be possible only in so far as it corresponds to the needs and demands of the laboring masses?

The popular protests do not cease. The opposition movement grows, and in self»defense the Party must, from time to time, mollify the people, even at the sacrifice of its principles. But where it is impossible by a few sops to still the craving for bread and liberty, the hungry mouths are shut with bullet or bayonet, and the official press brands the protestants with the infamous name of "counter* revolutionists", traitors against the "workers' and peasants* government".

Then Russia, Bolshevik Russia, is quiet again — with the quietness of death.

The history of recent days is filled with grewsome illustrations of such "quiet".

One of those illustrations is Kronstadt — Kronstadt, against which has been perpetrated the most awful crime of the Party dictatorship, a crime against the proletariat, against socialism, against the Revolution. A crime multiplied a hundredfold by the deliberate and perfidious lies spread by the Bolsheviki throughout the world.

Future history will deal adequately with this crying shame. Here we shall give but a brief sketch of the Kron* stadt events.

In the month of February, 1921, the workers of four Petrograd factories went on strike. It had been an exceptionally hard winter for them: they and their families suffered from cold, hunger and exhaustion. They demanded an increase of their food rations, some fuel and clothing. Here and there was also voiccd the demand for the Constituent Assembly and free trade. The strikers attempted a street demonstration, and the authorities ordered out the military against them, chiefly the "kursants", the young Communists of the military training schools.

When the Kronstadt sailors learned what was happening in Petrograd, they expressed their solidarity with the strikers in their economic and revolutionary demands, but refused to support any call for the Constituent Assembly and free trade. On March 1, the sailors organised a mass* meeting in Kronstadt which was attended also by the Chairman of the AllsRussian Central Executive Committee, Kalinin, (the presiding officer of the Republic of Russia), by the Commander of the Fortress of Kronstadt, Kuzmin, and by the Chairman of the Kronstadt Soviet, Vassilyev. The meeting, held with the knowledge and permission of the Executive Committee of the Kronstadt Soviet, passed resolutions approved by the sailors, the garrison and the citizen meeting of 16,000 persons. Kalinin, Kuzmin and Vassilyev spoke against the resolutions. The main points of the latter were: free speech and free press for the revolutionary parties; amnesty for imprisoned revolu? tionists; re-election of the Soviets by secret ballot and freedom from government interference during the electioneering campaign.

The Bolshevik authorities replied to the resolutions by beginning to remove from the city the food and ammunition supplies. The sailors prevented the attempt, closed the entrances to the city, and arrested some of the more obstreperous commissars. Kalinin was permitted to return to Petrograd.

No sooner did the Petrograd authorities learn of the Kronstadt resolutions, than they initiated a campaign of lies and libel. In spite of the fact that Zinoviev kept in constant telephonic communication with the presiding officer of the Kronstadt Soviet, and was assured by the latter that all was quiet in Kronstadt and that the sailors were busy only with preparations for the reflections, the Petrograd radio station was kept hard at work sending messages to the world announcing a counterrevolutionary conspiracy and a whitc«guard uprising in Kronstadt. At the same time Zinoviev, Kalinin and their aids succeeded in persuading the Petrograd Soviet to pass a resolution which was an ultimatum to Kronstadt to surrender immediately, on pain of complete annihilation in case of refusal.

A group of well-known and trusted revolutionists, then in Petrograd, realising the provocative character of such a policy, appealed to Zinoviev and to the Council of Defense, of which he was the President. They pointed out the un* revolutionary, reactionary nature of his policy and its great danger to the Revolution. The demands of Kronstadt were clearly set forth: they were against the Constituent Assembly, against free trade, apd in favor of the Soviet form of government. But the people of Kronstadt, as they frankly stated in their bulletin, could no longer tolerate the despotism of the Party, and demanded the right to air their grievances and the ^establishment of free Soviets. "All power to the Soviets" was again their watchsword, as it had been that of the people and of the Bolsheviki in 1917. To resort to armed force against Kronstadt were the height of folly; indeed, a terrible crime. The only right and revolution nary solution lay in complying with the request of Kronstadt (wired by the sailors to Zinovicv, but not transmitted by him to the Soviet) for the selection of an impartial Com* mission to rcach an amicable settlement.

But this appeal of the Petrograd group of revolu* tionaries was ignored. Many Communists clearly understood how maliciously reactionary was the government attitude toward Kronstadt, but slavishly debased and morally crippled by the jesuitism of the Party, they dared not speak and mutely participated in the crime .

On March 7th Trotzky began the bombardment of Kronstadt, and on the 17th the fortress and city were taken, after numerous fierce assaults involving terrific human sacrifice and treachery. Thus Kronstadt was "liquidated", and the "counterrevolutionary plot" quenched in blood. The "conquest" of the city was characterised by ruthless savagery to the defeated, although not a single one of the Communists arrested by the Kronstadt sailors had been injured or killed by them. And even before the storming of the fortress the Bolsheviki summarily executed numerous soldiers of the Red Army, whose revolutionary spirit and solidarity caused them to refuse to participate in the bloody bath.

The "conspiracy" and the "victory" were necessary for the Communist Party to save it from threatening inner decomposition. Trotzky, who during the discussion of the role of the Labor Unions (at the joint session of the Communist Party, the Central Executive Council of the Unions, and the delegates to the 6th Congress of the Soviets, December 30, 1920) was treated by Lenin as a bad boy who "don't know his Marx", once more proved himself the savior of the "country in danger". Harmony was reestablished

A few days after the "glorious conquest" of Kronstadt, Lenin said at the 10th Congress of the Communist Party of

Russia: "The sailors did not want the counter*revolutionists, but — they did not want us, either". And, — irony of the executioner! — at that very Congress Lenin advocated free trade, "as a respite".

On March 17th the Communist government celebrated its bloody victory over the Kronstadt proletariat, and on the 18th it commemorated the martyrs of the. Paris Com* munc. As if it was not evident to all who had eyes and would see, that the crime committed against Kronstadt was far more terrible and enormous than the slaughter of the Commune in 1871, for it was done in the name of the Social Revolution, in the name of the Socialist Republic. Hcnccforth to the vile classic figures of Thiers and Gallifct are added

those of Trotzky, Zinoviev, Dihbenko, Tukhachefsky.

• •

Thus is human sacrifice brought to the Moloch of Bolshevism, to the gigantic lie that is still growing and spreading throughout the world and enmeshing it in its network of ruin, falsehood and treachery. Nor is it only the liberty and lives of individual citizens which are sacrificed to this god of clay, nor even merely the well* being of the country: it is socialist ideals and the fate of the Revolution which are being destroyed.

Long ago Bakunin wrote: "The whole power of the Russian Tsar is built upon a lie — a lie at home and a lie abroad: a colossal and artful system of lies never witnessed before, perhaps, in the whole history of man".

But now such a system exists. It is the system of State Communism. The revolutionary proletariat of the world must open their eyes to the real situation in Russia. They should learn to see to what a terrible abyss the ruling Bolshevik Party, by its blind and bloody dictatorship, has brought Russia and the Russian Revolution. Let the world proletariat give ear to the voices of true revolutionists, the voices of those whose object is not political party power, but the success of the Social Revolution, and to whom the Revolution is synonymous with human dignity, liberty and social regeneration.

May the proletariat of Europe and America, when the world revolution comes, choose a different road than the one followed by the Bolsheviki. The road of Bolshevism leads to the formation of a social regime with new class antagonisms and class distinctions; it leads to State capital* ism, which only the blind fanatic can consider as a transition stage toward a free society in which all class differences are abolished.

State Communism, the contemporary Soviet government, is not and can never become the threshold of a free, voluntary, non*authoritarian Communist society, because the -very csscnce and nature of governmental, compulsory Com* munism excludes such an evolution. Its consistent economic and political centralisation, its governmentalisation and bureaucratisation of every sphere of human activity and effort, its inevitable militarisation and degradation of the human spirit mechanically destroy every germ of new life and extinguish the stimuli of creative, constructive work.

It is the Communist Party dictatorship itself which most effectively hinders the further development and deepening of the Revolution.

The historic struggle of the laboring masses for liberty necessarily and unavoidably proceeds outside the sphere of governmental influence. The struggle against oppression — political, economic and social — against the exploitation of man by man, or of the individual by the government, is always simultaneously also a struggle against government as such. The political State, whatever its form, and con* structive revolutionary effort are irreconcilable. They are mutually exclusive. Every revolution in the course of its development faces this alternative: to build freely, inde* pendent and despite of the government, or to choose government with all the limitation and stagnation it involves. The path of the Social Revolution, of the constructive self* reliance of the organised, conscious masses, is in the direction of nongovernment, that is, of Anarchy. Not the State, not government, but systematic and coordinated social rccon* struction by the toilers is necessary for the upbuilding of the new, free society. Not the State and its police methods, but the solidaric cooperation of all working elements — the proletariat, the peasantry, the revolutionary intelligentsia — mutually helping each other in their voluntary associations, will emancipate us from the State superstition and bridge the passage between the abolished old civilisation and Free Communism. Not by order of some central authority, but organically, from life itself, must grow up the closcly*knit federation of the united industrial, agrarian, etc. associations; by the workers themselves must it be organised and managed, and then — and only then — will the great aspiration of labor for social regeneration have a sound, firm foundation. Only such an organisation of the commonwealth will make room for the really free, creative, new humanity, and will be the actual threshold of non< governmental, Anarchist Communism.

Thus, and only thus, can be completely swept away all the remna its of our old, dying civilisation, and the human mind and heart relieved of the varied poisons of ignorance and prejudice.

The revolutionary world proletariat must be permitted to hear this Anarchist voice, which cries to them — as of yore — from the depths, from the prison dungeons.

The world proletariat should understand the great tragedy of the toilers of Russia: the heartbreaking tragedy of the workers and peasants who bore the brunt of the Re* volution and who find themselves now helpless in the iron clutch of an albparalising State. The world proletariat must, ere too late, losen that stranglehold.

If not, then Soviet Russia, once the hearth of the Social Revolution of the world, will again become the world's haven of blackest reaction.

Moscow, June, 1921.








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 ihe last hope of Kntcntc intervention and Russian counter* revolution -- was defeated and his military activities within Russia terminated. The people now confidently looked forward to ihe mitigation of the severe Bolshevik regime. It was expected that with the end of civil war the Com--munists would lighten the burdens, abolish wars time restrictions, introduce some fundamental liberties, j;nci begin the organisation of a more normal life. Though far from being popular, the Bolshevik Government had the support of the workers in its oft announced plan of taking up the economic reconstruction of the country as soon as military operations should cease. The people were eager to cooperate, to put their initiative and creative efforts to the upbuilding of the ruined land.

Most unfortunately, these expectations were doomed to disappointment. The Communist State showed no intention or loosening the yoke. The same policies continued, with labor militarisation still further enslaving the people, embittering them with added oppression and tyranny, and in consequence paralising every possibility of industrial revival. The last hope of the proletariat was perishing: the con* viction grew that the Communist Party was more interested in retaining political power than in saving the Revolution.

The most revolutionary elements of Russia, the workers of Petrograd, were the first to speak out. They charged that, aside from other causes. Bolshevik centralisation.

bureaucracy, and autocratic attitude toward the peasants and workers were directly responsible for much of the misery and suffering of the people. Many factories and mills of Petrograd had been closed, and the workers were literally starving. They called meetings to consider the situation. The meetings were suppressed by the Government. The Petrograd proletariat, who had borne the brunt of the revolutionary struggles and whose great sacrifices and heroism alone had saved the city from Yudenitch, resented the action of the Government. Feeling against tiie methods employed by the Bolsheviki continued to grow. More meetings were called, with the same result. The Communists would make no concessions to the proletariat, while at the same-time thev were offering to compromise with the capi* talists of Europe and America. The workers were indignant — they became aroused. To compel the Government to consider their demands, strikes were called in the Patronnv munition works, the Trubotchny and Baltiyski mills, and in the Laform factory. Instead of talking matters over with the dissatisfied workers, thc"Workers' and Peasants' Govern* ment" created a wartime Komilet Oborony (Committee ot Defense) with Zinoviev, the most hated man in Petrograd. as Chairman. The avowed purpose of that Committee was t<> suppress the strike movement.

It was on February 24 that the strikes were declared. The same day the Bolsheviki sent the kursimli, the Communist students of the military academy (training officers for the Army and Navy), to disperse the workers who had gathered on Vassilcvsky Ostrov, the labor district of Petrograd. The next day, February 25, the indignant strikers of Vassilcvsky Ostrov visited the Admiralty shops and the Galernaya docks, and induced the workers there to join their protest against the autocratic attitude of the Government. The attempted street demonstration of the strikers was dispersed by armed soldiery.

On February 26 the Petrograd Soviet held a session at which the prominent Communist Lashcvitch, member of the

Committee of Defense and of the Revolutionary Military Soviet of the Republic, denounced the strike movement in sharpest terms, lie charged the workers of the Trubotchny factory with inciting dissatisfaction, accused them of being "self-seeking labor skinners (shkurniki) and countersrcvo--hitiomsts", and proposed that the Trubotchny factory be closed. The Executive Committee of the Pctrograd Soviet (Zinovicv, Chairman) accepted the suggestion. The Trubotchnv strikers were locked out and thus automatically deprived of their rations.

'1 hesc methods of the Bolshevik Government served still further to embitter and antagonise the workers.

Strikers' proclamations now began to appear on the reefs of Fetmg/ad. Some of them assumed a distineth political character, the most significant of them, posted on the walls of the city February 27, reading:

A complete change is necessary in the policies of the Govern* ment. First of silk the workers and peasants need freedom. They don't want to live by the decrces of the Bolsheviki: they wart to control their own destinies.

Comrades, preserve revolutionary order! Determinedly and in an organised manner demand:

liberation of all arrested socialists and nonpartisan vorkingmcn;

Abolition of martial law; freedom of speech, press and assembly for all who labor:

Free election of shop and Factory committees (zahvkcmi). of labor union and soviet representatives.

CJail meetings, puss resolutions, send vour delegates to the

authorities and work for the realisation of vour demands.


The Government replied to the demands of the strikers by making numerous arrests and suppressing several labor organisations. The action resulted in popular temper growing more anti«Bolshcvik; reactionary slogans began to be heard. Thus on February 28 there appeared a proclamation of the "Socialist Workers of the Ncvsky District", which concluded with a call for the Constituent Assembly:

We know who is afraid of the Constituent Assembly. It is they who will no longer be able to rob the people. Instead thev will have to answer before the representatives of the people for their deceit, their robberies, and all their crimes.

Down with the hated Communists!

Down with the Soviet Government:

Long live ihe (Constituent Assembly!

Meanwhile the Bolsheviki concentrated in Petrograd large military forces from the provinces and also ordered to the city its most trusted Communist regiments from the front. Petrograd was put under "extraordinary martial law". The strikers were overawed, and the labor unrest crushed with an iron hand.


The Kronstadt sailors were much disturbed by what was happening in Petrograd. They did not look with friendly eyes upon the Government's drastic treatment of the strikers. They knew what the revolutionary proletariat of the capital had had to bear since the first days of the Revolution, how heroically they had fought against Yudenitch, and how patiently they were suffering privation and misery. But Kronstadt was far from favoring the Constituent Assembly or the demand for free trade which made itself heard in Petrograd. The sailors were thoroughly revolutionary in spirit and action. They were the staunch? est supporters of the Soviet system, but they were opposed to the dictatorship of any political party.

The sympathetic movement with the Petrograd strikers first began among the sailors of the warships Pctropavlovsk and Sevastopol — the ships that in 1917 had been the main support of the Bolsheviki. The movement spread to the whole fleet of Kronstadt, then to the Red Army regiments stationed there. On February 28 the men of Pctropavlovsk passed a resolution which was also concurred in by the sailors of Sevastopol. The resolution demanded, among other things, free reflections to the Kronstadt Soviet, as the tenure of office of the latter was about to expire. At the same time a committee of sailors was sent to Pctrograd to learn the situation there.

On March 1 a public meeting was held on the Yakornv Square in Kronstadt, which was officially called by the crews of the First and Second Squadrons of the Baltic Fleet. 16,000 sailors, Red Army men, and workers attended the gathering. It was presided over by the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Kronstadt Soviet, the Com* munist Vasstlicv. The President of the Russian Socialist Federated Republic, Kalinin, and the Commissar of the Baltic Fleet, Kuzmin, were present and addressed the audience. It may be mentioned, as indicative of the friendly attitude of the sailors to the Bolshevik Government, that Kalinin was met on his arrival in Kronstadt with military honors, music, and banners.

At this meeting the Sailors' Committee that had been sent, to Pctrograd on February 28 made its report. It corroborated the worst fears of Kronstadt. The audience was outspoken in its indignation at the methods used by the Communists to crush the modest demands of the Petrc* fcrad workers. The resolution which had been passed by Petropavlovsk on February 28 was then submitted to the meeting. President Kalinin and Commissar Kuzmin bitterly attacked the resolution and denounced the Pctrograd strikers as well as the Kronstadt sailors. But their arguments failed to impress the audience, and the Petropuvlovsk resolution was passed unanimously. The historic document read:



Having heard the Report of the Representatives sent by the General Meeting of Ship Crews to Pctrograd to investigate the situation there. Resolved:

(1) In view of the fact that the present Soviets do not express the will of the workers and peasants, immediately to hold new elections by secret ballot, the preelection campaign to have full freedom <>t agitation among the workers and peasants;

(2) To establish freedom of speech and press for workers ami peasants, for Anarchists and left Socialist parties;

(3) To secure freedom of assembly for labor unions and peasant organisations;

(4) To call a nonpartisan Conference of the workers. Red Army soldiers and sailors of Petrograd, Kronstadt. and of Petrograd Province, no later than March 10. 1921;

(5) To liberate all political prisoners of Socialist parties, as well as all workers, peasants, soldiers, and sailors imprisoned in connection with the labor and peasant movements;

(6) To elect a Commission to review the eases of those held in prisons and concentration camps;

(7) To abolish all poli tot deli (political bureaus) because no party should be given special privileges in the propagation of its ideas or rcccivc the financial support of the Government for such purposes. Instead there should be established educational and cultural commissions, locally elected and financed by the Government;

(8) To abolish immediately all zagryoditclniye otryadi;*

(9) To equal'se the rations of all who work, with the exception of those employed in trades detrimental to health;

(10) To abolish the Communist fighting detachments in alt branches of the Army, as well as the Communist guards kept on duty in mills and factories. Should such guards or military detachments be found necessary, they are to he appointed in the Army from the ranks, and in the factories according to the judgment of the workers;

(11) To give the peasants full freedom of action in regard to their land, and also the right to keep cattle, on condition that the peasants manage with their own means; that is, without employing hired labor;

(12) To request all branches of the Army, as well as out-comrades the military kursanti9 to concur in our resolutions;

#) Armed units organised by the Bolsheviki for the purpose of s«jp« pressing traffic and confiscating foodstuffs and other products. The irresponsibility and arbitrariness of their methods were proverbial through* out the country. The Government abolished them in the Petrograd Pro: vincc on the eve of its attack against Kronstadt — a bribe to the Petrograd proletariat. A. K.

(13) To demand that the press give the fullest publicity to our


(It) To appoint a Travelling Commission of Control;

(15) To permit free kusiurnoye (individual small scale) produc* tion by one's own efforts.

Resolution passed unanimously by Brigade Meeting, two per* sons refraining from voting.


Chairman Brigade Meeting



Resolution passed by an overwhelming majority of the Kronstadt garrison.



Together with comrade Kalinin Vassiliev votes against the Resolution.

This Resolution, strenuously opposed — as already men? tioncd — by Kalinin and Kuzmin, was passed over their protest. After the meeting Kalinin was permitted to return to Petrograd unmolested.

At the same Brigade Meeting it was also decided to send a. Committee to Petrograd to explain to the workers and the garrison there the demands of Kronstadt and to request that nonpartisan delegates be sent by the Petrograd proletariat to Kronstadt to learn the actual state of affairs and the demands of the sailors. This Committee, which consisted of thirty members, was arrested by the Bolsheviki in Petrograd. It was the first blow struck by the Communist Government against Kronstadt. The fate of the Committee remained a mystery.

As the term of office of the members of the Kronstadt Soviet was about to expire, the Brigade Meeting also decided to call a Conference of delegates on March 2, to discuss the manner in which the new elections were to be held. The Conference was to consist of representatives of the ships, the garrison, the various Soviet institutions, the labor unions and factories, each organisation to be represented by two delegates.

The Conference of March 2 took place in the House of Education (the former Kronstadt School of Engineering) and was attended by over 300 delegates, among whom were also Communists. The meeting was opened by the sailor Pctrichcnko. and a Presidium (Executive Committee) of five members was elected viva voce. The main question before the delegates was the approaching new elections to the Kron* stadt Soviet to be based on more equitable principles than heretofore. The meeting was also to take action on the Resolutions of March 1, and to consider ways and means of helping the country out of the desperate condition created by famine and fuel shortage.

The spirit of the Conference was thoroughly Sovietist: Kronstadt demanded Soviets free from interference by any political party; it wanted nonpartisan Soviets that should truly reflect the needs and express the will of the workers and peasants. The attitude of the delegates was antagonistic to the arbitrary rule of bureaucratic commissars, but friendly to the Communist Party as such. They were staunch adherents of the Soviet system and they were earnestly-seeking to find, by means friendly and peaceful, a solution of the pressing problems.

Kuzmin, Commissar of the Baltic Fleet, was the first to address the Conference. A man of more energy than judgment, he entirely failed to grasp the great significance of the moment. He was not equal to the situation: he did not know how to reach the hearts and minds of those simple men, the sailors and workers who had sacrificed so much for the Revolution and who were now exhausted to the point of desperation. The delegates had gathered to take counscl with the representatives of the Government. Instead, Kuz* min's speech proved a firebrand thrown into gunpowder, lie inccnscd the Conference by his arrogance and insolence. lie denied the labor disorders in Pctrograd, declaring that the city was quiet and the workers satisfied. Me praised the work of the Commissars, questioned the re* volutionary motives of Kronstadt, and warned against danger from Poland. He stooped to unworthy insinuations and thundered threats. "If you want open warfare", Kuzmin concluded, "you shall have it, for the Communists will not give up the reins of government. We will fight to the bitter end."

This tactless and provoking speech of the Commissar of the Baltic Fleet served to insult and outrage the delegates. The address of the Chairman of the Kronstadt Soviet, the Communist Vassiiicv, who was the next speaker, made no impression on the audience: the man was colorless and indefinite. As the meeting progressed, the general attitude became more clearly anti*Bolshcvik. Still the delegates were hoping to reach some friendly understanding with the representatives of the Government. But presently it became apparent, states the official report,* that "we could not trust comrades Kuzmin and Vassiiicv any more, and that it was necessary to detain them temporarily, especially because the Communists were in possession of arms, and we had no access to the telephones. The soldiers stood in fear of the Commissars, as proved by the letter read at the meeting, and the Communists did not permit gatherings of the garrison to take place."

Kuzmin and Vassiiicv were therefore removed from the meeting and placed under arrest. It is characteristic of the spirit of the Conference that the motion to detain the other Communists present was voted down by an overwhelming majority. The delegates held that the Communists must be considered on equal footing with the representatives of other organisations and accordcd the same rights and treatment. Kronstadt still was determined to find some bond of agreement with the Communist Party and the Bolshevik Government.

The Resolutions of March 1 were read and enthusiastically passed. At that moment the Conference was thrown into great excitement by the declaration of a delegate that the

c) I/. v v s 11 ;i of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee of kron* st.uH. \'o. <>. March 11. 1021.

Bolsheviki were about to attack the meeting and that fifteen carloads of soldiers and Communists, armed with rifles and machine guns, had been dispatched for that purpose. "This information", the Izvestia report continues, "produced pas* sionatc resentment among the delegates. Investigation soon proved the report groundless, but rumors persisted that a regiment of kursnnti, headed by the notorious Tchekist Dulkiss, was already marching in the direction of the fort Krasnaia Gorka". In view of these new developments, and remembering the threats of kuzmin and Kalinin, the Con* fcrence at onee took up the question of organising the defense of Kronstadt against Bolshevik attack. Time pressing, it was decided to turn the Presidium of the Conference into a Provisional Revolutionary Committee, which was charged with the duty of preserving the order and safety of the city. That Committee was also to make the necessary preparations for holding the new elections to the Kronstadt Soviet.



Petrograd was in a state of high nervous tension. New strikes had broken out and there were persistent rumors of labor disorders in Moscow, of peasant uprisings in the Hast and in Siberia. For lack of a reliable public press the people .uave credence to the most exaggerated and even to obviously false reports. All eyes were on Kronstadt in expectation of momentous developments.

The Bolsheviki lost no time in organising their attack against Kronstadt. Already on March 2 the Government issued a prikuz (order) signed by Lenin and Trotsky, which denounced the Kronstadt movement as n myutezh, a mutiny against the Communist authorities. In that document the sailors were charged with being "the tools of former Tsarist generals who together with Socialist*Revolutionist traitors staged a counters-revolutionary conspiracy against the prole* tarian Republic '. The Kronstadt movement for free Soviets was characterised by Lenin and Trotsky as "the work of Entente interventionists and French spies". "On i ebruary 28", the prikaz read, "there were passed by the men of the Pctropavlovsk resolutions breathing the spirit of the Black Hundreds. Then there appeared on the scene the group of the former general, Kozlovsky. He and three of his officers, whose names we have not yet ascertained, have openly assumed the role of rebellion. Thus the meaning of recent events has become evident. Behind the Socialist*RcvoIutionists again stands a Tsarist general. Jn view of all this the Council of Labor and Defense orders: (1) To declare the former general Kozlovsky and his aides outlawed; (2) to put the City of Petrograd and the Petrograd Province under martial law; (3) to place supreme nowcr over the whole Petrograd District into the hands of the Petrograd Committee of Defense."

There was indeed a former general, Kozlovsky, in Kron stadt. It was Trotsky who had placed him there as an artillery specialist. 1 le played no role whatever in the Kron* stadt events, but the Bolsheviki cleverly exploited his name to denounce the sailors as enemies of the Soviet Republic and their movement as counter-revolutionary. The official Bolshevik press now began its campaign of calumny and defamation of Kronstadt as a hotbed of "White conspiracv headed by General Kozlovsky", and Communist agitators were sent among the workers in the mills and factories ot Petrograd and Moscow to call v;ion the proletariat "to ralh to the support and defense of the Workers' and Peasants Government against the counterrevolutionary uprising i-Kronstadt".

Far from having anything to do with generals anr counterrevolutionists. the Kronstadt sailors refused ti-accept aid even from the SocialistsRcvoIutionist Party. It^ leader, Victor Tchernov, then in Reval, attempted to influence the sailors in favor of his Party and its demands, but received no encouragement from the Provisional

Revolutionary Committee. Tchcrnov sent to Kronstadt the following radio:'"

The Chairman of the Constituent Assembly, Victor Tchcrnov. sends his fraternal greetings to the heroic comrades>sailors, the Keel Army men and workers, who for the third time since i4JU5 arc throwing off the yoke of tyranny. He offers to aid with men and to provision Kronstadt through the Russian cooperatives abroad. Inform what and how much is needed. Am prepared to come in person and give my energies and authority to the service of the people's revolution. I have faith in the final victory of the laboring masses. *9' Mail to the first to raise the banner of the people's liberation! Down with despotism from the left and right!

At the same time the Socialist*Revo!utionist Party sent the following message to Kronstadt:

The SocialistsRevolutionist delegation abroad now thar the cup of the people's wrath is overflowing, offers to help with all means in its power in the Struggle for liberty and popular govern = mcnt. Inform in what ways help is desired. Long live the people's revolution! Long live free Soviets and the Constituent Assembly!

The Kronstadt Revolutionary Committee declined the SocialistsRevolutionist offers. It sent the following reply to Victor Tchcrnov:

The Provisional Revolutionary Committee of Kronstadt ex* presses to all our brothers abroad its deep gratitude for their sympathy. The Provisional Revolutionary Committee is thankful for the offer of Comrade Tchcrnov, but it refrains for the present: that is. till further developments become clarified. Meantime everything will be taken into consideration.

PETRICHENKO Chairman Provisional Revolutionary Committee

Moscow, however, continued its campaign of misrepre* sentation. On March 3 the Bolshevik radio station sent out the following message to the world (certain parts undecipherable owing to interference from another station):

*** That the armed uprising of the former general Kozlovsky has been organised by the spies of the Entente, like many similar previous plots, is evident from the bourgeois Trench newspaper

Matin, which two weeks prior to the Kozlovsky rebellion published the following telegram from Helsingfors: "As a result of the recent Kronstadt uprising the Bolshevik military authorities have taken steps ta isolate Kronstadt and to prevent the sailors and soldiers of Kronstadt from entering Petrograd/' *** It is elear that the Kron* stadt uprising was made in Paris and organised by the French secret service. The Socialist*kcvolutionists, also controlled and directed from Paris, have been preparing rebellions against the Soviet Government, and no sooner were their preparations made than there appeared the real master, the Tsarist general.

The character of the numerous other messages sent by Moscow can be judged by the following radio:

Petrograd is orderly and quiet, and even the few factories where accusations against the Soviet Government were recently voiced now understand that it is the work of provocators. They realise where the agents of the Entente and of counter-revolution arc leading them to.

*** Just at this moment, when in America a new republican regime is assuming the reins ot government and showing inclination to take up business relations with Soviet Russia, the spreading of lying rumors and the organisation of disturbances in Kronstadt have the sole purpose of influencing the new American President and changing his policy toward Russia. At the same time the London Conference is holding its sessions, and the spreading of similar rumors must influence also the Turkish delegation and make it more submissive to the demands of the Entente. The rebellion of the Petropavlovsk crew is undoubtedly part of a great conspiracy to create trouble within Soviet Russia and to injure our international position. ••• This plan is being carried out within Russia by a Tsarist general and former officers, and their activities are supported by the Mensheviki and Socialist*Rcvolutionistsr

The Petrograd Committee of Defense, directed by Zinoviev, its Chairman, assumed full control of the City and Province of Petrograd. The whole Northern District was put under martial law and all meetings prohibited. Extraordinary precautions were taken to protect the Govern* mcnt institutions and machine guns were placed in the Astoria, the hotel occupied by Zinoviev and other high Bolshevik functionaries. The proclamations posted on the street bulletin boards ordered the immediate return of all strikers to the factories, prohibited suspension of work, and warned the people against congregating on the streets, "in such cases", the order read, "the soldiery will resort to arms. In case of resistance, shooting on the spot".

The Committee of Defense took up the systematic "cleaning of the city". Numerous workers, soldiers and sailors, suspected of sympathising with Kronstadt, were placed under arrest. All Pctrograd sailors and several Army regiments thought to be "politically untrustworthy" were ordered to distant points, while the families of Kronstadt sailors living in Pctrograd were taken into custody us hostages. The Committee of Defense notified Kronstadt of its action by a proclamation scattered over the city from an aeroplane on March 4, which stated: "The Committee of Defense declares that the arrested are held as hostages for the Commissar of the Baltic Fleet, N. N. Kuzmin, the Chairman of the Kronstadt Soviet, T. Vassiliev, and other Communists. If the least harm be suffered by our detained comrades, the hostages will pay with their lives".

"We do not want bloodshed. Not a single Communist has been shot by us", was Kronstadt's reply.


Kronstadt revived with new life. Revolutionary enthusiasm rose to the level of the October days when the heroism and devotion of the sailors played such a decisive role. Now, for the first time since the Communist Party assumed exclusive control of the Revolution and the fate of Russia, Kronstadt felt itself free. A new spirit of solidarity and brotherhood brought the sailors, the soldiers of the garrison, the factory workers, and the nonpartisan elements together in united effort for their common cause. Hven Communists were infected by the fraternisation of the whole city and joined in the work preparatory to the approaching elections to the Kronstadt Soviet.

Among the first steps taken by the Provisional Revolutionary Committee was the preservation of revolu* tionary order in Kronstadt and the publication of the Com* mittee's official organ, the daily Izvcsliu. Its first appeal to the people of Kronstadt (issue No. 1, March 3, 1921) was thoroughly characteristic of the attitude and temper of the sailors. "The Revolutionary Committee", it read, "is most conecrned that no blood be shed. It has e.xerted its best efforts to organise revolutionary order in the city, the fortress and the forts. Comrades and citizens, do not suspend work! Workers, remain at your machines; sailors and soldiers, be on your posts. All Soviet employees and institutions should continue their labors. The Provisional Revolutionary Corns mittce calls upon you all, comrades and citizens, to give it your support and aid. Its mission is to organise, in fraternal cooperation with you, the conditions necessary for honest and just elections to the new Soviet".

The pages of the Izvestin bear abundant witness to the deep faith of the Revolutionary Committee in the people of Kronstadt and their aspirations toward free Soviets as the true road of liberation from the oppr vinn of Communist bureaucracy. Jn its daily organ aiv radio messages the Revolutionary Committee indignanth rt.:. nted the Bolshcvik campaigir of calumny and reneatcdl\ appealed t< th* proletariat of Russia and of the »vnr''' for understanding sympathy, and help. The radio ot vt i-ch 6 sounds th keynote of Kronstadt's call:

Our cause is just: wc stand for the power of Soviets, nor parties. Wc Stand for freely elected representatives of the laboring masses. The substitute Soviets manipulated by the Communist Party have always been deaf to our needs and demands; the only reply we have ever received was shooting. Comrades! They not only deceive you: they deliberately pervert the truth and resort to most despicable defamation. *** In Kronstadt the whole power is exclusively in the hands of the revolutionary sailors, soldiers and workers — not with counter-revolutionists led by some Kozlov.skv. as the lying Moscow radio tries to make you believe.

Do not delay, comrades! Join us, get in touch with us: demand admission to Kronstadt for your delegates. Only they will tell yon the whole truth and will expose the fiendish calumny about Hnnish bread and Entente offers,

Long live the revolutionary proletariat and the peasantry!

Long live the power of freely elected Soviets!

The Provisional Revolutionary Committee first had its headquarters on the flagship Petropavlovsk, hut within a few days it removed to the "People's Home", in the center of Kronstadt, in order to be, as the Izvestia states, "in closer touch with the people and make access to the Committee easier than on the ship". Although the Communist press continued its virulent denunciation of Kronstadt as "the counter-revolutionary rebellion of General Kozlovsky", the truth of the matter was that the Revolutionary Committee-was exclusively proletarian, consisting for the most part of workers of known revolutionary record. The Committee comprised the following 15 members:

1. PETRICHENKO, senior clerk, flagship Petropavlovsk;

2. YAKOVENKO, telephone operator, Kronstadt District;

3. OSSOSSOV, machinist, Sevastopol;

4. ARKHIPOV, engineer;

5. PEREPELKIN, mechanic, Sevastopol;

6. PATRUSlfEV, head mechanic, Petropavlovsk;

7. KUPOLOV, senior medical assistant;

8. VERSHININ, sailor, Sevastopol;

9. TUKIN, electrical mechanic;

10. ROMANENKO, caretaker of aviation docks;

11. ORESHIN, manager of the Third Industrial School;

12. VALK, lumber mill worker,

13. PAVLOV, naval mining worker;

14. BAIKOV, carter;

15. KILGAST, deep sea sailor.

Not without a sense of humor did the Kronstadt Izvestia remark in this connection: "These arc our generals, Messrs. Trotsky and Zinoviev, while the Brussilovs, the Kamcncvs, the Tukhachevskis, and the other celebrities of the Tsarist regime are on your side."

The Provisional Revolutionary Committee enjoyed the confidencc of the whole population of Kronstadt. It won general respect by establishing and firmly adhering to the principle of "equal rights for all, privileges to none". The pnhyok (food ration) was equalised. The sailors, who under Bolshevik rule always received rations far in excess of those allotted to the workers, themselves voted to accept no more than the average citizcn and toiler. Spccial rations and delicacies were given only to hospitals and children's homes.

The just and generous attitude of the Revolutionary Committee toward the Kronstadt members of the Com5 munist Party — few of whom had been arrested in spite of Bolshevik repressions and the holding of the sailors' families as hostages — won the respect even of the Communists. The pages of the Izvestia contain numerous communications from Communist groups and organisations of Kronstadt, condemning the attitude of the Central Government and indorsing the stand and measures of the Provisional Rcvolu* tionary Committee. Many Kronstadt Communists publicly announced their withdrawal from the Party as a protest against its despotism and bureaucratic corruption. In various issues of the Izvestia there are to be found hundreds of names of Communists whose consciencc made it impossible for them to "remain in the Party of the cxccutioncr Trotsky", as some of them expressed it. Resignations from the Com' munist Party soon became so numerous as to resemble a general exodus.* The following letters, taken at random from a large batch, sufficiently characterise the sentiment of the Kronstadt Communists:


I have come to realise that the policies of the Communist Party have brought the country into a hopeless blind alley from which there is no exit. The Party has hccome bureaucratic, it has learned nothing and it does not want to learn. It refuses to listen to the voice of 115 million peasants; it does not want to consider that only freedom of speech and opportunity to participate in the reconstruction of the country, by means of altered election methods, can bring our country out of its lethargy.

I refuse henceforth to consider myself a member of the Russian Communist Party. I wholly approve of the resolution passed by the alkcity meeting on March 1, and I hereby place my energies and abilities at the disposal of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee.

HERMAN KANMV Krasniy Komandir (Red Army Officer)

Son of the political exile in the Trial of IM3." Izvestw, No. 3, March 5. 1921


Almost thirty years I have lived in deep love for the people, and have carried light and knowledge, so far as lay in my power, to all who thirsted for it. up to the present moment.

The Revolution of 1917 gave greater scope to my work, in = creased my activities, and I devoted myself with greater energy to the service of my ideal.

The Communist slogan, "All for the people", inspired me with its nobility and beauty, and in February, 1920, I entered the Russian Communist Partv as a candidate. But the "first shot" fired at the peaceful population, at my dearly beloved children of which there are about seven thousand in Kronstadt, fills me with horror that I may be considered as sharing responsibility for the blood of the innocents thus shed. I feel that I can no longer believe in and propagate that which has disgraced itself by a fiendish act. Therefore with the first shot I have ceased to regard myself as a

member of the Communist Partv.



I/.vest in. No. 6, March 8. 1921

Such communications appeared in almost every issue of the Izvesfia. Most significant was (he declaration of the Provisional Bureau of the Kronstadt Section of the Com6 munist Party, whose Manifesto to its members was published in the Izvestia, No. 2, March 4:

• *** Let every comrade of our Party realise the importance of the present hour.

Give no credence to the false rumors that Communists arc being shot, and that the Kronstadt Communists are about to rise up in arms. Such rumors arc spread to cause bloodshed.

We declare that our Party has always been defending the conquests of the working class against all known and secret enemies of the power of the workers' and peasants' Soviets, and will continue to do so.

The Provisional Bureau of the Kronstadt Communist Party recognises the necessity for new elections to the Soviet and calls upon the members of the Communist Party to take part in the elections.

The Provisional Bureau of the Communist Party directs all members of the Party to remain at their posts and in no way to obstruct or interfere with the measures of the Provisional Revoke tionary Committee.

Long live the power of the Soviets!

Long live the international union of| workers!



Similarly various other organisations, civil and military, expressed their opposition to the Moscow regime and their entire agreement with the demands of the Kronstadt sailors. Many resolutions to that effect were also passed by Red Army regiments stationed in Kronstadt and on duty in the forts. The following is expressive of their general spirit and tendency:

We, Red Army soldiers of the Fort "krasnoarmeetz", stand wholly with the Provisional Revolutionary Committee, and to the last, moment we will defend the Revolutionary Committee, the workers anil the peasants.

Let no one believe the lies of the Communist'proclamations thrown from aeroplanes. We have no generals here and no Tsarist officers. Kronstadt has always been the city of workers and peasants, and so it will remain. The generals arc in the service of the Communists.

At this moment, when the fate of the country is in the balance, we who have taken the power into our own hands ami who have entrusted the Revolutionary Committee with leadership in the fight — we declare to the whole garrison and to the workers rhat we are prepared to die for the liberty of the laboring masses, t-reed from the three=year old Communist yoke and terror we shall die rather than recede a single step. live I'rce Russia of the Working People!

CREW or Tin: FORT "K RAN\ O A R M EET/C" hwstij. No. 5, March 7, 1921

Kronstadt was inspired by passionate love of a Free-Russia and unbounded faith in true Soviets. It was con* fident of gaining the support of the whole of Russia, of Pctrograd in particular, thus bringing about the final liberation of the country. The Kronstadt Izveslia reiterates this attitude and hope, and in numerous articles and appeals it seeks to clarify its position toward the Bolsheviki and its aspiration to lay the foundation of a new, free life for itself and the rest of Russia. This great aspiration, the purity of its motives, and its fervent hope of liberation stand out in striking relief on the pages of the official organ of the Kronstadt Provisional Revolutionary Committee and thoroughly express the spirit of the soldiers, sailors and workers. The virulent attacks of the Bolshevik press, the infamous lies sent broadcast by the Moscow radio station accusing Kronstadt of counterrevolution and White conspiracy, the Revolutionary Committee replied to in a dignified manner. It often reproduced in its organ the Moscow proclamations in order to show to the people of Kronstadt to what depths the Bolsheviki had sunk. Occasionally the Communist methods were exposed and characterised by the Izvestia with just indignation, as in its issue of March 8, (No. 6), under the heading "We and They":

Not knowing how to retain the power that is falling from their hands, the Communists resort to the vilest provocative means. Their contemptible press has mobilised all its forces to incite the masses and put the Kronstadt movement in the light of a White guard conspiracy. Now a clique of shameless villains has sent word to the world that "Kronstadt has sold itself to Finland". Their newspapers spit fire and poison, and because they have failed to persuade the proletariat that Kronstadt is in the hands of counter-revolutionists, they arc now trying to play on the nationalistic feelings.

The whole world already knows from our radios what the Kronstadt garrison and workers arc fighting for. But the Communists arc striving to pervert the meaning of events and thus mislead our Petrograd brothers.

Petrograd is surrounded by the bayonets of the kursanti and the Party "guards", and Maliuta Skuratov — Trotsky — does not permit the delegates of the nonpartisan workers and soldiers to go to Kronstadt. He fears they would learn the whole truth there, and that truth would immediately sweep the Communists away and the thus enlightened laboring masses would take the power into their own horny hands.

That is the reason that the Pctro^Soviet (Soviet of Petrograd) did not reply to our radio-telegram in which wc asked that really impartial comrades he sent to Kronstadt.

Fearing for their own skins, the leaders of the Communists suppress the truth and disseminate the lie that White guardists are active in Kronstadt, that the Kronstadt proletariat has sold itself to Finland and to French spies, that the Finns have already organised an army in order to attack Petrograd with the aid of the Kronstadt myalezhniki (mutineers), and so forth.

To all this we can reply only this: All power to the Soviets! Keep your hands off them, the hands that arc red with the blootl of the martyrs of liberty who have died fighting against the White guardists, the landlords, and the bourgeoisie!

In simple and frank speech Kronstadt sought to express the will of the people yearning for freedom and for the opportunity to shape their own destinies. It felt itself the advancc guard, so to speak, of the proletariat of Russia about to rise in defense of the great aspirations for which fhc people had fought and suffered in the October Revolution. The faith of Kronstadt in the Soviet system was deep and firm; its alUinclusive slogan, All power to the Soviets, not to parlies! That was its program; it did not have time to develop it or to theorize. It strove for the emancipation of the people from the Communist yoke. That yoke, no longer bearable, made a new revolution, the

Third Revolution, necessary. The road to liberty and peace lay in freely elected Soviets, "the cornerstone of the new revolution1'. The pages of the Izvestia bear rich testimony to the unspoiled directness and single*mindedness of the Kronstadt sailors and workers, and the touching faith they had in their mission as the initiators of the Third Revolution. These aspirations and hopes are clearly set forth in No. 6 of the Izvestia, March 8, in the leading editorial entitled "What We Arc Fighting For":

With the October Revolution the working class had hoped to achieve its emancipation. Hut there resulted an even greater enslavement of human personality.

The power of the police and gendarme monarchy fell into the hands of usurpers — the Communists — who, instead of giving the people liberty, have instilled in them only the constant fear of theTcheka, which hv its horrors surpasses even the gendarme regime of Tsarism. *** Worst and most criminal of all is the spiritual cabal of the Communists: they have laid their hand also on the internal world of the laboring masses, compelling everyone to think according to Communist prescription.

*** Russia of the toilers, the first to raise the red banner of labor's emancipation, is drenched with the blood of those martvrcd for the greater glory of Communist dominion. In that sea of blood the Communists are drowning all the bright promises and possibilities of the workers' revolution. It has now become clear that the Russian Communist Party is not the defender of the laboring masses, as it pretends to be. The interests of the working people arc foreign to it. Having gained power it is now fearful only of losing it, and therefore it considers all means permissible: defamation, deceit, violence, murder, and vengeance upon the families of the rebels.

There is an end to long-suffering patience. Here and there the land is lit up by the fires of rebellion in a struggle against oppression and violence. Strikes of workers have multiplied, but the Bolshevik police regime has taken every precaution against the outbreak of the inevitable Third Revolution.

But in spite of it all it has come, and it is made by the hands of the laboring masses. The Generals of Communism sec clearly that it is the people who have risen, the people who have become convinced that the Communists have betrayed the ideas of Socialism. Fearing for their safety and knowing that there is no place they can hide in from the wrath of the workers, the Communists still try to terrorise the rebels with prison, shooting.



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and other barbarities. But life under the Communist dictatorship is more terrible than death.**"

There is no middle road. To conquer or to die! The example is being set by Kronstadt, the terror of counterrevolution from the right and from the left. Here has taken place the great revolutionary deed. Here is raised the banner of rebellion against the threc*year old tyranny and oppression of Communist autocracy, which has put in the shade the thrce*hundred*year old despotism of monarchism. Ilere, in Kronstadt, has been laid the cornerstone of the Third Revolution which is to break the last chains of the worker and open the new, broad road to Socialist creativcncss.

This new Revolution will rouse the masses of the East and the West, and it will serve as an example of new Socialist constructiveness, in contradistinction to the governmental, cut*and; dried Communist "construction". The laboring masses will learn that what has been done till now in the name of the workers and peasants was not Socialism.

Without firing a single shot, without shedding a drop of blood, the first step has been taken. Those who labor need no blood. They will shed it only in self-defense. *** The workers and peasants march on: they arc leaving behind them the utchredilka (Constituent Assembly) with its bourgeois regime and the Communist Party dictatorship with itsTchcka and State capitalism, which have put the noose around the neck of the workers and threaten to strangle them to death.

The present change offers the laboring masses the opportunity of securing, at last, freely elected Soviets which will function without fear of the Party whip; they can now reorganise the governmentalised labor unions into voluntary associations of workers, peasants, and the working intelligentsia. At last is broken the police club of Communist autocracy.

That was the program, those the immediate demands, for which the Bolshevik Government began the attack of Kronstadt at 6.45 P.M., March 7, 1921.


Kronstadt was generous. Not a drop of Communist blood did it shed, in spite of all the provocation, the blockadc of the city and the repressive measures on the part of the Bolshevik Government. It scorned to imitate the Com* munist example of vengeance, even going to the extent of warning the Kronstadt population not to be guilty of excesses against members of the Communist Party. The Provisional Revolutionary Committee issued a call to the people of Kronstadt to that effect, even after the Bolshevik Government had ignored the demand of the sailors for the liberation of the hostages taken in Petrograd. The Kron* stadt demand sent by radio to the Petrograd Soviet and the Manifesto of the Revolutionary Committee were published on the same day, March 7, and arc hereby reproduced:

In the name of the Kronstadt garrison the Provisional Revolutionary Committee of Kronstadt demands that the families of the sailors, workers and Red Army men held by the Pctro* Soviet as hostages be liberated within 24 hours.

The Kronstadt garrison declares that the Communists enjoy full liberty in Kronstadtr and their families are absolutely safe. The example of the Petro*Soviet will not be followed here, because we consider such methods (the taking of hostages) most shameful and vicious even if prompted by desperate fury. History knows no such infamy.

SAILOR PETR1CHENKO Chairman Provisional Revolutionary Committee KII.G A.ST


The Manifesto to the people of Kronstadt read in part:

The long continued oppression of the laboring masses by the Communist dictatorship has produced very natural indignation and resentment on the part of the people. As a result, of it relatives of Communists have in some instances been discharged from their positions and boycotted. That must not be. We do not seek vengeance — we are defending our labor interests.

Kronstadt lived, in the spirit of its holy crusade. It had abiding faith in the justice of its cause and felt itself the true defender of the Revolution. In this state of mind the sailors did not believe that the Government would attack them by force of arms. In the subconsciousness of these simple children of the soil and sea there perhaps germinated the feeling that not only through violence may victory be gained. The Slavic psychology seemed to believe that the justice of the cause and the strength of revolutionary spirit must win.

At any rate, Kronstadt refused to take the offensive. The Revolutionary Committee would not accept the insistent advice of the military experts to make an immediate landing in Oranienbaum, a fort of great strategic value. The Kron? stadt sailors and soldiers aimed to establish free Soviets and were willing to defend their rights against attack; but they would not be the aggressors.

In Petrograd there were persistent rumors that the Government was preparing military operations against Kronstadt, but the people did not credit such stories: the thing seemed so outrageous as to be absurd. As already mentioned, the Committee of Defense (officially known as the Soviet of Labor and Defense) had declared the capital to be in an "extraordinary state of siege". No assemblies were permitted, no gathering on the streets. The Petrograd workers knew little of what was transpiring in Kronstadt, the only information acccssible being the Communist press and the frequent bulletins to the effect that the "Tsarist General Kozlovsky organised a counter-revolutionary uprising in Kronstadt". Anxiously the people looked forward to the announced session of the Petrograd Soviet which was to take action in the Kronstadt matter.

The PetrosSoviet met on March 4, admission being by cards which, as a rule, only Communists could procure. The writer, then on friendly terms with the Bolsheviki and particularly with Zinoviev, was present. As Chairman of the Petrograd Soviet Zinoviev opened the session and in a long speech set forth the Kronstadt situation. I confess that I came to the meeting disposed rather in favor of the Zinoviev viewpoint: I was on my guard against the vaguest possibility of counterrevolutionary influence in Kronstadt. But Zinoviev's speech itself convinced me that the Com* munist accusations against the sailors were pure fabrication, without a scintilla of truth. I had heard Zinoviev on several previous occasions. I found him a convincing speaker, once his premises were admitted. But now his whole attitude, his argumentation, his tone and manner — all gave the lie to his words. I could sense his own consciencc protesting. The only "evidence" presented against Kronstadt was the famous Resolution of March 1, the demands of which wTcrc just and even moderate. Yet it was on the sole basis of that document, supported by the vehement, almost hysterical denunciation of the sailors by Kalinin, that the fatal step was taken. Prepared beforehand and presented by the stentoriansvoiccd Yevdokimov, the right-hand man of Zinovicv, the resolution against Kronstadt was passed by the delegates wrought up to a high pitch of intolerance and blood thirst — passed amid a tumult of protest from several delegates of Pctrograd factories and the spokesmen of the sailors. The resolution declared Kronstadt guilty of a counter-revolutionary uprising against the Soviet power and demanded its immediate surrender.

It was a declaration of war. Even many Communists refused to believe that the resolution would be carried out: it were a monstrous thing to attack by force of arms the "pride and glory of the Russian Revolution", as Trotsky had christened the Kronstadt sailors. In the circle of their friends many sobcr*minded Communists threatened to resign from the Party should such a bloody deed come to pass.

Trotsky had been expected to address the Petro*Sovict. and his failure to appear was interpreted by some as indicating that the seriousness of the situation was exaggerated. Hut during the night he arrived in Pctrograd and the following morning, March 5, he issued his ultimatum to Kronstadt:

The Workers' and Peasants' Government has decreed that Kronstadt and the rebellious ships must immediately submit to the authority of the Soviet Republic. Therefore I command all who have raised their hand against the Socialist fatherland to lay down their arms at once. The obdurate arc to be disarmed and turned over to the Soviet authorities. The arrested Commissars and other representatives of the Government arc to be liberated at once. Only those surrendering unconditionally may count on the mercy «f the Soviet Republic.

Simultaneously I am issuing orders to prepare to quell the mutiny and subdue the mutineers by forec of arms. Responsibility for the harm that may be suffered by the peaceful population will fall entirely upon the heads of the counter-revolutionary mutineers.

This warning is final.


Chairman Revolutionary Military Soviet of the Republic



The situation looked ominous. Great military forces continuously flowed into Pctrograd and its environs. Trotsky's ultimatum was followed by a prikaz which contained the historic threat, "I'll shoot you like pheasants'4. A group of Anarchists then in Pctrograd made a last attempt to induce the Bolsheviki to reconsider their decision of attacking Kronstadt. They felt it their duty to the Revolution to make an effort, even if hopeless, to prevent the imminent massacre of the revolutionary flower of Russia, the Kronstadt sailors and workers. On March 5 they sent a protest to the Committee of Defense, pointing out the peaceful intentions and just demands of Kronstadt, reminding the Communists of the heroic revolutionary history of the sailors, and suggesting a method of settling the dispute in a manner befitting comrades and revolutionists. The document read:

To the Pctrograd Soviet of Labor and Defense Chairman Zinovicv:

To remain silent now is impossible, even criminal. Recent events impel us Anarchists to speak out and to dcclare our attitude in the present situation.

The spirit of ferment and dissatisfaction manifest among the workers and sailors is the result of causes that demand our serious attention. Cold and hunger have produced disaffection, and the absence of any opportunity for discussion and criticism is forcing the workers and sailors to air their grievances in the open.

White*guardist bands wish and may try to exploit this dissatisfaction in their own class interests. Hiding behind the workers and sailors they throw out slogans of the Constituent Assembly, of free trade, and similar demands.

We Anarchists have long since exposed the fiction of these slogans, and we declare to the whole world that we will fight with arms against any counterrevolutionary attempt, in cooperation with all friends of the Social Revolution and hand in hand with the Bolsheviki.

Concerning the conflict between the Soviet Government and the workers and sailors, we hold that it must be settled not by force of arms but by means of comradely, fraternal revolutionary agreement. Resorting to bloodshed, on the part of the Soviet Government, will not—in the given situation — intimidate or quieten the workers. On the contrary, it will serve only to aggravate matters and will strengthen the hands of the Kntente and of internal counter-revolution.

More important still, the use of force by the Workers* and Peasants' Government against workers and sailors will have a reactionary effect upon the international revolutionary movement and will everywhere result in incalculable harm to the Social Revo* lutioh.

Comrades Bolsheviki, bethink yourselves before it is too late! Do not plav with fire: you are about to make a most serious and decisive step.

Wc hereby submit to you the following proposition: Let a Commission be selected to consist of five persons, inclusive of two Anarchists. The Commission is to go to Kronstadt to settle the dispute by peaceful means. In the given situation this is the most radical method. It will be of international revolutionary significance.

Pctrograd March 5, 1021


Zinovicv, informed that a document in connection with the Kronstadt problem was to be submitted to the Soviet of Defense, sent his personal representative for it. Whether the letter was discussed by that body is not known to the writer. At any rate, no action was taken in the matter.


Kronstadt, heroic and generous, was dreaming of liber* ating Russia by the Third Revolution which it felt proud to have initiated. It formulated no definite program. Liberty and universal brotherhood were its slogans. It thought of the Third Revolution as a gradual process of emancipation, the first step in that direction being the free election of independent Soviets, uncontrolled by any political party and expressive of the will and interests of the people. The wholehearted, unsophisticated sailors were proclaiming to the workers of the world their great Ideal, and calling upon the proletariat to join forces in the common ficjht. confident that their Cause would find enthusiastic support and that the workers of i'otrograd, first and foremost, would hasten Jo their aid.

Meanwhile Trotsky had collected his forccs. The most trusted divisions from the fronts, kursanti regiments, Tcheka detachments, and military units consisting exclusively of Communists were now fathered in the forts of Sestrorctsk, Ussy Noss, krasnaia Gorka, and neighboring fortified places. The greatest Russian military experts were rushed to the scene to form plans for the blockade and attack of Kronstadt, and the notorious Tukhachevski was appointed CommandersinsChicf in the Mejue of Kronstadt.

On March 7, at 6. 45 in the evening, the Communist batteries of Sestrorctsk ami I.issy Noss fired the Hr.>r Miof-against Kronstadt.

It was the anniversary :-? \\<> Worker-. iJay. Kronstadt, besieged and aitackeo. did imi forget the great holiday. Under fire of numerous batteries, the brave sailors sent a radio greeting to the workingwomen of the world, an act most characteristic of the psychology of the Rebel City. The radio read:

Today is a universal holiday — Women Workers' Day. We of Kronstadt send, amid the thunder of cannon, our fraternal greetings to the workingwomen of the world. *a* May you soon accomplish your liberation from every form of violence and op* prcssion. live the free revolutionary workingwomen!

Long live the Social Revolution throughout the world!

No less characteristic was the heart-rending cry of Kron* sfadt, "Let The Whole World Know", published after the first shot had been fired, in No. 6 of the 1/vQstia, March 8:

The first shot has been fired . . . Standing up to his knees in the blood of the workers. Marshal Trotsky was the first to open fire against revolutionary Kronstadt which has risen against the autocracy of the Communists to establish the true power of the Soviets.

Without vshedding a drop of blood we. Red Army men, sailors, and workers of Kronstadt have freed ourselves from the yoke of the Communists and have even preserved their lives. By the threat of artillery they want now to subject us again to their tyranny.

Not wishing bloodshed, we asked that nonpartisan delegates of the Petrograd proletariat be sent to us, that they may learn that Kronstadt is fighting for the Power of the Soviets. But the Com* munisLs have kept our demand from the workers of Petrograd and now they have opened fire — the usual reply of the pseudo Workers' and Peasants' Government to the demands of the labor? ing masses.

Let the workers of the whole world know that wo. the dc fenders of Soviet Power, are guarding the conquests of rhe Social Revolution.

We will win or perish beneath the ruins of Kronstadt, fighting for the just cause of the laboring masses.

The workers of the world will be our judges. The blond of the innocent will fall upon the heads of the Communist fanatics drunk with authority.

Long live the Power of the Soviets?


The artillery bombardment of Kronstadt, which began on the evening of March 7, was followed by the attempt to take the fortress by storm. The attack was made from the north and the south by picked Communist troops clad in white shrouds, the color of which protectively blended with the snow lying thick on the frozen Gulf of Finland. These first terrible attempts to take the fortress by storm, at the reckless sacrifice of life, are mourned by the sailors in touching commiseration for their brothers in arms, duped into believing Kronstadt counter-revolutionary. Under date of March S the Kronstadt Izvcsiia wrote:

We did not want to shed the blood of our brothers, and wc did not fire a single shot until compelled to do so. Wc had to defend the just cause of the laboring people and to shoot — to shoot at our own brothers sent to ccrtain death by Communists who have grown fat at the expense of the people.

To your misfortune there broke a terrific snowstorm and black night shrouded everything in darkness. Nevertheless, the Communist executioners, counting no cost, drove you along the ice, threatening you in the rear with their machine guns operated by Communist detachments.

Many of you perished that night on the icy vastness of the Gulf of Finland. And when day broke and the storm quieted down, only pitiful remnants of you, worn and hungry, hardly able to move, came to us clad in your white shrouds.

Early in the morning there were already about a thousand of you and later in the day a countless number. Dearly you have paid with your blood for this adventure, and after your failure Trotsky rushed back to Pctrograd to drive new martyrs to slaughter — for cheaply he gets our workers' and peasants' blood! . . .

Kronstadt lived in deep faith that the proletariat of Petrograd would come to its aid. Hut the workers there were terrorised, and Kronstadt effectively blockaded and isolated, so that in reality no assistance could be expected from anywhere.

The Kronstadt garrison consisted of less than 14,000 men, 10,000 of them being sailors. This garrison had to defend a widespread front, many forts and batteries scattered over the vast area of the Gulf. The repeated attacks of the Bolsheviki, whom the Central Government continuously supplied with fresh troops; the lack of provisions in the besieged city; the long sleepless nights spent on guard in the cold—all were sapping the vitality of Kronstadt. Yet thesailors heroically persevered, confident to the last that their great example of liberation would be followed throughout the country and thus bring them relief and aid.

In its "Appeal to Comrades Workers and Peasants" the Provisional Revolutionary Committee says (Izvestia No. 9, March 11):

Comrades Workers, kronstadt is fighting for you. for the hungry, the cold, the naked. Kronstadt has raised the banner of rebellion and it is confident that tens of millions of workers and peasants will respond to its call. It cannot be that the daybreak which has begun in Kronstadt should not become bright sunshine for the whole of Russia. It cannot be that the Kronstadt explosion should fail to arouse the whole of Russia and first of all, Petrograd.

But no help was coming, and with every successive day Kronstadt was growing more exhausted. The Bolsheviki continued massing fresh troops against the besieged fortress and weakening it by constant attacks. Moreover, every advantage was on the side of the Communists, including numbers, supplies, and position. Kronstadt had not been built to sustain an assault from the rear. The rumor spread by the Bolsheviki that the sailors meant to bombard Petrograd was false on the face of it. The famous fortress had been planned with the sole view of serving as a defense of Petrograd against foreign enemies approaching from the sea. Moreover, in case the city should fall into the hands of an external enemy, the coast batteries and forts of Krasnaia <*"orka had been calculatcd for a fight against Kronstadt. Foreseeing such a possibility, the builders had purposely failed to strengthen the rear of Kronstadt.

Almost nightly the Bolsheviki continued their attacks. All through March 10 Communist artillery fired incessantly from the southern and northern coasts. On the night of the 12—13 the Communists attacked from the south, again resorting to the white shrouds and sacrificing many hundreds of the kursanti. Kronstadt fought back desperately, in spite of many sleepless nights, lack of food and men. It fought most heroically against simultaneous assaults from the north, east and south, while the Kronstadt batteries were capablc of defending the fortress only from its western side. The sailors lacked even an icc*cuttcr to make the approach of the Communist forces impossible.

On March J6the Bolsheviki made a concentrated attack from three sides at once — from north, south and east. "The plan of attack", later explained Dibcnko, formerly Bolshevik naval Commissar and later dictator of defeated Kronstadt, "was worked out in minutest detail according to the directions of Commander*in«Chief Tukhachevsky and the field staff of the Southern Corps. At dark we began the attack upon the forts. The white shrouds and the courage of (he kursanfi made it possible for us to advancc in columns."

On the morning of March 17 a number of forts had been taken. Through the weakest spot of Kronstadt — the Petrograd Gates — the Bolsheviki broke into the city, and then there began most brutal slaughter. The Communists spared by the sailors now betrayed them, attacking from the rear. Commissar of the Baltic Fleet Kuzmin and Chairman of the Kronstadt Soviet Vassilicv, liberated by (he Com? munists from jail, now participated in the hand-to-hand street fighting in fratricidal bloodshed. Til! late in the night continued the desperate struggle of the Kronstadt sailors and soldiers against overwhelming odds. The city which for fifteen days had not harmed a single Communist, now ran red with the blood of Kronstadt men. women and even children.

Dibenko, appointed Commissar of Kronstadt, was vested with absolute powers to "clean the mutinous city*'. An orgy of revenge followed, with the Tcheka claiming numerous victims for its nightly wholesale razstrel (shooting).

On March 18 the Bolshevik Government and the Com? munist Party of Russia publicly commemorated the Paris Commune of 1871, drowned in the blood of the French workers by Gallifet and Thiers. At the same time they celebrated the "victorv" over Kronstadt.

For several weeks the Petrograd jails were filled with hundreds of Kronstadt prisoners, Kvcrv night small groups of them were taken out by order of the Tcheka and disappeared — to be seen among the living no more. Among the last to be shot was Pcrcpelkin, member of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee of Kronstadt.

The prisons and concentration camps in the frozen district of Archangel and the Congcons of far Turkestan arc-slowly doing to death the Kronstadt men who rose against Bolshevik bureaucracy and proclaimed in March, 1921, the slogan of the Revolution of October, 1917: "All Power to the Soviets!"

* * *



The Kronstadt movement was spontaneous, unprepared, and peaceful. That it became an armed conflict, ending in a bloody tragedy, was entirely due to the Tartar despotism of the Communist dictatorship.

Though realising the general character of the Bolsheviki. Kronstadt still had faith in the possibility of an amicable solution. It believed the Communist Government amenable to reason; it credited it with some sense of justice and liberty.

The Kronstadt experience proves once more that government, the State — whatever its name or form — is ever the mortal enemy of liberty and popular self* determination. The State has no soul, no principles. It has but one aim — to secure power and to hold it, at any cost. That is the political lesson of Kronstadt.

There is another, a strategic, lesson taught by every rebellion.

The success of an uprising is conditioned in its resoluteness, energy, and aggressiveness. The rebels have on their side the sentiment of the masses. That sentiment quickens with the rising tide of rebellion. It must not be allowed to subside, to pale by a return to th" drabness of everv?day life.

On the other hand, every uprising has against it the powerful machinery of the State. The Government is able to concentrate in its hands the sources of supply and the means of communication. No time must be given the Government to make use of its powers. Rebellion should be vigorous, striking unexpectedly and determinedly. It must not remain localised, for that means stagnation. It must broaden and develop. A rebellion that localises itself, plays the waiting policy, or puts itself on the defensive, is inevitably doomed to defeat.

In this regard, especially, Kronstadt repeated the fatal strategic errors of the Paris Communards. The latter did not follow the advice of those who favored an immediate attack on Versailles while the Government of Thiers was disorganised. They did not carry the revolution into the country. Neither the Paris workers of 1871 nor the Kron8 stadt sailors aimed to abolish the Government. The Corns munards wanted merely ccrtain Republican liberties, and when the Government attempted to disarm them, they drove the Ministers of Thiers from Paris, established their liberties and prepared to defend them — nothing more. Thus also Kronstadt demanded only free elections to the Soviets. Having arrested a few Commissars, the sailors prepared to defend themselves against attack. Kronstadt refused to act upon the advice of the military experts immediately to take Oranicnbaum. The latter was of utmost military value, besides having 50,000 poods0 of wheat belonging to Kronstadt. A landing in Oranicnbaum was feasible, the Bolsheviki having been taken by surprise and having had no time to bring up reinforcements. But the sailors did not want to take the offensive, and thus the psychologic moment was lost. A few days afterward, when the declarations and acts of the Bolshevik Government convinced Kronstadt that they were involved in a struggle for life, it was too late to make good the error.9

The same happened to the Paris Commune. When the logic of the fight forced upon them demonstrated the necessity of abolishing the Thiers regime not only in their own city but in the whole country, it was too late. In the Paris Commune as in the Kronstadt uprising the tendency toward passive, defensive tactics proved fatal.

Kronstadt fell. The Kronstadt movement for free Soviets was stifled in blood, while at the same time the Bolshevik Government was making compromises with European capitalists, signing the Riga peace, according to which a population of 12 millions was turned over to the mercics of Poland, and helping Turkish imperialism to sup* press the republics of the Caucasus.

But the "triumph" of the Bolsheviki over Kronstadt held within itself the defeat of Bolshevism. It exposed the true character of the Communist dictatorship. The Communists proved themselves willing to sacrifice Communism, to make almost any compromise with international capitalism, yet refused the just demands of their own people — demands that voiced the October slogans of the Bolsheviki themselves: Soviets clcctcd by direct and sccret ballot, according to the Constitution of R.S.F.S.R.; and freedom of speech and press for the revolutionary parties.

The Tenth AlMRussian Congress of the Communist Party was in session in Moscow at the time of the Kronstadt uprising. At that Congress the whole Bolshevik economic policy was changed as a result of the Kronstadt events and the similarly threatening attitude of the people in various other parts of Russia and Siberia. The Bolsheviki preferred to reverse their basic policies, to abolish the razversika (forcible requisition), introduce freedom of trade, give cons cessions to capitalists and give up Communism itself — he Communism for which the October Revolution was fouj t seas of blood shed, and Russia brought to ruin and despaii -but not to permit freely chosen Soviets.

Can anyone still question what the true purpose of the Bolsheviki was? Did they pursue Communist Ideals or Government Power?

Kronstadt is of great historic significance. It sounded the death knell of Bolshevism with its Party dictatorship, mad centralisation, Tcheka terrorism and bureaucratic castes. It struck into the very heart of Communist autocracy. At the same time it shocked the intelligent and honest minds of Europe and America into a critical examination of Bolshevik theories and practices. It exploded the Bolshevik myth of the Communist State being the "Workers' and Peasants' Government". It proved that the Communist Party dictatorship and the Russian Revolution are oppositcs. contradictory and mutually exclusive. It demon® strated that the Bolshevik regime is unmitigated tyranny and reaction, and that the Communist State is itself the most potent and dangerous counter-revolution.

Kronstadt fell. But it fell victorious in its idealism and moral purity, its generosity and higher humanity. Kronstadt was superb. It justly prided itself on not having shed the blood of its enemies, the Communists within its midst. It had no executions. The untutored, unpolished sailors, rough in manner and speech, were too noble to follow the Bolshevik example of vengeance: they would not shoot even the hated Commissars. Kronstadt personified the generous, albforgiving spirit of the Slavic soul and the centurv?old emancipation movement of Russia.

Kronstadt was the first popular and entirely independent attempt at liberation from the yoke of State Socialism an attempt made directly by the people, by the workers, soU diers and sailors themselves. It was the first step toward the Third Revolution which is inevitable and which, let us hope, may bring to long-suffering Russia lasting freedom and peace.


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Publishing History

The three pamphlets comprising this work were first published by k%Der Syndikalist" an anarcho-syndicalist printing group in Berlin, in 1922, at Alexander Berkman's own expense. (Incidentally, printing costs in Berlin in 1922 were such that it cost between £5 and £10 to print 3000 copies). On leaving Russia, Berkman. Emma Goldman and Alexander Schapiro made their way to Stockholm, arriving on 5th January 1922, where they immediately issued an appeal on behalf of imprisoned revolutionists in Russia. This appeal was dated 9th January.

Berkman took from 5th January to the 10th to write the first pamphlet in the present scries. It was ultimately published on 24th June by which time he had managed to have himself smuggled into Germany. Uter in February (the 22nd) he wrote the sketch "In a Pogromed City/1 which was never published in the Russian Revolution series, but was incorporated into his book, "The Bolshevik Myth" which he began writing on 3rd January 1923. There were to have been ten or twelve different pamphlets in the Russian Revolution series, the fourth of which was to have been about Nestor Makhno, but Berkman later wrote that lack of co-operation from other groups of exiled revolutionists forced him to suspend the scries. He then devoted all his time to helping Emma Goldman with her work, "My Disillusionment in Russia," and his own "Bolshevik Myth" (now long out of print). He also gathered material for "letters from Russian Prisons/' practically editing the book himself although receiving no credit for his work from the distinguished committee nominally the compilers who apparently felt Berkman'snamc would bring into question the credibility and objectivity of the work. Berkman was also the central figure in relief work for imprisoned revolutionists.

It is not clear how many copies of the pamphlets were issued, or in how many languages. There were Dutch, Italian and Japanese editions and in Argentina over 100,000 copies of the Kronstadt pamphlet were printed. The pamphlets, however, were never translated into French and when a French edition was suggested to Berkman in 1934 he opposed it on the grounds that he felt it more important to focus activities on pressing contemporary affairs and because such an edition might cause his expulsion from refuge in France. The English pamphlets arc difficult to locate today. Only the Ixibadie Library at the University of Michigan seems to have all three pamphlets among American universities, and fewer than two dozen copies appear to exist in American university libraries.


The Anarchists in London 1935-1955 (with a postscript on the faBowiflg 20 years and appendices oo the movement in both Wales and Scotland). Albert Meltrer, £ 1.00 (♦ 15 p p»p); The International Revolutionary Solidarity Movement: A study of the origins and development of the revolutionary anarchist movement in Europe 1945-73 with particular reference to the First of May Group and The Angry Brigade, edited by Albert Melirer, £1.35p; Man! An anthology of anarchist idea*, essays, poetry and commentaries edited by Marcus Graham, £3.25p p/b, £7.00 h/b: Sabate: Guerrilla Extraordinary. Antonio Teller. £2.35 p/b, £3.50 h/b (T>»c story of the clandestine anarchist resistance to Franco 1940 i960); The Art of Anarchy, Flavto Costantini. £3.00 (Graphic illustrations capturing the dramatic and tragic moments in the history of the libertarian clasvstiuj^le); The Wilhdmshaven Revolt: A Chapter of the Revolutionary Movement in the German Navy 1918 1919, Icarus (tonst Schneidcr). 45p inc. p+p; Peter Kropotkin: His Federalist Ideas, Camtflo Bemeri. 30p

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Alexander Berk man in his study in Paris.

Alexander Berkman. a Lithuanian Jew born in 1870, emigrated to the U.S. from Russia •n 1888 where he soon became deeply involved in labour and anarchist circles. During the bitter Homestead Strike against the Carnegie Steel Co.. he shot Hnnry Clay Frick, Carnegie's manager for which he was arrested and served fourteen years in prison On his release he immediately threw himself into the anarchist struggle once more editing Mother E&th and The Btost. working in strikes, with the unemployed, agitating for birth control and libertarian education, and untiring in his work helping to organise prisoners' defence committees. As joint founders of the Ato Comcriptian League to oppose U.S. participation in World War I both Berkman and En ma Goldman were given prison sentences of two years, and then, soon after the revolution deported to Russia. Two years in his native Russia, travelling widely for the Museum of the Revolution of which he was Chairman, provided both the background material for this analysis of the revolution and its betrayal by the Communists. Bsrkman left Russia, disappointed and angry, towards the end of 1921 and spent the remaining 14 years of his life m exile, wclco-ne in no country, attempting to counter the myth of Bolshe vism. He shot himself on June 28. 1936.

Cienfucgos Press. Over tie Water. Sanday. Orkney

Cover illustration by Flavio Costantir.l.

1  Karl Marx, "General Rules of the International Working Men's Association" Selected Works, Vol. II, Progress Publishers, 1969, p. 19. By no means an isolated comment, it is fundamental to Marx's conception of alienation and class consciousness.

2  Brinton, op. cit.. p. xiv.

3  This pamphlet was written in June, 1921, as mentioned in my Prcfacc. Since then some of the Anarchists imprisoned in Moscow have been deported from Russia, though natives of that country; others have been exiled to distant parts, while a large number are still in the prisons.

4  Published in R c v o I u t s i o n 11 a y a Rossi ya (Soeialist'Rcxo lutionist journal) No. S, Mav. 1<»21. See also Moscow I x v c s t i a (Commit; nist) No. 154, July 13, 1022!

5  The Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Russia con' sidcrcd its Kronstadt Section so "demoralised" that after the defeat ot Kronstadt it ordered complete ^registration of all Kronstadt Com= munists. A. B.

6  The celebrated trial of 193 in the early days of the revolutionary movement of Russia. It be^an in the latter part of 1877, closing in the fir;? months of 1878. A. R

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9  The failure of Kronstadt to take Oranicnbaum gave the Government an opportunity to strcnghten the fortress with its trusted regiments, elimi* nate the "infected" parts of the garrison, and execute the leaders of the aerial squadron which was about to join the Kronstadt rebels. Later the Bolsheviki used the fortress as a vantage point of attack against Kronstadt.

Among those executed in Oranicnbaum were: Kolossov, division chief of the Red Navy airmen and chairman of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee just organised in. Oranicnbaum; Baiabanov, secretary of the Committee, and Committee members Romanov, Vladimirov, etc. A. B.