Paul Avrich, The Russian Anarchists, 1967.
7 · THE ANARCHISTS AND THE BOLSHEVIK REGIME
While men are gazing up to Heaven, imagining
after a happiness, or fearing a Hell after they are
dead, their eyes are put out, that they see
not what is their birthright.
Ever since its inception at the turn of the century, tfhe Russian anarchist movement -- if, indeed, so disorganized at phenomenon can properly be called a "movement" -- was pplagued by rancorous internal disputes over doctrine and tactics.. All efforts to achieve unity were in vain. Perhaps this was inevitable, for the anarchists by nature were inveterate nonconfornnists who stubbornly resisted organizational discipline. Theey seemed fated to remain in an atomized condition, a congerries of disparate individuals and groups -- syndicalists and terrtorists, pacifists and militants, idealists and adventurers.
Factional strife had contributed greatly to the decline of Russian anarchism in the years following the Revolution of 1905, and had nearly delivered the coup de grace to the movement during the war. By 1917, however, many anarfchist leaders evinced a strong determination to avoid the quarfrels of the past. While aware of the formidable obstacles to unitty inherent in the anarchist creed, they nevertheless endeavorred to set aside their differences and rally behind the commcon banner of stateless communism. In this ambition, they werre encouraged by the rapid growth of anarchist federations itn virtually every large Russian city from Odessa to Vladivosstok. If a measure of cooperation was possible on the local llevel, why not on a national scale as well?
The first step towards unification was taken in July 1917, when an Anarchist Information Bureau was establisheed to summon an All-Russian Conference. Towards the end of the month, representatives from a dozen cities gathered inn. Kharkov and for five days discussed such vital matters as arnarchism's role in the factory committees and trade unions, and the means
of converting the "imperialist" war into a worldwide social
revolution. Before dispersing, the delegates assigned the Information Bureau the mission of arranging an All-Russian Congress.1
In order to gauge the strength of the movement and to determine the degree of interest in a nationwide gathering, the Information Bureau sent questionnaires to anarchist organizations throughout the country. The many replies which soon reached Kharkov reflected overwhelming support for such a congress at the earliest feasible date. Each response included a brief description of the anarchist circles in the particular area, the extent of their activities, and, in some cases, a list of their publications.2 A valuable profile of the movement was thus obtained. In most locations, the anarchist groups fell into three categories: Anarchist-Communists, Anarcho-Syndicalists, and individualist anarchists. The anarchists in smaller towns often made no clear-cut distinction between Anarchist-Communism and Anarcho-Syndicalism, the two persuasions coalescing into a single Federation of Anarchists or of Anarchist-Communists-Syndicalists. Here and there, groups of Tolstoyans preached the gospel of Christian nonviolence, and though they had few ties with the revolutionary anarchists, their moral impact on the movement was considerable. As for the individualists, some were peaceable and others prone to violence, but all repudiated the territorial communes of the Anarchist-Communists as well as the workers' organizations of the Anarcho-Syndicalists; only unorganized individuals, they believed, were safe from coercion and domination and thus capable of remaining true to the ideals of anarchism. Taking their cue from Stirner and Nietzsche, they exalted the ego and the will and, in some cases, exhibited a distinctly aristocratic style of thought and action.3 Anarchist-individualism attracted a following of Bohemian artists and intellectuals, and
occasional lone-wolf bandits. Their obsessive quest for pure individual liberty either reduced itself to a form of philosophical solipsism or took the more active shape of revolutionary heroism or sheer banditry, with death as the ultimate form of self-affirmation, the ultimate escape from the constricting fabric of organized society.4
At the end of 1917 and the beginning of 1918, anarchist publications announced that the All-Russian Congress was imminent,5 but the pernicious divisiveness within the movement reasserted itself, and the scheduled meeting never took place. The broadest gathering that could be mustered was a Conference of Anarchists of the Donets Basin, which met in Kharkov on 25 December 1917, and again on 14 February 1918 in the city of Ekaterinoslav. The Conference founded a weekly periodical, Golos Anarkhista (The Anarchist Voice), and elected a Bureau of Anarchists of the Donets Basin, which sponsored lectures in southern Russia by such prominent figures as Iuda Roshchin, Nikolai Rogdaev, and Petr Arshinov.8 Later in 1918, the Anarcho-Syndicalists were to hold two All-Russian Conferences in Moscow, and an All-Russian Congress of Anarchist-Communists would assemble in the same city; but never was there to be a national congress embracing both major wings of the movement, let alone the lesser groups.
The Petrograd Federation of Anarchist Groups, which linked together a variety of Anarchist-Communist circles and clubs in and around the capital, was the most important city-wide organization to appear in Russia during 1917. By November, seven months after the Federation was created, the circulation of its daily newspaper (Burevestnik) exceeded 25,000 readers, located chiefly in the Vyborg district, at Kronstadt, and in the working class suburbs of Obukhovo and Kolpino.7 Continuing the policies laid down by Kommuna and
Svobodnaia Kommuna, Burevestnik exhorted the homeless and destitute to seize private residences8 and pressed for the expropriation of private property in general. (Bleikhman, writing under the pen name of N. Solntsev, was a tireless advocate of the confiscation of homes and factories.) Its editors by no means abandoned the cry for a "social revolution" when the Bolsheviks took power; in fact, the Paris Commune, once invoked as the ideal form of society to replace the Provisional Government, now became Burevestnik's answer to Lenin's dictatorship. The workers of Petrograd were told to "reject the words, orders, and decrees of the commissars," and to create their own libertarian commune after the model of 1871.9 At the same time, the newspaper had no less scorn for the "parliamentary fetishism" of the Kadets (Constitutional Democrats), SR's, and Mensheviks,10 and it jubilantly greeted the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in January 1918 as a great step towards the anarchist millennium.11
Within the Petrograd Federation, two loosely-knit groups, led by men of sharply dissimilar temperament, exerted a powerful influence over the rest, and almost monopolized the pages of Burevestnik. The first was headed by Apollon Andreevich Karelin (who frequently wrote under the name of Kochegarov), an intellectual noted for his humanity and erudition, "a splendid old man," as Victor Serge described him.12 His bearded and bespectacled face suggested the benign and scholarly nature of Prince Kropotkin. One of his associates, Ivan Kharkhardin, aptly likened him to a "Biblical patriarch."13
Karelin was born in St. Petersburg in 1863, the son of an artist of aristocratic lineage and a schoolmistress who was related to the novelist and poet Lermontov. He was taken to
Nizhnii Novgorod as a child and there received his gimnaziia training. In 1881, when Alexander II was assassinated by the Peoples Will, Karelin, who was eighteen at the time, was arrested as a participant in the radical student movement and sent to the Peter-Paul fortress in Petersburg. He was released when his parents appealed for clemency, and permitted to study law at Kazan University. Once again, however, he joined a Populist circle and engaged in illegal propaganda activity, which doomed him to long periods of "prison and exile, exile and prison," in the words of one of his future disciples.14 In 1905, Karelin fled from Siberia and spent the dozen years between the two Russian revolutions in Paris. There he formed an anarchist circle of Russian exiles known as the Brotherhood of Free Communists, which published anarchist literature, organized lectures and seminars, and attracted a considerable following (which included the future Anarcho-Syndicalist leader, Volin). Returning to Petrograd in August 1917, Karelin soon gained wide allegiance among the Anarchist-Communists of the capital.15
Karelin devoted his energies largely to sober, if unoriginal, analyses of political and economic questions. In a concise and even-tempered style, he presented the Anarchist-Communist case against workers' control,16 and wrote numerous articles and pamphlets attacking parliamentary government.17 At meeting halls and workers' clubs throughout the city, Karelin delivered lectures on such subjects as "How to arrange a life for the toilers without authority or parliaments."18 A pamphlet on the agrarian question that he had published in London in 1912 (following very closely Kropotkin's writings on territorial communes) was still widely read as a succinct statement of the
Anarchist-Communist position on the subject.19 The first step, according to Karelin, was to distribute all the land to those capable of working it. This was also a page from the SR land program, which Lenin borrowed in November 1917 when he transferred the land of the nobility, church, and crown to the custody of peasant committees. The Bolshevik decree of February 1918 nationalizing the land, however, fundamentally conflicted with the ultimate goal envisioned by Karelin: a federation of autonomous communes, in which the concept of ownership -- whether private or state -- would be abolished and members rewarded according to their needs.
If Karelin was heir to the moderate Anarchist-Communist tradition of Kropotkin's Khleb i Volia group, then the leaders of the second influential faction within the Petrograd Federation, the brothers A. L. and V. L. Gordin, were the successors to the ultra-radical Beznachal'tsy. Their choice of Beznachalie as the title of a periodical they published briefly in 1917 was by no means fortuitous; both in style and temperament, the Gordins were direct descendants of Bidbei and Rostovtsev, and exponents of the passionate and erratic variety of Russian anarchism founded by Bakunin. The superficial but fascinating essays which they produced in great quantity were marked by a degree of anti-intellectualism unmatched even in the diatribes of their forebears. Take, for example, the following proclamation printed in enormous letters across the front page of Burevestnik early in 1918:
UNEDUCATED ONES! DESTROY THAT LOATHSOME CULTURE WHICH DIVIDES MEN INTO "IGNORANT" AND "LEARNED." THEY ARE KEEPING YOU IN THE DARK. THEY HAVE PUT OUT YOUR EYES. IN THIS DARKNESS, IN THE DARKNESS OF THE NIGHT OF CULTURE, THEY HAVE ROBBED YOU.20
Hardly a day passed without a similar tirade by the Gordin brothers. Their rejection of contemporary European culture was as sweeping as their output was inexhaustible. The neologisms that adorned their articles and pamphlets were samples
of the new language they planned to construct to suit the post-bourgeois world of the future. The compulsive character of their work lends credence to the caustic observation of a contemporary Marxist scholar that the Gordins were suffering from an extreme case of "graphomania."21 Still and all, their poems and manifestoes make absorbing reading and, for all their prolixity, are not without occasional flashes of insight.
In 1917, the Gordin brothers founded a society of Anarchist-Communists which they called the Union of the Oppressed Five (Soiuz Piati Ugnetennykh), with branches in Petrograd and Moscow. The "Oppressed Five" referred to those categories of humanity which endured the greatest hardships under the yoke of Western civilization: "worker-vagabond," national minority, woman, youth, and individual personality. Five basic institutions -- the state, capitalism, colonialism, the school, and the family -- were held responsible for their sufferings. The Gordins worked out a philosophy which they called "Pan-Anarchism" and which prescribed five remedies for the five baneful institutions that tormented the five oppressed elements of modern society. The remedies for the state and capitalism were, simply enough, statelessness and communism; for the remaining three oppressors, however, the antidotes were rather more novel: "cosmism" (the universal elimination of national persecution), "gyneautropism" (the emancipation and humanization of women), and "pedism" (the liberation of the young from "the vise of slave education").22
Anti-intellectualism lay at the heart of the Pan-Anarchist creed. Borrowing a leaf from Bakunin, the brothers Gordin focused their criticism on book learning, the "diabolical weapon" by which the educated few dominated the unlettered masses. They applied Ockham's razor to all a priori theories and scholastic abstractions, particularly those of religion and science. Religion was "the fruit of fantasy" and science "the fruit of intellect"; both were mythical inventions of the human brain: "The rule of heaven and the rule of nature -- angels, spirits, devils, molecules, atoms, ether, the laws of God-Heaven and the laws of Nature, forces, the influence of one body on
another -- all this is invented, formed, created by society."23 The Gordins wished to liberate man's creative spirit from the shackles of dogma. For them, science -- by which they meant all rational systems, natural science and social science alike -- constituted the new religion of the middle class. The greatest fraud of all was Marx's theory of dialectical materialism. "Marxism," they declared, "is the new scientific Christianity, designed to conquer the bourgeois world by deceiving the people, the proletariat, just as Christianity deceived the feudal world."24 Marx and Engels were "the Magi of scientific socialist black-magic."25
Despite the immediate threat of Marxism, the Gordin brothers were ebulliently optimistic about the future. "The Gods of Europe are dying," they wrote, victims in a "struggle between two cultures." Religion and science, outmoded and weak, were retreating before the new and vigorous forces of labor and technology. "The culture of Europe is perishing, religion and science are disappearing from the face of the earth, and only Anarchy and Technics shall rule the earth."26 Confident that the traditional book learning used by the ruling classes to dominate the toiling masses was obsolete, the Gordins advised mothers to stop sending their sons into the church or the university. Soon a new type of education would be introduced, emancipating the children of the world from "white-handedness (belomchestvo), pitiful intellectualizing, and criminal dehumanization."27 Boys and girls would no longer be compelled to study social and natural "laws" out of books, but would receive a "pantechnical" education stressing inventiveness and practical aptitude, technical skill and muscle power, rather than the power of abstract reasoning. The great task ahead, the Gordins declared, was not to theorize but to
create, not merely to dream Utopia with our minds but to build it with our hands. And this was the mission of the oppressed five -- "The liberation of the oppressed is the task of the oppressed themselves."28
In March 1918, when the Bolsheviks moved the seat of government from Peter the Great's vulnerable "window on the West" back to the forest interior of old Muscovy, the leading anarchists of Petrograd lost no time in transferring their headquarters to the new capital. Moscow, now the focal point of the revolution, quickly became the center of the anarchist movement. The Anarcho-Syndicalists immediately began printing Golos Truda in Moscow, and the Anarchist-Communist organ, Burevestnik, which continued to appear in Petrograd for several more months (it was finally closed down in May), soon took a back place to Anarkhiia (Anarchy), the daily newspaper of the Moscow Federation of Anarchist Groups. Before very long, the Moscow Federation had supplanted its Petrograd counterpart as the leading Anarchist-Communist organization in the country.
Formed in March 1917, the Moscow Federation made its headquarters in the old Merchants' Club, which was confiscated by a band of anarchists in the wake of the February Revolution and rechristened the "House of Anarchy." The Federation contained a sprinkling of syndicalists and individualists among its predominantly Anarchist-Communist membership. Its foremost members in the spring of 1918, apart from Apollon Karelin and the Gordin brothers (who had moved to Moscow from Petrograd), included German Askarov, the keen polemicist of anti-syndicalism during the years following the Revolution of 1905 who had edited the emigre journal Anarkhist under the name of Oskar Burrit; Aleksei Borovoi, a professor of philosophy at Moscow University, a gifted orator and the author of numerous books, pamphlets, and articles which attempted to reconcile individualist anarchism with the doctrines of syndicalism;29 Vladimir Barmash, a trained agronomist and a leading participant in the Moscow anarchist movement during the 1905 revolt who had acquired a measure of notoriety by wounding a district attorney in 1906 and by escaping from Moscow's Taganka prison two years later;30 and Lev Chernyi (P. D. Turchaninov), a well-known poet, the son of an army colonel, and the proponent of a brand of Anarchist-Individualism known as "associational anarchism," a doctrine derived largely from Stirner and Nietzsche, which called for the free association of independent individuals.31 Chernyi served as the Federation's secretary, while Askarov was a principal editor of its organ, Anarkhiia. The Federation devoted its energies chiefly to the dissemination of anarchist propaganda among the poorer classes of Moscow. At clubs established in the industrial districts of Presnia, Lefortovo, Sokolniki, and Zamoskvorechie, Apollon Karelin and Abba Gordin conducted animated discussions among the workmen. By and large, the Federation eschewed "ex's" and other illegal activities, except for the seizure of private homes, of which Lev Chernyi was an especially vociferous advocate.
During the early months of 1918, the anarchists of Moscow and other cities kept up their barrage of criticism against the Soviet government. Ever since the October Revolution, their grievances had been rapidly accumulating: the creation of the Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom), the "nationalistic" Declaration of the Rights of the Peoples of Russia, the formation of the Cheka, the nationalization of the banks and of the land, the subjugation of the factory committees -- in short, the erection of a "commissarocracy (komissaroderzhavie), the ulcer of our time," as the Kharkov Anarchist-Communist Association acridly described it.32 According to an
anonymous anarchist pamphlet of this period, the concentration of authority in the hands of the Sovnarkom, Cheka, and Vesenkha (Supreme Economic Council), had cut short all hope for a free Russia: "Bolshevism, day by day and step by step, proves that state power possesses inalienable characteristics; it can change its label, its 'theory,' and its servitors, but in essence it merely remains power and despotism in new forms."33 The Anarchist-Communists of Ekaterinoslav recalled the message of the Internationale that there was no savior of the people, "not God, nor the Tsar, nor any tribune," and exhorted the masses to liberate themselves by replacing the Bolshevik dictatorship with a new society "on the basis of equality and free labor."34 Similarly, in the Siberian city of Tomsk, the anarchists called for the ouster of Russia's new "hierarchy" of tyrants and the inauguration of a stateless society organized "from below."35 "Laboring people!" exclaimed an Anarchist-Communist journal in Vladivostok, "Trust only in yourselves and in your organized forces!"36
The reaction of the Anarcho-Syndicalists to the new regime was equally bitter. In the Golos Truda group, Volin condemned the Bolsheviks for their "statization" of industry,37 while Maksimov went even further, declaring that it was no longer possible, in good conscience, to support the Soviets. The slogan "All power to the Soviets," he explained, though never entirely acceptable to the anarchists, had been a "progressive" call to action in the period before the October insurrection; at that time, the Bolsheviks, unlike the "defensists" and "opportunists" who infested the socialist camp, constituted a revolutionary force. But since the October coup, Maksimov continued, Lenin and his party had abandoned their revolutionary role for that of political boss and had transformed the Soviets into repositories of state power. So long as the Soviets remained vehicles of authority, he concluded, every anarchist was in duty bound to combat them.38
The stream of obloquy from the anarchist press reached an unprecedented level in February 1918, when the Bolsheviks resumed their peace negotiations with the Germans at Brest-Litovsk. Anarchists joined with other "internationalists" of the left -- left SR's, Menshevik Internationalists, left Communists -- to protest against any accommodation with German "imperialism." To Lenin's contention that the Russian Army was too exhausted to fight any longer, the anarchists replied that professional armies were obsolete in any case and that the defense of the revolution was now the mission of the popular masses organized in partisan detachments. At a meeting of the Soviet Central Executive Committee on 23 February, Aleksandr Ge, a leader of the Anarchist-Communist faction, spoke out vehemently against the conclusion of a peace treaty: "The Anarchist-Communists proclaim terror and partisan warfare on two fronts. It is better to die for the worldwide social revolution than to live as a result of an agreement with German imperialism."39 Both the Anarchist-Communists and Anarcho-syndicalists argued that bands of guerrilla fighters, organized spontaneously in the localities, would harass and demoralize the invaders, ultimately destroying them just as Napoleon's army had been destroyed in 1812. At the end of February, Volin of Golos Truda sketched this strategy in vivid terms: "The whole task is to hold on. To resist. Not to yield. To fight. To wage relentless partisan warfare -- here and there and everywhere. To advance. Or falling back, to destroy. To torment, to harass, to prey upon the enemy."40 But the appeals of Volin and Ge fell on deaf ears; on 3 March, the Bolshevik delegation signed the treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
The terms of the treaty were even harsher than the anarchists had feared. Russia ceded to Germany more than a quarter of its arable land and of its total population, and three-quarters of its iron and steel industry. Lenin insisted that the
agreement, severe as it was, provided a desperately needed breathing spell which would enable his party to consolidate the revolution and then carry it forward. For the outraged anarchists, however, the treaty was a humiliating capitulation to the forces of reaction, a betrayal of the worldwide revolution. It was indeed an "obscene peace," they said, echoing Lenin's own description.41 To pay so staggering a price in territory, population, and resources, declared Volin, was a "shameful" act.42 When the Fourth Congress of Soviets convened on 14 March to ratify the treaty, Aleksandr Ge and his fellow anarchist delegates (there were 14 in all) voted in opposition.43
The dispute over the treaty of Brest-Litovsk brought into relief the growing estrangement between the anarchists and the Bolshevik party. With the overthrow of the Provisional Government in October 1917, their marriage of convenience had accomplished its purpose. By the spring of 1918, the majority of anarchists had become sufficiently disillusioned with Lenin to seek a complete break, while the Bolsheviks, for their part, had begun to contemplate the suppression of their former allies, who had outlived their usefulness and whose incessant criticisms were a nuisance the new regime no longer had to tolerate. The anarchists, moreover, beyond their irritating ver-fbai assaults, were beginning to present a more tangible danger. Partly in preparation for the anticipated guerrilla war against the Germans, and partly to discourage hostile maneuvers by the Soviet government, the local clubs of the Moscow Federation of Anarchists had been organizing detachments of "Black Guards" (the black banner was the anarchist emblem), arming them with rifles, pistols, and grenades. From their headquarters in the House of Anarchy, the leaders of the Federation tried to impose a measure of discipline on the Black Guardsmen and to limit the activities of the local clubs to the distribution of propaganda and the "requisitioning" of private residences. This proved to be an impossible task; once armed, a number of groups and isolated individuals succumbed to fre temptation of carrying out "expropriations," and, adding
insult to injjury, they sometimess acted in the name; of the Federation. On 16 March, the Federation felt constrained to issue a public repudiation of "ex's"' committed under its banner: "The Moscow Federation of Anarchist Groups," announced the front piage of Anarkhiia, "declares that it does not condone any seizures for personal gain or for personal profit in general, and that it will take every step to combat such manifestations of the bourgeois spirit."44 The following day, in a tacit admission that members of the Black Guards had been guilty of lawless deeds, Anarkhiia prohibiteed all Guardsmen from embarking on any mission without an order signed by three members of the Black Guard staff and unless accompanied by a staff member.45
After the stubborn anarchist campaign against the treaty of Brest-Otovsk, the formatidon of armed guards and their underworld excursions came as the last straw. The Bolshevik leadership decided to act. A convenient pretext was provided on 9 April, when a band of Moscow anarchists stole an automobile belonging to Colonel Raymond Robins, the representative of the American Red Cross and a sympathetic contact with the United States government.46 Some Bolsheviks, as Trotsky admitted, were most reluctant to suppress the anarchists, who had helped "in < our hour of revolution."47 Nevertheless, on the night of 11-12 April, armed detachments of the Cheka raided 26 anarchist centers in the capital. Most of the anarchists surrendered without a fight, but in the Donskoi Monastery and in the House of Anarchy itself, Black Guardsmen offered fierce resistance. A dozen Cheka agents were slain in the struggle, about 40 anarchists were killed or wounded, and more than 500 were taken prisoner.48
In the wake of the raids, Anarkhiia was temporarily shut down by the government. From Petrograd, however, Burevestnik scathingly denounced the Bolsheviks for entering the camp of "the Black Hundreds generals, the counterrevolutionary bourgeoisie": "You are Cains. You have killed your brothers. You are also Judases, betrayers. Lenin has built his October throne on our bones. Now he is resting and arranging for 'breathing spells' on our dead bodies, the bodies of anarchists. You say the anarchists have been suppressed. But this is only our July 3-6. Our October is still ahead."49 When Aleksandr Ge lodged a protest with the Central Executive Committee of the Soviets, his Bolshevik colleagues assured him that they were rounding up criminal elements only and not truly "ideological" (ideinye) anarchists.50 Shortly afterwards, the Cheka carried out similar arrests in Petrograd -- Bleikhman was one of those detained, notwithstanding his membership in the Petrograd Soviet -- and extended their raids into the provinces as well.51 In May, Burevestnik, Anarkhiia, Golos Truda, and other leading anarchist periodicals were closed down, in most cases permanently.
The breathing spell that Lenin won at Brest-Litovsk proved to be of brief duration. By summertime, the Bolshevik government had been plunged into a life-and-death struggle with its enemies, both foreign and domestic. Whatever semblance of law and order had remained after the two revolutions of 1917 now broke down completely. Terrorism reared its head in every corner of the land. Radical SR's launched a grim campaign of assassination against prominent state officials, just as they had done in the days of Nicholas II. (Heretofore, the anarchists, by contrast, had generally aimed their bombs and
pistols at lesser targets -- policemen, district attorneys, Cossacks, army officers, factory owners, watchmen.) In June 1918, an SR terrorist assassinated Volodarskii, a high-ranking Bolshevik in Petrograd. The following month, two left SR's murdered the German Ambassador, Count Mirbach, in the hope of forcing a renewal of the war. At the end of August, Mikhail Uritskii, head of the Petrograd Cheka, was the victim of SR bullets, and a young SR in Moscow named Fanya ("Dora") Kaplan shot and severely wounded Lenin himself. The attempt on Lenin's life struck some anarchists as analogous to the assassination in 1904 of the reactionary Minister of the Interior, Viacheslav Pleve;52 Kaplan, they remarked sympathetically, wished "to slay Lenin before he could slay the Revolution."53
The anarchists, too, resorted once more to their terrorist ways. Groups of Chernoznamentsy and Beznachal'tsy sprang up again, as did small bands of hard-core desperadoes which operated under such names as "Hurricane" and "Death,"54 and were strongly reminiscent of the Black Raven and Hawk groups of the previous decade. As in the years following the 1905 uprising, the south provided particularly fertile soil for anarchist violence. One fanatical circle in Kharkov, known as the Anarcho-Futurists, conjured up the ghosts of Bidbei and Rostovtsev by proclaiming "Death to world civilization!" and urging the dark masses to take up their axes and destroy everything in sight.55 Anarchists in Rostov, Ekaterinoslav, and Briansk broke into city jails and liberated the prisoners.56 Fiery manifestoes incited the populace to revolt against its new masters. The following appeal was issued by the Briansk Federation of Anarchists in July 1918:
The south was the spawning ground for a host of anarchist "battle detachments" patterned after those of the 1905 period. Their avowed purpose was the destruction of would-be counterrevolutionaries, whether Russian "Whites," Bolsheviks, Ukrainian nationalists, or Gernnan troops carrying out the treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The Black Sea Partisan Detachment in Simferopol and the M. A. Bakunin Partisan Detachment in Ekaterinoslav sang of the mew "era of dynamite" that would greet oppressors of every stripe:
THE SOCIAL-VAMPIRES ARE DRINKING YOUR BLOOD!
THOSE WHO EARLIER CRIED OUT FOR LIBERTY, FRATERNITY, AND EQUALITY ARE CREATING TERRIBLE VIOLENCE!
THE SHOOTING OF PRISONERS IS OCCURRING NOW WITHOUT TRIAL OR INVESTIGATION AND EVEN WITHOUT THEIR "REVOLUTIONARY" TRIBUNAL. . .
THE BOLSHEVIKS HAVE BECOME MONARCHISTS. . .
PEOPLE! THE GENDARME'S BOOT IS CRUSHING ALL YOUR BEST FEELINGS AND DESIRES. . .
THERE IS NO FREE SPEECH, NO FREE PRESS, NO FREE HOUSING. EVERYWHERE THERE ARE ONLY BLOOD, MOANS, TEARS, AND VIOLENCE. . .
YOUR ENEMIES SUMMON HUNGER TO HELP THEM IN THEIR STRUGGLE WITH YOU. . .
ARISE THEN PEOPLE!
DESTROY THE PARASITES WHO TORMENT YOU!
DESTROY ALL WHO OPPRESS YOU!
CREATE YOUR HAPPINESS YOURSELVES . . . DO NOT TRUST YOUR FATE TO ANYONE . . .
ARISE PEOPLE! CREATE ANARCHY AND THE COMMUNE!57
Dear to us is the legacy of Ravachol
True to their word, the anarchist bands of the south inaugurated a tumultuous era of explosions and "expropriations," though their daring exploits were not always motivated by selfless revolutionary ideals.
And the last speech of Henry,
For the slogan "Commune and Liberty"
We are ready to lay down our lives!
Down with the noise of church-bells!
We shall sound a different alarm
With explosions and groans in the land
We shall build our own harmony!58
Over the next two years, Moscow also endured a rash of anarchist violence. Victor Serge reports that, in the summer of 1918, the Black Guardsmen who had survived the Cheka raids of the preceding months, contemplated the armed seizure of the capital, but Aleksei Borovoi and Daniil Novomirskii talked them out of it.59 Many of them, however, sought refuge from Bolshevik persecution in the underworld. Lev Chernyi, secretary of the Moscow Federation of Anarchists, helped form an "underground group" in 1918, and the following year joined an organization called the Underground Anarchists (Anarkhisty Podpol'ia), founded by Kazimir Kovalevich, a member of the Moscow Union of Railway Workers, and by a Ukrainian anarchist named Petr Sobolev. Though based in the capital, the Underground Anarchists established ties with the battle detachments of the south. In the fall of 1919, they published two numbers of an incendiary leaflet called Anarkhiia (not to be confused with the organ of the Moscow Federation, shut down by the government the previous year), the first of which denounced the Bolshevik dictatorship as the worst tyranny in human history. "Never has there been so sharp a division between oppressors and oppressed as there is now," it declared.60 A few days before these words were printed, the Underground Anarchists struck their heaviest blow against the "oppressors." On 25 September, together with a number of left SR's (both groups were seeking revenge for the arrests of their comrades), they bombed the headquarters of the Moscow Committee of the Communist Party in Leontiev Street, while a plenary meeting was in session. The explosion killed 12 members of the Committee and wounded 55 others, including Nikolai Bukharin, the eminent Bolshevik theorist and editor of Pravda, Emelian Iaroslavskii, who later was to write a short history of Russian anarchism, and Iu. M. Steklov, editor of Izvestiia and future biographer of
Bakunin.61 Elated by their success, the Underground Anarchists triumphantly announced that the blast was the signal for an "era of dynamite" that would terminate only when the new despotism had been utterly destroyed.62
But their exultation was soon cut short. The bombing, though at once disavowed by the most prominent anarchist leaders, triggered a massive wave of new arrests. The Underground Anarchists were the first to be hunted down. A group of them blew themselves up in a "requisitioned" dacha after their leaders, Kovalevich and Sobolev, had been shot by the police.63 The Cheka cast a wide net for political offenders, trying hundreds of them in three-man summary courts. The parallel between these courts and the military tribunals created after the Revolution of 1905 was not lost on the anarchists, who compared the Cheka agents to Stolypin's "hangmen."64 Bolshevik spokesmen maintained that, with the survival of the revolution at stake, it was imperative to snuff out violent opposition from every quarter. No anarchists, they insisted, were being arrested merely for their beliefs, but only for criminal deeds. "We do not persecute Anarchists of ideas," Lenin assured Alexander Berkman several months after the Leontiev Street bombing, "but we will not tolerate armed resistance or agitation of that character."65 Unfortunately for the "ideological" anarchists, the Cheka did not bother to run its prisoners through a catechism of anarchist doctrine before meting out retribution.
With the flare-up of terrorism in 1918, the old debate between the syndicalists and the terrorists over the efficacy of violent action was revived. The young syndicalist Maksimov,
with a mixture of exasperation and contempt, condemned the Anarchist-Communists for returning to the discredited tactics of assassination and "expropriation." Terrorism was a gross distortion of anarchist principles, he argued, dissipating revolutionary energy while doing nothing to eliminate social injustice. At the same time, Maksimov scorned the sedentary "Manilovs" in the Anarchist-Communist camp (Manilov was a day-dreaming landowner in Gogol's Dead Souls), romantic visionaries who pined for pastoral Utopias, oblivious of the complex forces at work in the modern world. It was time to stop dreaming of the Golden Age, he declared. It was time to "organize and act!"66
By the time Maksimov's injunction appeared in print, he and his colleagues had already begun to carry it out. At the end of August 1918, the Anarcho-Syndicalists held their First All-Russian Conference in Moscow with the aim of organizing their forces and adopting a common platform. The delegates attacked the Bolshevik dictatorship on a broad front and approved a battery of resolutions condemning Lenin's political and economic programs. On the political side, the syndicalists demanded that the Sovnarkom be abolished at once and replaced by a federation of "free Soviets," chosen directly in the factories and villages, without "political chatterboxes gaining entry through party lists and turning [the Soviets] into a talking-shop."67 Furthermore, although the Conference endorsed the military struggle against the Whites, it called for the arming of the workers and peasants to supersede the outmoded standing army.
The resolutions on economic questions amounted to a blanket rejection of the Bolshevik program of "war communism." In the agricultural sector, the Anarcho-Syndicalists warned that the land policies of the new regime would lead to the renewed "enserfment" of the peasantry by the kulaks and the state. To avert this fate, they advocated the equalization of land allotments and the gradual formation of autonomous peasant communes. They also demanded the immediate cessation of grain requisitions by the state, proposing that the job
of distributing food be turned over to worker-peasant organizations. In industry, the syndicalists accused the government of betraying the working class with its suppression of workers' control in favor of such capitalist devices as one-man management, labor discipline, and the employment of "bourgeois" engineers and technicians. By forsaking the factory committees -- "the beloved child of the great workers' revolution" -- for those "dead organizations," the trade unions, and by substituting decrees and red tape for industrial democracy, the Bolshevik leadership was creating a monster of "state capitalism," a bureaucratic Behemoth, which it ludicrously called "socialism." The twin evils of political dictatorship and "state capitalism" could be removed only through an "immediate and radical revolution" by the workers themselves.68
The charge that the Bolshevik party had introduced "state capitalism" rather than proletarian socialism became a major theme in anarchist criticism of the Soviet regime. In April 1918, Lenin admitted that the economic chaos in Russia had compelled him to jettison "the principles of the Paris Commune," which had served as his guidelines in the April Theses and The State and Revolution.69 By shedding these hallowed principles, the anarchists maintained, Lenin had sacrificed the self-determination of the working class on the altar of centralized authority; he had simply reintroduced the old system of exploitation in new dress. Under Bolshevik rule, declared the journal of the Briansk Federation of Anarchists, the Russian state had become "some sort of amazing machine, a mighty web of lace that acts as a judge, manages school affairs and makes sausages, builds houses and collects taxes, directs the police and cooks soup, digs coal and lets men languish in jail, assembles troops and sews garments. .. ."70
The most penetrating anarchist critique of "state capitalism" appeared in a new syndicalist journal, Vol'nyi Golos Truda (The Free Voice of Labor), established in August 1918 (at the time of the First Conference of Anarcho-Syndicalists) as the successor to the suppressed Golos Truda. The journal's editors -- Grigorii Maksimov, M. Chekeres (Nikolai Dolenko),
and Efim Iarchuk -- were in the left wing of Anarcho-Syndicalism, men of a militant stamp, whose philosophy was an acerbic blend of Bakuninism and revolutionary syndicalism, in the tradition of Novomirskii's South Russian Group of Anarcho-syndicalists of the 1905 period.
The attack on "state capitalism" in Vol'nyi Golos Truda took the form of a lengthy article entitled "Paths of Revolution" and signed by a certain "M. Sergven." One suspects -- judging from content and style -- that the author was Maksimov. The article began with a severe indictment of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" that Lenin and his confederates claimed to have instituted after overthrowing the Provisional Government. The Bolshevik Revolution, the author asserted, had merely resulted in the substitution of state capitalism for private capitalism; one big owner had taken the place of many small ones. By means of "a whole bureaucratic system and a new 'statized' morality," the Soviet government had enserfed the working masses all over again. The peasants and factory workers now found themselves under the heel of "a new class of administrators -- a new class born largely from the womb of the intelligentsia." What had taken place in Russia, the article went on, resembled the earlier revolutions in Western Europe: no sooner had the oppressed farmers and craftsmen of England and France removed the landed aristocracy from power than the ambitious middle class stepped into the breech and erected a new class structure with itself at the top; in a similar manner, the privileges and authority once shared by the Russian nobility and bourgeoisie had passed into the hands of a new ruling class, composed of party officials, government bureaucrats, and technical specialists.
At this point, the author of "Paths of Revolution" made a remarkable departure from the usual condemnation of the Bolsheviks as betrayers of the working class. Lenin and his followers, wrote Sergven, were not necessarily cold-blooded cynics who, with Machiavellian cunning, had mapped out the new class structure in advance to satisfy their personal lust for power. Quite possibly, they were motivated by a genuine concern for human suffering. Yet, he added plaintively, even the loftiest intentions must founder when centralized power is introduced. The division of society into administrators and workers follows inexorably from the centralization of authority. It cannot be otherwise: management implies responsibility, which, in turn, implies special rights and advantages. Once the functions of management and labor are separated, the former assigned to a minority of "experts" and the latter to the untutored masses, all possibility of dignity and equality is destroyed.
Under the centralized rule of Lenin and his party, the article concluded, Russia had entered a period of state capitalism rather than socialism. State capitalism was "the new dam before the waves of our social revolution." And those who believed that the working class was so huge and powerful that it could crash through the dam failed to recognize that the new class of administrators and officeholders constituted a most formidable opponent. In the hour of revolution, Sergven lamented, the Anarcho-Syndicalists -- who, unlike the Marxists, truly believed that the liberation of the working class was the task of the workers themselves -- were too poorly organized to keep the rebellion from being diverted into nonsocialist and nonlibertarian channels. The Russian people began the revolution spontaneously, without orders from any central authority. They tore political power to shreds and scattered the shreds over the immense countryside. But those scattered shreds of power poisoned the local Soviets and committees. The goddess "Dictatorship" appeared again in the new garb of Ispolkoms and Sovnarkoms, and the revolution, failing to recognize who she was, warmly embraced her. So it was that the Russian Revolution had come to be locked in the arms of centralized state power, which was squeezing out its life's breath.71
The expression "state capitalism" was used by the anarchists to designate the pernicious concentration of political and economic power in the hands of the Bolshevik government; it was meant to suggest that the state (that is, the Bolshevik Party, assisted by thousands of bureaucrats) had become the boss and exploiter in place of a multiplicity of private entrepreneurs. The term "capitalism," however, as normally defined, applies to an economic system characterized by private ownership, the profit motive, and a free market, and thus had but little relevance to the situation in Russia. It is worth noting that a second article in the same issue of Vol'nyi Golos Truda described the Soviet system as a form of "state communism" -- that is, centralized communism imposed from above as distinguished from anarchist communism organized freely from below on the basis of true equality. The author, a leader of the Moscow Bakers' Union named Nikolai Pavlov, demanded the immediate transfer of the factories and land to a loose federation of "free cities" and "free communes." The anarchists, he averred, firmly opposed centralized authority of any sort.72 That Lenin's government should view both epithets -- "state capitalism" and "state communism" -- with disfavor was hardly any surprise. Immediately after the two articles appeared, Vol'nyi Golos Truda was shut down.
During its brief existence, Vol'nyi Golos Truda repeatedly stressed the urgency of organizational reform within the syndicalist movement. More specifically, the journal called for the formation of an All-Russian Confederation of Anarcho-Syndicalists capable of redirecting the Russian Revolution onto decentralized rails.73 Its appeal soon bore fruit. When the Second All-Russian Conference of Anarcho-Syndicalists convened in Moscow at the end of November 1918, the question of organization appeared at the head of the agenda. The delegates endorsed the proposal to create a nationwide confederation, and further recommended that ties with foreign anarchist groups be strengthened. The Conference, moreover, resolved to increase the dissemination of syndicalist propaganda among the factory workers, with "decentralization" as the watchword in both politics and economics. Although the delegates admitted that the state could not be abolished "today or tomorrow," they wished to replace the Bolshevik Leviathan with a "confederation of free Soviets," which would serve as a bridge to the stateless society of the future. In the economic sector, the Conference demanded the "general expropriation of the
expropriators -- including the state," followed by the "syndicalization" of industrial production.74
Having approved Vol'nyi Golos Truda's idea of an All-Russian Confederation of Anarcho-Syndicalists, the Conference proceeded to choose two editors of the defunct journal, Grigorii Maksimov and Efim Iarchuk, to be secretary and treasurer of an Executive Bureau charged with organizing the Confederation. Little can be said, however, about the Anarcho-Syndicalist Confederation, apart from the fact that it enjoyed at least a nominal existence after the November Conference. There is scant evidence that the Executive Bureau had much success in coordinating the activities of the clubs and circles that made up the syndicalist movement, or in appreciably enlarging their membership and influence in the factory committees and trade unions. Nor did the Bureau make any genuine progress in healing the rift with the Anarchist-Communists. Early in 1919, a handful of prominent anarchists from both wings of the movement (most notable were Nikolai Pavlov and Sergei Markus of the syndicalists and Vladimir Barmash, German Askarov, and I. S. Bleikhman of the Anarchist-Communists) made a feeble attempt at unity by founding the Moscow Union of Anarcho-Syndicalists-Communists. But this venture, like all its predecessors, ended in dismal failure. The single achievement of the Moscow Union was the publication of a new journal called Trud i Volia (Labor and Liberty), which chastised the Bolshevik regime for "statizing the human personality" and issued appeals for direct action "to destroy every authoritarian or bureaucratic system."75 In May 1919, after its sixth number, Trud i Volia was, quite predictably, shut down.
The deepening of the Civil War of 1918-1921 threw the anarchists into a quandary over whether to assist the Bolsheviks in their internecine struggle with the Whites. Ardent libertarians, the anarchists found the repressive policies of the Soviet government utterly reprehensible; yet the prospect of a
White victory seemed even worse. Any opposition to Lenin's regime at this time might tip the balance in favor of the counterrevolutionaries; on the other hand, active support, or even benevolent neutrality, might enable the Bolsheviks to entrench themselves too deeply to be ousted later.
The acrimonious debates provoked by this dilemma served to widen the fissures in the anarchist camp. A variety of opinion soon emerged, ranging from active resistance to the Bolsheviks, through passive neutrality, to eager collaboration. Some anarchists even joined the Communist party. In the end, a large majority gave varying degrees of support to the beleaguered regime. The Anarcho-Syndicalists, for the most part, collaborated openly, and those among them who persisted in criticizing the "dictatorship of the proletariat" (in particular, the left-wing syndicalists of Vol'nyi Golos Truda) refrained from active resistance, deferring the "third revolution" until the greater evil on the right could be eliminated. Even among the more hostile Anarchist-Communists, a majority threw in their lot with Lenin's party. But here there were more dissenters. A large segment maintained a grudging and rather malevolent neutrality, and a few Anarchist-Communist groups, even in these precarious circumstances, would deny the Bolsheviks any quarter, issuing venomous appeals (as did the Briansk Federation) for the immediate overthrow of the "Social-Vampires" or (in the case of the Underground Anarchists) launching a campaign of terrorism against Communist party officials.
These militant Anarchist-Communists had the utmost contempt for their "renegade" colleagues -- "Soviet anarchists," they labeled them -- who had succumbed to the blandishments of the "pseudo-Communists." The lion's share of abuse was reserved for the Anarcho-Syndicalists. The syndicalists at heart had always believed in "centralism first and foremost," declared their detractors, and now were shamelessly revealing their true colors as purveyors of "hucksterism rather than revolutionism . . . accepting party cards from the Bolsheviks for a few crumbs at the statist table."76 As for those anarchists who considered themselves "sober realists" in contrast to the "utopian dreamers" who stubbornly refused to cooperate with the state -- they were nothing more than "Anarcho-Bureaucrat" Judases, traitors to the cause of Bakunin and Kropotkin. "Anarchism," proclaimed the irreconcilables, "must be purged of this watery mixture of Bolshevism in which it is being dissolved by the Anarcho-Bolsheviks and Anarcho-Syndicalists.""
Lenin himself was so impressed by the zeal and courage of the "Soviet anarchists" that, in August 1919, at the climax of the Civil War, he was moved to remark that many anarchists were "becoming the most dedicated supporters of Soviet power."78 Bill Shatov was an outstanding case in point. Throughout the Civil War period, Shatov served Lenin's government with the same energy he had displayed as a member of the Military-Revolutionary Committee at the time of the October insurrection. As an officer in the Tenth Red Army during the autumn of 1919, he played an important role in the defense of Petrograd against the advance of General Iudenich.79 In 1920, he was summoned to Chita by Aleksandr Krasnoshchekov, a radical with anarchist affiliations, to become Minister of Transport in the Far Eastern Republic.80 Several years later, he was again sent to the East, this time to supervise the construction of the Turk-Sib Railroad.81
Frequently castigated as an "Anarcho-Bolshevik" and a "Soviet anarchist,"82 Shatov attempted to justify his position to
Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman shortly after their arrival in Russia in January 1920: "Now I just want to tell you that the Communist State in action is exactly what we anarchists have always claimed it would be -- a tightly centralized power still more strengthened by the dangers of the Revolution. Under such conditions, one cannot do as one wills. One does not just hop on a train and go, or even ride the bumpers, as I used to do in the United States.83 One needs permission. But don't get the idea that I miss my American 'blessings.' Me for Russia, the Revolution, and its glorious future."84 The anarchists, said Shatov, were "the romanticists of the revolution." But one could not fight with ideals alone, he hastened to add. At the moment, the chief task was to defeat the reactionaries.85 "We anarchists should remain true to our ideals," he told Berkman, "but we should not criticize at this time. We must work and help to build."86
Shatov was but one of many well-known anarchists who fought in the Red Army.87 More than a few died in action, including Iustin Zhuk and Anatolii Zhelezniakov, whose entire careers had been marked by violence and rebellion.88 (Zhelezniakov, commander of an armored train, was killed near Ekaterinoslav in July 1919 by the shell-fire of Denikin's artillery.) Aleksandr Ge of the Soviet Central Executive Committee was sabered to death by White troops in the Caucasus, where he was serving as a high official of the Cheka.89
Other prominent figures in the anarchist movement held government posts during the Civil War period. Alexander
Schapiro of Golos Truda and German Sandomirskii, a leading Kiev Anarchist-Communist who had been banished to Siberia after the Revolution of 1905, took positions in Chicherin's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs.90 Aleksei Borovoi became a commissar in the medical administration,91 and Nikolai Rogdaev was placed in charge of Soviet propaganda in Turkestan.92 In 1918, after Golos Truda was shut down, Volin left Moscow for the south, where he fought against the Whites; he worked for a time in the Soviet Department of Education in Voronezh and Kharkov, but refused the post of educational director for the whole Ukraine.93 Vladimir Zabrezhnev (once a member of Kropotkin's Khleb i Volia group in London) actually joined the Communist party and became secretary of Izvestiia in Moscow.94 Daniil Novomirskii also entered the Communist party and was made an official of the Comintern after its formation in 1919.95 With Trotsky's help, Maksim Raevskii, the former editor of Golos Truda in New York and Petrograd, secured a nonpolitical job in the government. (He had become acquainted with Trotsky when the two men traveled to Russia on the same boat in May 1917.)96
Waclaw Machajski (who had returned to Russia in 1917) was also given a nonpolitical post of minor importance, namely that of technical editor for Narodnoe Khoziaistvo (later Sotsialisticheskoe Khoziaistvo), the organ of the Supreme Economic Council.97 Machajski remained, however, sharply critical of Marxism and its adherents. In the summer of 1918, he published a single issue of a journal called Rabochaia
Revoliutsiia (The Workers' Revolution), in which he censured the Bolsheviks for failing to order the total expropriation of the bourgeoisie or to improve the economic situation of the working class. After the February Revolution, wrote Machajski, the workers had received a rise in wages and an eight-hour day, but after October, their material level had been raised "not one whit!"98 The Bolshevik insurrection, he continued, was nothing but "a counterrevolution of the intellectuals." Political power had been seized by the disciples of Marx, "the petty bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia . . . the possessors of the knowledge necessary for the organization and administration of the whole life of the country." And the Marxists, in accordance with their prophet's religious gospel of economic determinism, had chosen to preserve the bourgeois order, obliging themselves only "to prepare" the manual workers for their future paradise." Machajski enjoined the working class to press the Soviet government to expropriate the factories, equalize incomes and educational opportunity, and provide jobs for the unemployed. Yet, as dissatisfied as he was with the new regime, Machajski grudgingly accepted it, at least for the time being. Any attempt to overthrow the government, he said, would benefit only the Whites, who were a worse evil than the Bolsheviks.100
Needless to say, it was not the Raevskiis and Machajskis whom Lenin had in mind when he spoke of "dedicated supporters of Soviet power." Rather, it was the Shatovs and Zhelezniakovs, the Ges and Novomirskiis -- anarchist leaders who threw their wholehearted support behind the Bolshevik regime when it was threatened by the Whites. This category also included Iuda Roshchin, a leader of Chernoe Znamia in 1905, who was now moving headlong towards the Communist camp. Roshchin welcomed the formation of the Third International in 1919, and hailed Lenin as one of the great figures of the modern age. According to Victor Serge, Roshchin even tried to work out an "anarchist theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat."101 In the meantime, until such a theory could be formulated, he called for a rapprochement with the Bolsheviks on the grounds of sheer expediency. Speaking before a group of Moscow anarchists in 1920, he urged his comrades to cooperate with Lenin's party: "It is the duty of every Anarchist to work whole-heartedly with the Communists, who are the advance guard of the Revolution. Leave your theories alone, and do practical work for the reconstruction of Russia. The need is great, and the Bolsheviks welcome you."102 Most members of the audience greeted the speech with jeers and catcalls, and wrote Roshchin off as another loss to the "Soviet anarchists."103 But Alexander Berkman, who was present at the meeting, recalled with candor that Roshchin's words sent a sympathetic thrill through him.104
Roshchin by no means stood alone in his endeavors to reconcile the disparate doctrines of anarchism and Bolshevism. Indeed, in Moscow alone, two sizeable groups of fellow-traveling Anarchist-Communists were organized with the object of forging links of amity and cooperation with the "proletarian dictatorship." Apollon Karelin was the guiding spirit of the first group, and the Gordin brothers of the second, perpetuating a division that first emerged in the Petrograd Federation of Anarchists during 1917. (While agreeing on many vital issues, Karelin and the Gordins differed too sharply in temperament and tactics to work harmoniously in the same organization.)
In 1918, Karelin became a "Soviet anarchist" in a literal sense, winning a seat in the Soviet Central Executive Committee. His pro-Soviet organization of anarchists, established in the spring of that year,105 was known rather pretentiously as the All-Russian Federation of Anarchist-Communists. The new Federation undertook to coax the militant anti-Bolsheviks into cooperating with the government. Karelin argued that a Soviet dictatorship was a practical necessity in order to stave off the forces of reaction; moreover, from the standpoint of theory, it was acceptable as a transitional phase on the road towards a free anarchist society. In defending the Soviet government,
declared Vol'naia Zhizn' (Free Life), the Federation's journal from 1919 to 1921, the new group was defending not the principle of authority, but the revolution itself.106 Vol'naia Zhizn' claimed to represent all varieties of anarchist opinion -- Anarchist-Communist, Anarcho-Syndicalist, Anarchist-Individualist, and even Tolstoyan. In reality, it took an Anarchist-Communist (yet pro-Soviet) line, criticizing syndicalism as a narrow doctrine107 and virtually ignoring the individualist and religious schools of anarchist thought.
The second pro-Bolshevik organization of Anarchist-Communists in Moscow, the Universalists, was formed in 1920 by the Gordin brothers, together with German Askarov, who, like Karelin, was a member of the Soviet Central Executive Committee. For the most part, the views of the Universalists were the same as those of Karelin's All-Russian Federation. They urged all anarchists to assist the Red Army in every way possible and to repudiate terrorism and other actions hostile to the government. A temporary dictatorship, the Universalists maintained, was a necessary stage in the transition to stateless communism.108
It is difficult to understand how the Gordins were able to make the leap from their rabidly anti-Marxist theory of Pan-Anarchism to Anarcho-Universalism, a doctrine which endorsed the "dictatorship of the proletariat." Perhaps they were allured by the mystique of Bolshevik power. Perhaps they had come to regard the Bolsheviks -- whose emphasis on revolutionary will seemed to imply a rejection of economic determinism -- as apostates from the Marxist creed. Or possibly they simply considered Lenin a lesser evil than Admiral Kolchak.109 In any case, by 1920 the White armies were retreating on all fronts, and the Universalists and their fellow "Soviet anarchists," having supported the winning side, were soon to reap their rewards.
1 Revoliutsionnoe Tvorchestvo, No. 1-2, January-February 1918, P-106.
2 Biulleten' Osvedomitel'nogo Biuro Anarkhistov v Rossi!, No. 3, 15 December 1917, pp. 2-8; Bezvlastie (Kharkov), No. 1, March 1918, pp. 14-15.
3 "Nietzsche," wrote Emma Goldman, "was not a social theorist but a poet, a rebel and innovator. His aristocracy was neither of birth nor of purse; it was of the spirit. In that respect, Nietzsche was an anarchist, and all true anarchists were aristocrats." Living My Life, i, 194.
4 An extremely valuable list of anarchist groups, clubs, journals, and Printing establishments active at the beginning of 1918 is in Revoliut-sionnoe Tvorchestvo, No. 1-2, pp. 138-142.
5 See, for example, Burevestnik, 17 January 1918, p. 4.
6 Golos Anarkhista, No. 1, 11 March 1918, pp. 7-8; Gorelik, Anarkhisty v rossiiskoi revoliutsii, pp. 37-38.
7 Of this figure, not more than a few thousand actually considered "temselves anarchists, the rest being radicals of various stripes. In 1917-1918, the total number of active anarchists in Russia (excluding the Tolstoyans and Makhno's peasant movement in the Ukraine) was in the neighborhood of 10,000, a figure augmented by many thousands of close sympathizers.
8 See, for example, Burevestnik, 28 November 1917, p. 1; 3 December 1917, p. 1; and 17 January 1918, p. 4.
9 Ibid., 9 April 1918, p. 2.
10 Ibid., 15 November 1917, p. 1.
11 Ibid., 16 January 1918, pp. 1-2.
12 Serge, Memoires d'un revolutionnaire, p. 134.
13 Kharkhardin, "Iz vospominanii o A. A. Kareline," Probuzhdenie, No. 1, April 1927, p. 11.
14 A. A. Solonovich, "Pamiati A. A. Karelina," ibid., p. 5.
15 A. A. Karelin, Vol'naia zhizn' (Detroit, 1955), pp. 9-20; E. Z. Dolinin, V vikhre revoliutsii (Detroit, 1954), pp. 267-271; Delo Truda, No. 12, May 1926, pp. 15-16; Delo Truda-Probuzhdenie, No. 68, December 1963, p. 26. Dolinin, Solonovich, Kharkhardin, and Khudolei were Karelin's principal disciples during the years following the Revolution of 1917.
16 Burevestnik, 21 November 1917, pp. 2-3.
17 Kochegarov, Polozhitel'nye i otritsatel'nye storony demokratii; Kochegarov, Gosudarstvo i anarkhisty.
18 Burevestnik, 19 December 1917, p. 1; 26 January 1918, p. 2.
19 A. Kochegarov, Zemel'naia programma anarkhistov-kommunistov (London, 1912).
20 Burevestnik, 27 January 1918, p. 1.
21 Gorev, Anarkhizm v Rossii, pp. 106-107.
22 Brat'ia Gordiny, Manifest pananarkhistov (Moscow, 1918), pp. 4,
23 Ibid., pp. 5-7.
24 Burevestnik, 10 April 1918, p. 3.
25 Brat'ia Gordiny, Manifest pananarkhistov, p. 60.
26 Burevestnik, 10 April 1918, pp. 1-3; 11 April 1918, p. 3. A similar declaration (probably drafted by the Gordins) was adopted by the Northern Regional Congress of Anarchists, held in Briansk in August 1918: "Religion and science are the culture of the oppressors; technics and labor are the culture of the oppressed." Rezoliutsii s"ezda, imevshego mesto v gorode Brianske s 6-go po lUoe avgusta 1918 g. (Moscow, 1918), p. 5.
27 Brat'ia Gordiny, Manifest pananarkhistov, p. 28.
28 Ibid., pp. 30-48.
29 Borovoi's most important works were Obshchestvennye idealy sovre-'Kennogo obshchestva (Moscow, 1906); Istoriia lichnoi svobody vo Frantsii (Moscow, 1910); Anarkhizm (Moscow, 1918); and Lichnosf i
obshchestvo v anarkhistskom mirovozzrenii (Petrograd and Moscow, 1920).
30 Buntar', No. 1, 1 December 1906, p. 29; Volna, No. 28, April 1922, pp. 14-15.
31 L. Chernyi, Novoe napravlenie v anarkhizme: assosiatsionnyi an-arkhizm (Moscow, 1907; 2nd ed., New York, 1923). Dolinin, V vikhre re-voliutsii, pp. 389-408, minimizes Chernyi's debt to Stirner and Nietzsche. Cf. F. Kraemer, "Associational Anarchism," The Road to Freedom, n, No. 5, March 1926, p. 3, and No. 6, April 1926, pp. 2-3.
32 Bezvlastie, No. 1, March 1918, p. 1.
33 Velikii opyt (n.p., n.d. ).
34 Golos Anarkhista, No. 1, 11 March 1918, pp. 2-3.
36 Buntovshchik, No. 1, 7 April 1918, p. 1. ^Chernoe Znamia, No. 5, 12 March 1918, p. 1.
37 Volin, Revoliutsiia i anarkhizm (n.p., 1919), p. 96.
38 G. Lapot' (Maksimov), Sovety rabochikh soldatskikh i krest'ianskikh deputatov i nashe k nim otnoshenie (New York, 1918).
39 Pravda, 25 February 1918, p. 2. Ge was a fervent "internationalist^ throughout the war and the author of a lengthy critique of "defensism, Put" k pobede (Lausanne, 1917). Before coming to Moscow, he had been a member of the Karelinist faction of the Petrograd Federation of Anarchists and a frequent contributor to Burevestnik.
40 Volin, Revoliutsiia i anarkhizm, p. 127. Cf. Golos Anarkhista, No. 2, 18 March 1918, p. 1; Vestnik Anarkhii, No. 10, 14 July 1918, p- 1 and K Svetu, No. 3, 24 February 1919, pp. 3-4.
41 Bol'shevistskaia diktatura v svete anarkhizma (Paris, 1928), p. 10.
42 Voline, La Revolution inconnue, pp. 212-213.
43 Izvestiia VTsIK, 17 March 1918, p. 2; Lenin, Sochineniia, xxn, 618.
44 Anarkhiia, 16 March 1918, p. 1.
45 Ibid., 17 March 1918, p. 1.
46 In Jainuary 1918, the Petropgrad anarchists had already disturbed relations with the American government by threatening Ambassador David Francis with harm if thee United States did not release Tom Mooney (unjustly condemned forr a bombing incident in San Francisco) and Alexamder Berkman (arrestedd in New York City for agitation against the draft law). George F. Kennaan, Russia Leaves the War (Princeton, 1956), pp, 356, 403.
47 Ibid., p. 176.
48 Izvestiia VTsIK, 13 April 11918, p. 3, and 16 April 1918, pp. 3-4; Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1918:
Russia (3 vols., Washington, 1931), I, 497; William Hard, Raymond Robins' Own Story (New York and London, 1920), pp. 76-81.
49 James Bunyan and H. H. Fisher, eds., The Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1918: Documents and Materials (Stanford, 1934), p. 584. "Our July 3-6" refers, of course, to the abortive July Days in 1917, which were followed three months later by the successful October insurrection.
50 Maximoff, The Guillotine at Work, p. 389.
51 Ibid., pp. 396-404; hvestiia, 16 April 1918, p. 4. Repression was Particularly severe in the Volga town of Samara, where anarchists and SR Maximalists had gained control of the soviet.
52 Vol'nyi Golos Truda, No. 4, 16 September 1918, p. 2.
53 Goldman, Living My Life, ii, 745.
54 Izvestiia VTsIK, 13 April 1918, p. 3.
55 K Svetu, No. 5, 14 March 1919, p. 1.
56 Iakovlev, Russkii anarkhizm v velikoi russkoi revoliutsii, pp. 10, 47-56.
57 Vestnik Anarkhii, No. 10, 14 July 1918, p. 1.
58 M. N. Chudnov, Pod chernym znamenem (zapiski anarkhista) AMoscow, 1930), pp. 53ff.
59 Serge, Memoires d'un revolutionnaire, p. 85.
60 Anarkhiia, No. 1, 29 September 1919; quoted in Iakovlev, Russkii anarkhizm v velikoi russkoi revoliutsii, p. 49.
61 Pravda, 6 November 1919, p. 1; 25-e sentiabria 1919 goda: pamiati pogibshikh pri vzryve v Leont'evskom pereulke (Moscow, 1925), pp. 117, 201-203. According to Abba Gordin, it was Sobolev who threw the bomb. A. Gordin, Zikhroynes un kheshboynes (2 vols., Buenos Aires, 1955-1957), i, 237-246.
62 Anarkhiia, No. 2, 23 October 1919; quoted in Iakovlev, Russkii anarkhizm, p. 50.
63 Maximoff, The Guillotine at Work, p. 359; Goneniia na anarkhizm v Sovetskoi Rossii, pp. 31-33.
64 Nabat, 7 July 1918; quoted in Maximoff, The Guillotine at Work, p. 423.
65 Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, pp. 91, 142-147.
66 Vol'nyi Golos Truda, No. 4, 16 September 1918, p. 3.
67 Vmesto programmy: rezoliutsii I i 11 Vserossiiskoi konferentsii anarkhistov-sindikalistov (Berlin, 1922), p. 12.
68 Ibid., pp. 11-14.
69 Lenin, Sochineniia, xxn, 447.
70 Vestnik Anarkhii, No. 10, 14 July 1918, p. 3.
71 M. Sergven, "Puti revoliutsii," Vol'nyi Golos Truda, No. 4, 16 September 1918, pp. 1-2. For other anarchist assaults on "state capi-r"Sln," see Volin, Revoliutsiia i anarkhizm, p. 96; Bezvlastie, No. 8, 1 September 1921, p. 1; and Pochin, No. 2, 5-20 March 1923, p. 1.
72 N. Pavlov, "Svobodnaia kommuna i vol'nyi gorod," Vol'nyi Golos Truda, No. 4, pp. 2-3.
73 Ibid., p. 3.
74 Vmesto programmy, pp. 21-23.
75 Trud i Volia, No. 5, 7 May 1919, p. 1; No. 6, 20 May 1919, p. 2. r«e journal also issued a few separate pamphlets, for example, Kakie n"zhny poriadki (Moscow, 1919?).
76 Svoboda (Kiev), No. 1, September 1919, p. 28.
77 Burevestnik, 10 April 1918, p. 1; K Svetu, No. 1, 2 February 1918, p. 3.
78 Lenin, Sochineniia, xxrv, 437.
79 Serge, Memoires d'un rivolutionnaire, p. 96.
80 Henry K. Norton, The Far Eastern Republic of Siberia (London, J923), pp. 184-185; E. H. Carr, The Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1923 (3 vols., New York, 1951-1953), I, 355-356; Maynard, Russia in Flux, P- 298. That Shatov served as an important official in Siberia has been disputed by some survivors of the anarchist movement. Krasnoshchekov, "rime Minister of the Far Eastern Republic, was recalled to Moscow in 1921; charged with embezzlement in 1924, he was subsequently shot. Interview with Boris Yelensky, Freie Arbeiter Stimme, New York City, 6 September 1963; Carr, The Bolshevik Revolution, n, 357n.
81 Serge, Memoires d'un rSvolutionnaire, p. 96.
82 Anarkhicheskii Vestnik, No. 1, July 1923, pp. 56-72; No. 7, May 1924, p. 35. Rabocha put! No. 2-3, March-April 1923, pp. 15-16. Iuda oshcbin and German Sandomirskii were also principal targets of in H>'Sm' GeneraUv speaking, the "Anarcho-Bolshevik" epithet was used in 1917 and early 1918, while "Soviet anarchist" came into vogue during the Civil War.
83 Before World War I, Shatov did, in fact, ride the rails from one end of the United States to the other, traveling as a lecturer and organizer for the Union of Russian Workers of the United States and Canada. See his letter to Golos Truda (New York), 1 August 1913, p. 7t
84 Goldman, Living My Life, n, 729.
85 Ibid., ii, 730-731.
86 Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, pp. 35-36.
87 See Gorelik, Anarkhisty v rossiiskoi revoliutsii, pp. 37-40; and Voline, La Revolution inconnue, pp. 234-235.
88 Bol'shevistskaia diktatura v svete anarkhizma, p. 8; Goneniia n° anarkhizm v Sovetskoi Rossii, p. 53; Gorelik, Anarkhisty v rossiiskoi revoliutsii, p. 16; The Russian Revolution and the Communist ^ari^, (Berlin, 1922), pp. 18-19; Augustin Souchy, Wie lebt der Arbeiter una Bauer in Russland und der Ukraine? (Berlin, n.d. [192171), P- 22'> Go Truda, December 1919, pp. 50-51.
89 Victor Serge, L'An I de la revolution russe (Paris, 1930), p- 255.
90 Serge, Mimoires d'un revolutionnaire, p. 134.
91 Probuzhdenie, No. 68-69, March-April 1936, p. 32.
92 Serge, Memoires d'un revolutionnaire, p. 134. Alexander Berkman, "Diary: Russia, 1919-1921," entry of 8 March 1920, handwritten manuscript, Berkman Archive. Berkman describes Rogdaev as a "fine fellow, intelligent, sincere, active. Broad vision and objective judgment." A Much shortened version of Berkman's diary was published in 1925 as The Bolshevik Myth.
93 Ibid; Maximoff, The Guillotine at Work, p. 619; Anarkhicheskii Vestnik, No. 7, May 1924, p. 18; Rocker, introduction to Voline, Nine-teen-Seventeen.
94 Knizhnik, Krasnaia Letopis", 1922, No. 4, p. 35; P. A. Kropotkin i eSo uchenie, p. 337.
95 Serge, Memoires d'un revolutionnaire, p. 134.
96 Nomad, Dreamers, Dynamiters, and Demagogues, pp. 163-164.
97 Baturin, "Pamiati 'makhaevshchiny,'" Pravda, 2 March 1926, p. 2; Syrkin, Makhaevshchina, p. 6.
98 Rabochaia Revoliutsiia, No. 1, June-July 1918, p. 4.
99 Ibid., pp. 9, 12, 25.
100 Ibid., p. 6.
101 Serge, Memoires d'un rivolutionnaire, p. 134.
102 Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, p. 68.
103 See B. S., Otkrytoe pis'mo I. Grossmanu-Roshchinu (otvet sovetskim "anarkhistam") (Moscow?, 1920).
104 Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, p. 68.
105 Probuzhdenie, No. 1, April 1927, p. 10.
106 Vol'naia Zhizn', No. 2, November 1919, pp. 4-7. Preceding Vol'naia Zhizn' as the organ of Karelin's Federation was Svobodnaia Kommuna (Moscow, 1918), not to be confused with the journal of the same name published by the Petrograd Federation of Anarchists in 1917.
107 V. Khrustalev, "Protiv sindikalizma," Vol'naia Zhizn', No. 13-14, April 1921, pp. 2-3.
108 Iakovlev, Russkii anarkhizm v velikoi russkoi revoliutsii, pp. 74-81; Maximoff, The Guillotine at Work, pp. 455-458; A. L. Gordin, Ot iuri-dicheskogo anarkhizma k fakticheskomu (Moscow, 1920); A. Gordifl> "Anarkho-Universalizm," Burevestnik (New York), No. 3-4, December 1921-January 1922, pp. 32-40; Gordin, Zikhroynes un kheshboynes, ft 308-312. Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate any copies of the group's journal, Universal, which Askarov edited.
109 It may be noted that the beliefs of the Universalists were on many points similar to those of the ultra-radical offshoot of the Socialist Revolutionaries, the SR Maximalists, who split in 1920, the majority entering the Communist party. See G. Nestroev, Maksimalizm i bol'she-vizm (Moscow, 1919); Soiuz S-R Maksimalistov, O rabochem kontrole (Moscow, 1918) and Trudovaia sovetskaia respublika (Moscow, 1918); and the journal Maksimalist (Moscow, 1918-1921).