Paul Avrich, The Russian Anarchists, 1967.
8. THE DOWNFALL OF RUSSIAN ANARCHISM
Despotism has passed from the palaces of the kings to the circle of a committee. It is neither the royal robes nor the scepter nor the crown that makes kings hated, but ambition and tyranny. In my country, there has only been a change in dress.
JEAN VARLET, Explosion, 1793
For centuries, the Ukraine had provided a haven for runaway serfs, brigands, rebels, and other fugitives from the persecutions of the tsarist government and privileged aristocracy. Nor did this tradition cease with the disappearance of the monarchy. In 1918, when the new Bolshevik regime began in earnest to suppress its political opponents, the anarchists of Petrograd and Moscow flocked to the "wild fields" of the southland, to seek asylum in a region which, 15 years earlier, had been a cradle of their movement.
Upon reaching the Ukraine, the refugees from the north lost no time in linking up with the large number of their fellow anarchists who had returned from prison and exile after the February Revolution. Kharkov, where an abortive attempt to unify the movement had been made in 1917, became the base of a new drive to weld the disparate anarchist groups into a coherent revolutionary force. The product of this drive was the Nabat (Tocsin) Confederation of Anarchist Organizations, which, by the fall of 1918, had established headquarters in Kharkov, as well as flourishing branches in Kiev, Odessa, Ekaterinoslav, and other major cities of the Ukraine. The Confederation sponsored the formation of a Union of Atheists, and soon could boast of an extensive youth movement throughout the south.1
Volin, the former editor of the syndicalist newspaper Golos Truda, was a guiding spirit of the new association. He viewed Nabat as the embodiment of what he termed "united anarchism" (edinyi anarkhizm), that is, a single organization embracing Anarchist-Communists, Anarcho-Syndicalists, and individualist anarchists, while guaranteeing a substantial measure of autonomy for every participating group and individual. But Volin's efforts to bind together the heterogeneous strands of anarchism ended abruptly when, by a curious paradox, most of his own syndicalist comrades refused to join Nabat. The dissenters considered "united anarchism" a vague and ineffectual formula of unification, and feared that the Anarchist-Communists would become the dominant partners in the new confederation.2
Besides Volin, the most prominent leaders of the Nabat movement were two veteran anarchists, Aron Baron and Petr Arshinov. Baron's history as an anarchist dated from the Revolution of 1905, when he was banished to Siberia for participating in the uprising. He escaped to the United States, however, and spent the early years of World War I in Chicago, where he and his wife, Fanya, were once arrested and beaten by the police for fomenting a mass demonstration against unemployment. Returning to Russia in 1917, Baron soon became a popular lecturer and writer in the Ukraine, and was elected by the bakers' union of Kiev as its representative in the city soviet. After the Bolshevik insurrection, he and Fanya moved to Kharkov and helped launch the Nabat movement. Besides his post in the Confederation's secretariat, Baron served with Volin as co-editor of the journal Nabat.3
Petr Andreevich Arshinov had been a Bolshevik before converting to anarchism in 1906. A metal worker in an industrial suburb of Ekaterinoslav, he dispensed anarchist propaganda in his factory and organized an anarchist cell among his workmates.4 In addition to his role as an agitator, Arshinov also engaged in terrorist exploits which ultimately led to his arrest
and imprisonment. He managed to flee the country, but soon returned to Russia only to be taken into custody again, this time for smuggling anarchist literature across the Austrian border. For 7 years he languished in a Moscow prison until freed in the political amnesty granted by the Provisional Government after the February Revolution. Following a period of active participation in the Moscow Federation of Anarchists, Arshinov returned to his native Ekaterinoslav, joined the Bureau of Anarchists of the Donets Basin (he served as editor of its journal, Golos Anarkhista), and lectured to the miners and factory workers as he had done a decade before.5
Of the younger members of the Nabat Confederation, perhaps the most outstanding were Senya Fleshin, Mark Mrachnyi (Klavanskii), and Grigorii Gorelik (called "Anatolii" by his comrades). Fleshin, born in Kiev in 1894, worked in the offices of Emma Goldman's Mother Earth in New York City during the war, then returned to Russia in 1917, settling in Kharkov.6 Mrachnyi was an energetic member of the anarchist student movement in Kharkov. He entered Nabat shortly after its formation and was entrusted with setting up a clandestine printing press in Siberia under the Confederation's auspices, a mission which he apparently carried out successfully.7 The third young recruit, Gorelik, returned to Russia from American exile in 1917, and served as secretary of the Donets Anarchist Bureau before joining the Nabat organization.8
Also on the roster of Nabat leaders was Nikolai Dolenko, a self-educated peasant from Poltava province.9 Under the name of M. Chekeres, he had contributed numerous articles to the most important anarchist periodicals during the war years, including the New York Golos Truda and the fervently antimilitarist publication in Geneva, Put k Svobode, edited by Roshchin and Orgeiani. More recently, as we have seen, he worked with Maksimov and Iarchuk as an editor of Vol'nyi
Golos Truda in Moscow. Lastly, there was Olga Taratuta, the Ekaterinoslav terrorist and perhaps the most famous of the bezmotivniki involved in the bombing of the Cafe Libman in Odessa in 1905. Released from Kiev's Lukianovskaia prison in March 1917, a tired and subdued woman in her late forties, she at first remained aloof from her former associates and confined herself to working for the Red Cross in Kiev. But in 1920, her ire aroused by the Cheka's relentless persecution of the anarchists, she returned to the fold, joining both the Nabat Confederation and the Anarchist Black Cross, which Apollon Karelin had founded to assist anarchists jailed or exiled by the Communists.10
In November 1918, the Nabat Confederation gathered in the town of Kursk for its first general conference. In contrast with Karelin's All-Russian Federation of Anarchists in Moscow, the Nabat group had little use for the Bolshevik "dictatorship of the proletariat" or for any other "transitional stage" that might precede the inauguration of the stateless society. The Russian Revolution, proclaimed the Conference, was only the "first wave" of the worldwide social revolution, which was destined to continue until it had replaced the capitalist order with a free federation of urban and rural communes. And yet, however critical they were of the Soviet dictatorship, the delegates considered the Whites an even greater evil and resolved to oppose them by organizing their own partisan detachments, which would operate outside the official framework of the Red Army. In the economic sphere, the Confederation favored anarchist participation in nonparty Soviets, in factory committees free from trade union domination (the unions were branded as an "outmoded form of workers' organization"), and in committees of poor peasants. Finally, the Conference re-emphasized the need to create durable federations of anarchist groups on the district, city, and national levels, and to attain a greater degree of solidarity within the movement as a whole.11
The same issues dominated the First Nabat Congress, which met in Elizavetgrad five months later, in April 1919. Writing
in the Confederation's journal shortly before the Congress opened, Senya Fleshin set the tone of the gathering when he chastised the Communists for erecting a "Chinese wall between themselves and the masses."12 The Congress, echoing Fleshin's protest, deplored the fact that the once free and spontaneous workers' committees of revolutionary Russia had been absorbed by the trade unions, a "purely official, administrative-political, and even police apparatus of the new boss-exploiter, the state."13 The Soviets, too, had been transformed by the Bolsheviks into instruments of state authority, declared the delegates, who called for their replacement by nonpolitical committees of every sort -- factory and peasant committees, house and block committees, and cultural-educational committees. The delegates also turned their fire upon their own comrades, roundly condemning both "Soviet anarchism" and the Pan-Anarchism of the Gordin brothers. Moreover, they attacked the "factional narrowness" of the Anarcho-Syndicalists (who had refused to join the Confederation) and rejected a proposal to send a delegation to the Third All-Russian Conference of Anarcho-Syndicalists, scheduled to take place in the near future.14 These unsparing assaults on fellow anarchist groups, of course, scarcely contributed towards Nabafs main objective of achieving unity within the movement.
On one critical point, however, the Nabat Confederation found itself in full agreement with the majority of its anarchist cousins: namely, that the most pressing task of the anarchist movement was to defend the revolution against the White onslaught, even if this should mean a temporary alliance with the Communists. Just as the Kursk Conference had done the previous year, however, the Elizavetgrad Congress resolved to boycott the Red Army, denouncing it as an authoritarian organization, directed "from above" in typical militarist fashion. Nabat pinned its hopes instead on a "partisan army" organized spontaneously among the revolutionary masses themselves.15
And, as the most likely nucleus of such a "partisan army," the leaders of the Confederation looked to the guerrilla band operating in the Ukraine under the command of Nestor Makhno.
Nestor Ivanovich Makhno was born in 1889, the youngest son of a poor peasant couple in the large Ukrainian settlement of Guliai-Pole, situated in Ekaterinoslav province between the Dnieper River and the Sea of Azov.16 He was barely a year old when his father died, leaving five small boys to the care of their mother. As a child of seven, Makhno was put to work tending cows and sheep for the local peasantry, and later found employment as a farm laborer and as a worker in a foundry.17 In 1906, at the age of seventeen, he joined an Anarchist-Communist group in Guliai-Pole. He was brought to trial two years later for participating in a terrorist adventure which claimed the fife of a district police officer. The court doomed him to be hanged, but because of his youth Makhno's sentence was commuted to an indefinite period of forced labor in the Butyrki prison in Moscow.18 Makhno proved to be a recalcitrant inmate, unable to accept the discipline of prison life, and during the nine years of his detention he was often placed in irons or in solitary confinement. In 1910, when Petr Arshinov entered Butyrki after his arrest for smuggling anarchist literature into Russia, the two rebels became fast friends. Arshinov, older and better educated than the semi-literate peasant boy from Guliai-Pole, taught Makhno the elements of anarchist doctrine and confirmed him in the faith of Bakunin and Kropotkin.
Makhno and Arshinov were released from prison under the Provisional Government's amnesty in March 1917. Arshinov remained in Moscow, becoming an active member of the Moscow Federation of Anarchists, while Makhno returned to his native village in the Ukraine. There he at once assumed a leading role in community affairs. He helped organize a union of farm laborers and served as its chairman; before long, he
was elected chairman of the local union of carpenters and metal workers and also of the Guliai-Pole Soviet of Peasants' and Workers' Deputies. In August 1917, as head of the Soviet, Makhno recruited a small band of armed peasants and set about expropriating the estates of the neighboring gentry and distributing the land to the poor peasants. From that time, the villagers began to regard him as a new Stenka Razin or Pugachev, sent to realize their ancient dream of land and liberty.19
Makhno's activities, however, came to an abrupt halt the following spring, when the Soviet government signed the treaty of Brest-Litovsk and a large force of German and Austrian troops marched into the Ukraine. Makhno shared the indignation of his fellow anarchists at this unforgivable compromise with German "imperialism," but his band of partisans was too weak to offer effective resistance. Forced into hiding, he made his way to the Volga River, then proceeded northwards, wandering from town to town until, in June 1918, he arrived in Moscow, where many of the leading Russian anarchists were concentrated.
During his short visit to the capital, Makhno had an inspiring audience with his idol, Peter Kropotkin. They spoke at length about the tangled situation in the Ukraine, but Kropotkin gently declined to give Makhno any concrete advice on what to do once he should return to his native district. "This question involves great risk for your life, comrade," said the old man, "and only you yourself can solve it correctly." As Makhno rose to leave, Kropotkin added: "One must remember, dear comrade, that our struggle knows no sentimentality. Selflessness and strength of heart and will on the way towards one's chosen goal will conquer all."20 Kropotkin's moral qualities left an indelible impression on Makhno, as they did on all libertarians who came into contact with the gentle prince; and his parting words, so Makhno testifies in his memoirs, helped sustain him throughout the Civil War and during the lonely and dismal years that followed.
While in Moscow, Makhno was also received by Lenin, who sounded him out on the attitude of the Ukrainian peasantry towards the new regime, the military situation in the south, and the differences between the Bolshevik and anarchist conceptions of the revolution. "The majority of anarchists think and write about the future," Lenin declared, "without understanding the present. That is what divides us Communists from them." Though the anarchists were "selfless" men, Lenin went on, their "empty fanaticism" blurred their vision of present and future alike. "But I think that you, comrade," he said to Makhno, " have a realistic attitude towards the burning evils of the time. If only one-third of the Anarchist-Communists were like you, we Communists would be ready, under certain well-known conditions,21 to join with them in working towards a free organization of producers." Makhno retorted that the anarchists were not Utopian dreamers but realistic men of action; after all, he reminded Lenin, it was the anarchists and SR's, rather thant the Bolsheviks, who were beating back the nationalists amd privileged classes in the Ukraine. "Perhaps I am mistaken," answered Lenin, who then offered to help Makhno return to the south.22
Makhno came away from the interview feeling the impact of Lenin's forceful personality, but no less hostile to what he derisively termed the "paper revolution" fabricated by socialist intellectualsi and bureaucrats.23 Even the anarchists he met in the Moscow Federation -- Borovoi, Roshchin, Gordini, Sando-mirskii, and others -- struck him as men of books rather than deeds; however impressive their humanity and learning, they seemed mesmerized by their own words and resolutions and devoid of the will to fight for their ideals.24 Makhno soon left the huge city that was so alien to his peasant temperament, and returned to Guliai-Pole, to the soil from which he drew his strength and which nourished his passion for spontaneity and liberty. In July 1918, when Makhno arrived in Guliai-Pole, the area was occupied by Austrian troops and by the militia (varta) of their Ukrainian puppet, Hetman Skoropadskii. Still a fugitive, Makhno slipped into the village to find that, in his absence, his mother's house had been burned down and his brother, Emelian, a crippled war veteran, had been shot.25 Almost overnight, he organized a detachment of partisans and, under the black flag of anarchism, launched a series of daring raids upon the Austro-Hungarians and Hetmanites, and upon the manors of the local nobility. "We will conquer," declared one of his first proclamations to the peasants of the south, "not so that we may follow the example of past years and hand over our fate to some new master, but to take it in our own hands and conduct our lives according to our own will and our own conception of truth."26
Extraordinary mobility and a bag of clever tricks constituted Makhno's chief tactical devices. Traveling on horseback and in light peasant carts (tachanki) on which machine guns were mounted, his men moved swiftly back and forth across the open steppe between the Dnieper and the Sea of Azov, swelling into a small army as they went, and inspiring terror in the hearts of their adversaries. Hitherto independent guerrilla bands accepted Makhno's command and rallied behind his black banner. Villagers willingly provided food and fresh horses, enabling the Makhnovtsy to travel 40 or 50 miles a day with little difficulty. They would turn up quite suddenly where least expected, attack the gentry and military garrisons, then vanish as quickly as they had come. Disguised in uniforms taken from Hetman Skoropadskii's varta, they infiltrated the enemy's ranks to learn their plans or to fire on them at point-blank range; on one occasion, Makhno and his retinue, masquerading as Hetmanite guardsmen, gained entry to a landowner's ball and fell upon the guests in the midst of their festivities.27 When cornered, the Makhnovtsy would bury their weapons, make their way singly back to their villages, and take up work in the fields, awaiting the next signal to unearth a new cache of arms and spring up again in an unexpected quarter.28 Makhno's insurgents, in the words of Victor Serge, revealed "a truly epic capacity for organization and combat."29 Yet they owed much of their success to the exceptional qualities of their commander-in-chief. Makhno was a bold and resourceful leader who combined an iron will with a quick sense of humor, and won the love and devotion of his peasant followers. In September 1918, when he defeated a much superior force of Austrians at the village of Dibrivki, his men bestowed on him the affectionate title of bat'ko, their "little father."30
When the armistice of November 1918 resulted in the withdrawal of the Central Powers from Russian territory, Makhno managed to seize a large part of their arms and equipment, and next turned his wrath upon the followers of the Ukrainian nationalist leader, Petliura. At the end of December, he succeeded in dislodging the Petliurist garrison from the city of Ekaterinoslav, in an operation of great enterprise and daring. His troops, with their weapons concealed inside their clothing, rode into the central railway station of Ekaterinoslav on an ordinary passenger train; they took the nationalists by complete surprise and drove them out of the city. The next day, however, the enemy reappeared with reinforcements, and Makhno was compelled to flee across the Dnieper and return to his base in Guliai-Pole. The Petliurists, in turn, were evicted by the Red Army shortly afterwards.
During the first five months of 1919, the Guliai-Pole region was virtually free of external political authority. The Austrians, Hetmanites, and Petliurists had all been driven away, and neither the Reds nor the Whites were strong enough as yet to try to fill the void. Makhno took advantage of this lull to attempt to reconstruct society on libertarian lines. In January, February, and April, the Makhnovtsy held a series of Regional Congresses of Peasants, Workers, and Insurgents to discuss economic and military matters and to supervise the task of reconstruction.
The question which dominated the Regional Congresses was that of defending the area from those who might seek to establish their control over it. The Second Congress, which met in Guliai-Pole on 12 February 1919, voted in favor of "voluntary mobilization," which in reality meant outright conscription, as all able-bodied men were required to serve when called up.31 The delegates also elected a Regional Military-Revolutionary Council of Peasants, Workers, and Insurgents to carry out the decisions of the periodic Congresses. The new Council stimulated the election of "free" Soviets in the towns and villages, that is, Soviets from which members of political parties were excluded. Although Makhno's intention in setting up these bodies was to do away with political authority, the Military-Revolutionary Council, acting in conjunction with the Regional Congresses and the local Soviets, in effect formed a loose-knit government in the territory surrounding Guliai-Pole.
The Military-Revolutionary Council also helped establish anarchistic communes, which had first appeared in the Guliai-Pole region during the 1905 Revolution and had again sprung into being in 1917. Each commune contained perhaps a dozen households with a total of 100 to 300 members. Though only a few actually considered themselves anarchists, the participants operated the communes on the basis of full equality and accepted the Kropotkinian principle of mutual aid as their fundamental tenet. The Regional Congresses of Peasants, Workers, and Insurgents allotted each commune livestock and farm implements confiscated from the neighboring estates of the nobility, and as much land as its members were able to cultivate without hiring additional labor. The first such commune to be organized during this period was named in honor of Rosa Luxemburg, who was admired by the more politically conscious peasants as a martyr in the struggle for liberty and equality.32
Like the Military-Revolutionary Council, the Insurgent Army of the Ukraine (as the Makhnovite forces were called) in theory was subject to the supervision of the Regional Congresses. In practice, however, the reins of authority rested firmly with Makhno and his staff of commanders. Despite his efforts to avoid anything that smacked of regimentation, Makhno appointed his key officers (the rest were elected by the men themselves) and subjected his troops to the stern military discipline traditional among the Cossack legions of the nearby Zaporozhie region. Still and all, the Insurgent Army never lost its plebeian character. All of its officers were peasants or, in a few cases, factory or shop workers. One looks in vain for a commander who sprang from the upper or middle classes, or even from the radical intelligentsia.
A self-taught man of action, Makhno was temperamentally poles apart from the intellectuals in the Russian anarchist movement, though he felt a deep respect, if not a sense of awe, for their superior learning, and sought their assistance in teaching his peasant followers the fundamentals of anarchist doctrine. Volin and Aron Baron arrived at his camp in the summer of 1919, after the Bolsheviks had dispersed the Nabat Confederation and forced its members into hiding. Together with Petr Arshinov, Makhno's former cellmate, who had joined him several months earlier, they edited the movement's journal, Put k Svobode (Road to Freedom), resumed publication of their suppressed periodical, Nabat, and organized a Cultural-Educational Commission which issued leaflets and delivered lectures to the troops.33 Beyond these activities, the intellectuals planned to open schools modeled after the Escuela Moderna of Francisco Ferrer,34 which had fostered a spirit of independence and spontaneity among the pupils. Moreover, the Cultural-Educational Commission founded an experimental theater and contemplated a program of adult education for the peasants and workers.35
A considerable number of Jews held important positions in the Makhnovite movement. Some were intellectuals who, like Aron Baron, served on the Cultural-Educational Commission,
but the great majority fought in the ranks of the Insurgent Army, either as members of special detachments of Jewish infantry and artillery, or else within the regular partisan units, alongside peasants and workmen of Ukrainian, Russian, and other national origins. Makhno personally condemned discrimination of any sort, and strove to bridle the virulent anti-Semitic feeling of his peasant followers, a task which proved as difficult as it was to curb their looting and drinking (the latter was complicated by Makhno's own bouts with alcohol). Punishments for anti-Semitic acts were swift and severe: one troop commander was summarily shot after raiding a Jewish town; a soldier met the same fate merely for displaying a poster with the stock anti-Semitic formula, "Beat the Jews, Save Russia!"36
In the early months of 1919, as Makhno and his adherents prepared the groundwork for a libertarian society, their relations with the Bolsheviks remained reasonably friendly, at least on the surface. The peasants of Guliai-Pole even shipped a large quantity of grain to the factory workers of Petrograd and Moscow, who were suffering severe shortages of food. The Soviet press extolled Makhno as a "courageous partisan" and a great revolutionary leader. Relations were at their best in March 1919, when Makhno and the Communists concluded a pact for joint military action against the White Army of General Denikin. According to the agreement, the Insurgent Army of the Ukraine became a division of the Red Army, subject to the orders of the Bolshevik Supreme Command but retaining its own officers and internal structure, as well as its name and black banner.37
These outward gestures of harmony, however, could not conceal the basic hostility between the two groups. The Communists had little taste for the autonomous status of the Insurgent Army or for the powerful attraction which it exerted on their own peasant recruits; the Makhnovtsy, on their side,
feared that sooner or later the Red Army would attempt to bring their movement to heel. At the beginning of the year, outspoken delegates to the first two Makhnovite Congresses had already accused the Bolshevik party of seeking "to deprive the local Soviets of peasants' and workers' deputies of their freedom and autonomy" and of "demanding a monopoly of the Revolution."38 When a Third Congress was summoned in April, the Red commander in the Dnieper area, Dybenko, banned it as a "counterrevolutionary" gathering. Makhno's Military-Revolutionary Council dispatched an indignant reply: "Have you the right to pronounce counterrevolutionary a people which . . . has thrown off the bonds of slavery and which is now creating its own life according to its own will? Should the masses of revolutionary people remain silent while 'the revolutionists' take away the freedom they have just won?"39 On 10 April 1919, the Third Congress of Peasants, Workers, and Insurgents met in open defiance of the ban placed upon it. Soviet newspapers now abandoned their eulogies of the Makhnovtsy and began to attack them as "kulaks" and "Anarcho-Bandits." In May, two Cheka agents sent to assassinate Makhno were caught and executed. The final breach occurred when the Makhnovtsy called a Fourth Regional Congress for 15 June and invited the soldiers in the ranks of the Red Army to send representatives. Trotsky, Commander-in-Chief of the Bolshevik forces, was furious. On 4 June, he banned the Congress and outlawed Makhno. Communist troops carried out a lightning raid on Guliai-Pole and ordered the Rosa Luxemburg Commune and its sister communes dissolved. A few days later, Denikin's forces arrived and completed the job, wiping out what still remained of the communes and liquidating the local Soviets as well.
The shaky alliance was hastily resumed that summer, when Denikin's massive drive towards Moscow sent both the Communists and Makhnovtsy reeling. During August and September, Makhno's guerrillas were pushed back towards the western borders of the Ukraine. Volin, who took part in the exhausting retreat, recalled in his memoirs that the Makhnovtsy, in the face of overwhelming odds, refused to despair. A huge black flag floated over the lead wagon of the Insurgent Army, bearing the slogans "Liberty or Death" and "The Land to the Peasants, the Factories to the Workers."40 Then, on 26 September 1919, Makhno suddenly launched a successful counterattack at the village of Peregonovka, near the town of Uman, cutting the White General's supply lines and creating panic and disorder in his rear. This was Denikin's first serious reverse in his dramatic advance into the Russian heartland and a major factor in halting his drive towards the Bolshevik capital. By the end of the year, a counteroffensive by the Red Army had forced Denikin to beat a swift retreat to the shores of the Black Sea."
The Makhnovshchina reached its crest in the months following the victory at Peregonovka. During October and November, Makhno occupied Ekaterinoslav and Aleksandrovsk for several weeks, and thus obtained his first chance to apply the concepts of anarchism to city life. Makhno's first act on entering a large town (after throwing open the prisons) was to dispel any impression that he had come to introduce a new form of political rule. Announcements were posted informing the townspeople that henceforth they were free to organize their lives as they saw fit, that the Insurgent Army would not "dictate to them or order them to do anything."42 Free speech, press, and assembly were proclaimed, and in Ekaterinoslav half a dozen newspapers, representing a wide range of political opinion, sprang up overnight. While encouraging freedom of expression, however, Makhno would not countenance any political organizations which sought to impose their authority on the people. He therefore dissolved the Bolshevik "revolutionary committees" (revkomy) in Ekaterinoslav and Aleksandrovsk, instructing their members to "take up some honest trade."43
Makhno's aim was to throw off domination of every type and to encourage economic and social self-determination. "It is up to the workers and peasants," said one of his proclamations in 1919, "to organize themselves and reach mutual understandings in all areas of their lives and in whatever manner they think right."44 In October 1919, an SR speaker who called for effective leadership at a Congress of Workers and Peasants in Aleksandrovsk was greeted with shouts of protest from the Makhnovtsy: "We have had enough of your leaders. Always leaders and more leaders. Let us try to do without them for once."45 When the railroad workers of Aleksandrovsk complained that they had not been paid for many weeks, Makhno advised them to take control of the railway lines and charge the passengers and freight shippers what seemed a fair price for their services.
Makhno's Utopian projects, however, failed to win over more than a small minority of workingmen, for, unlike the farmers and artisans of the village, who were independent producers accustomed to managing their own affairs, factory workers and miners operated as interdependent parts of a complicated industrial machine, and were lost without the guidance of supervisors and technical specialists. Furthermore, the peasants and artisans could barter the products of their labor, whereas the urban workers depended on regular wages for their survival. Makhno, moreover, compounded the confusion when he recognized all paper money issued by his predecessors -- Ukrainian nationalists, Whites, and Bolsheviks alike. He never understood the complexities of an urban economy, nor did he care to understand them. He detested the "poison" of the cities and cherished the natural simplicity of the peasant environment into which he had been born. In any event, Makhno found very little time to implement his ill-defined economic programs. He was forever on the move, rarely pausing even to catch his breath. The Makhnovshchina, in the words of his contemporaries, was a "kingdom on wheels," a "republic on tachanki." "As always," wrote Volin of Makhno's projects in Ekaterinoslav and Aleksandrovsk, "the instability of the situation prevented positive work."46
At the end of 1919, Makhno received instructions from the Red Command to transfer his army forthwith to the Polish front. The order was plainly designed to draw the Makhnovtsy away from their home territory and thus leave it open to the establishment of Bolshevik rule. Makhno refused to budge. He replied that his Insurgent Army was the one truly popular force in the Ukraine and that it would remain there to protect the people's newly won freedom. Trotsky, he said, wanted to replace Denikin's "hordes" with the Red Army and the dispossessed landlords with political commissars.47 Trotsky's response was firm and unhesitating: he outlawed the Makhnovtsy and prepared to move against them. In a desperate attempt to prevent the attack, Makhno's headquarters in Guliai-Pole issued a flood of leaflets appealing to the Bolshevik troops to refuse any order that might disturb the "peaceful settlements" of the Ukraine. The people do not need "commissar-rule," declared the leaflets, but a "free soviet order." "We will answer violence with violence."48
There ensued eight months of bitter struggle with losses high on both sides. A severe typhus epidemic augmented the toll of victims. Volin, felled by the disease in the town of Krivoi Rog, was captured by the Red Army and removed to a Moscow prison.49 Badly outnumbered, Makhno's partisans avoided pitched battles and relied on the guerrilla tactics they had perfected in more than two years of Civil War. In one of their songs, they proclaimed their faith in Makhno's leadership:
We shall defeat them
And thrash them in this war.
We shall take them captive
To the last commissar.
Hoorah, hoorah, hoorah!
We march against the foe,
For matushka Galina,
For bat'ko Makhno!50
In October 1920, Baron Wrangel, Denikin's successor in the south, launched a major offensive, striking northwards from
the Crimean peninsula. Once more the Red Army enlisted Makhno's aid, and again an alliance was signed by which the Insurgent Army became a semi-autonomous division under the Bolshevik Command.51 In return for Makhno's cooperation, the Communists agreed to amnesty all anarchists in Russian prisons and guaranteed the anarchists freedom of propaganda on condition that they refrain from calling for the violent overthrow of the Soviet government.52 (Hence Volin, once recovered from his bout with typhus, was able to resume publication of Nabat in Kharkov and to begin preparations for an All-Russian Congress of Anarchists, which was scheduled to meet there at the end of the year.)
Barely a month later, however, the Red Army had made sufficient gains to assure victory in the Civil War, and the Soviet leaders tore up their agreement with Makhno. Not only had the Makhnovtsy outlived their usefulness as a military partner, but as long as the bat'ko was left at large, the spirit of primitive anarchism and the danger of a peasant jacquerie -- a Pugachevshchina -- would remain to haunt the unsteady Bolshevik regime. Thus, on 25 November, Makhno's commanders in the Crimea, fresh from their victories over Wrangel's army, were seized by the Red Army and immediately shot. The next day, Trotsky ordered an attack on Makhno's headquarters in Guliai-Pole, while the Cheka simultaneously arrested the members of the Nabat Confederation who had assembled in Kharkov for their impending Congress, and carried out raids on anarchist clubs and organizations throughout the country.53
During the attack on Guliai-Pole, most of Makhno's staff were captured and imprisoned or simply shot on the spot. The bat'ko himself, however, together with the battered remnant of an army which had once numbered in the tens of thousands, managed to elude his pursuers. After wandering over the Ukraine for the better part of a year, the partisan leader, exhausted and still suffering from unhealed wounds, crossed the Dniester River into Rumania and eventually found his way to Paris.54
Bolshevik harassment of the anarchists had been mounting ever since the Cheka launched its first raids against the Moscow Federation in April 1918. By 1919, the armed detachments of Black Guards and the aggressive bands of guerrilla fighters -- forces which might present a military danger to the government -- were no longer the only targets of the police; the intellectuals of the Anarcho-Syndicalist and Nabat Confederations, armed with nothing more lethal than their pens, were also subjected to frequent arrests and detention, especially the recalcitrants who refused to halt their criticisms of the "betrayals" and "excesses" of Lenin and Trotsky. Grigorii Maksimov noted that, between 1919 and 1921, he was taken into custody no less than six times; even such loyal "Soviet anarchists" as the Gordin brothers and Iuda Roshchin were imprisoned for brief periods.55
During the summer of 1920, Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman vehemently protested the harassment of their comrades to the Second Congress of the Communist International, then meeting in Moscow.56 Similar complaints were lodged by the Anarchist Black Cross. The Anarcho-Syndicalists urged the foreign syndicalists who had come to Moscow as delegates to the Comintern gathering to use their influence upon the Soviet leadership. This stream of protests, however, failed to prevent Trotsky's "major surgical operation" in the Ukraine during November 1920,57 when the Red Army raided Makhno's headquarters in Guliai-Pole and the Cheka rounded up the leaders of the Nabat Confederation in Kharkov -- including Volin, Aron and Fanya Baron, Olga Taratuta, Senya Fleshin, Mark Mrachnyi, Dolenko-Chekeres, and Anatolii Gorelik -- and packed them off to the Taganka and Butyrki prisons in Moscow. In the capital, Maksimov and Iarchuk of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Confederation were detained for several weeks.58 Incensed by this new wave of arrests, Emma Goldman complained bitterly to Anatolii Lunacharskii, the Commissar of Education, and to the feminist Commissar of Welfare, Aleksandra Kollontai, both of whom, as Emma told Angelica Balabanoff, "recognized these abuses but felt it impolitic to protest."59 Balabanoff, a secretary of the Comintern, then arranged for Emma to meet with Lenin, who reassured her that no anarchists would be persecuted for their beliefs, that only "bandits" and Makhno's insurrectionists were being suppressed.60
With the mass arrests of the Anarcho-Syndicalists (who, unlike the Makhnovtsy, presented no armed threat to the government), the Bolsheviks hoped to eliminate once and for all their persistent influence among the factory workers. The continuing agitation of the syndicalists, indeed their very presence in the factories, served to remind the workers of the glimpse of freedom they had caught in 1917, the heyday of workers' control.61 Since that time, as the regime moved towards centralized control over the economy, the syndicalists had been fighting a rearguard action and encouraging the workers to do the same. In March 1920, the Second All-Russian Congress of Food-Industry Workers, meeting in Moscow, adopted a resolution proposed by the Anarcho-Syndicalist Executive Bureau (Maksimov, Iarchuk, and Sergei Markus), which censured the Bolshevik regime for inaugurating "unlimited and uncontrolled dominion over the proletariat and peasantry, frightful centralism carried to the point of absurdity . . . destroying in the country all that is alive, spontaneous, and free."62 "The so-called dictatorship of the proletariat," the resolution went on, "is in reality the dictatorship over the proletariat by the party and even by individual persons."63 Maksimov, the author of
these bold phrases, called for a new society based on nonparty Soviets and free labor. Convinced that the factory committees, with the general strike as their weapon, could ultimately bring about economic decentralization in Russia, he tried to organize an underground Federation of Food Workers as the first step towards the formation of a Russian General Confederation of Labor.64
Although little came of Maksimov's organizational efforts, his goal of a decentralized labor confederation began to gain favor among the more radical elements in the factories and shops, and even to grip the imagination of an articulate group of dissenters within the Communist party itself. By the end of 1920, under the leadership of the colorful Madame Kollontai and her paramour, Aleksandr Shliapnikov, a former metal worker and now the first People's Commissar of Labor, a "workers' opposition" had taken shape, attracting considerable rank-and-file support in the trade unions and factory committees. The "workers' opposition" was profoundly disturbed by the policies of "war communism." Its adherents particularly deplored the "militarization" of the labor force and the replacement of workers' control by one-man management in the factories. Their mounting criticism of Bolshevik policies reflected the disillusionment of the workers with their new rulers and popular resentment at the apparent drift of the Soviet regime towards a new bureaucratic state. The "workers' opposition" protested that the government economic agencies and the Communist party itself had been inundated with "bourgeois" technicians and other nonproletarian elements. The Bolshevik leaders, declared Kollontai, had no understanding of the needs of bench workers or of life in the workshop. Distrusting the rank and file, they tended to "place more reliance on the bureaucratic technicians, descendants of the past, than in the healthy elemental class creativeness of the working masses."65 "The basis of the controversy," she said, "is namely this: whether we shall realize communism through the workers or over their heads, by the hands of soviet officials."66
Kollontai, Shliapnikov, and their associates demanded that
the administration of the economy be transferred from the government to the factory committees and trade unions, both to be organized into an All-Russian Congress of Producers, freely elected and independent of party control. The creative powers of die factory workers, they argued, should be given free rein, instead of being "crippled by the bureaucratic machine which is saturated with the spirit of routine of the bourgeois capitalist system of production and control."67 The "workers' opposition," Kollontai concluded, aimed to achieve a genuine proletarian dictatorship rather than the dictatorship of party leaders, for as Marx and Engels proclaimed: "Creation of communism can and will be the work of the toiling masses themselves. Creation of communism belongs to the workers."68
Lenin watched the growth of the opposition movement with increasing displeasure. He disputed Kollontai's appeal to the founding fathers in support of her position. Condemning the ideas of the "workers' opposition" as a "syndicalist and anarchist deviation" from the Marxist tradition, he summoned its leaders to submit to party discipline. Lenin, fearing that syndicalist doctrines were "permeating the broad masses," denounced all talk of "industrial democracy" or of an All-Russian Congress of Producers.69 He firmly denied his earlier contention, in The State and Revolution, that ordinary workingmen were capable of running political and economic affairs. "Practical men," he declared, "know that this is a fairy tale."70
By the beginning of 1921, Lenin had become sufficiently alarmed by the revival of syndicalist tendencies among the factory workers and among the intellectuals of his own party to take further measures to curb them. Thus he placed on the Index the works of Fernand Pelloutier (the outstanding figure in the French syndicalist movement), and certain writings of Bakunin and Kropotkin as well. Kropotkin, the living symbol of libertarianism, still commanded widespread respect and devotion in Russia. He had come to believe, as he told Emma
Goldman in 1920, that syndicalism alone could furnish the groundwork for the reconstruction of Russia's economy.71
Kropotkin had not been personally molested during the raids on the Moscow anarchists in 1918, but in the summer of that year, the old prince was compelled to move to a modest wooden house in the village of Dmitrov, some 40 miles north of the capital. There he spent much of his time writing a book on ethics (which he was never to finish),72 and receiving a steady stream of visitors, including Volin, Maksimov, Emma Goldman, and Alexander Berkman. Kropotkin was greatly disturbed by the authoritarian methods of the Soviet government. He bitterly opposed the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly as well as the terroristic practices of the Cheka, and likened the party dictatorship imposed by the Bolsheviks to the "Jacobin endeavor of Babeuf."73 Nevertheless, in an open letter to the workers of Western Europe, he urged them to prevail upon their governments to end the blockade of Russia and abandon their intervention in the Civil War. "Not that there is nothing to oppose in the methods of the Bolshevik government," Kropotkin reiterated. "Far from it! But all foreign armed intervention necessarily strengthens the dictatorial tendencies of the government and paralyzes the efforts of those Russians who are ready to aid Russia, independently of the government, in the restoration of its life."74
In May 1919, a year before this declaration, Kropotkin met with Lenin in Moscow to talk over their differences. The discussion was continued in a brief correspondence, in which Kropotkin kept up his attack on the Bolshevik dictatorship. "Russia has become a Revolutionary Republic only in name," he wrote to Lenin in March 1920. "At present it is ruled not by Soviets but by party committees. ... If the present situation should continue much longer, the very word 'socialism' will turn into a curse, as did the slogan of 'equality' for forty years
after the rule of the Jacobins."75 But Kropotkin had not lost hope. "I deeply believe in the future," he affirmed in May 1920. "I believe the syndicalist movement . . . will emerge as the great force in the course of the next fifty years, leading to the creation of the communist stateless society."76
In January 1921, Kropotkin, nearly eighty years old, fell mortally ill with pneumonia. His old disciple, Dr. Aleksandr Atabekian, who had founded the Anarchist Library in Geneva 30 years before, went to his dying mentor's bedside.77 Three weeks later, on 8 February 1921, Kropotkin died. His family declined Lenin's offer of a state burial, and a committee of leading Anarcho-Syndicalists and Anarchist-Communists, momentarily united by the death of their great teacher, was set up to arrange a funeral.78 Lev Kamenev, chairman of the Moscow Soviet, allowed Aron Baron and several other imprisoned anarchists a day's liberty to take part in the procession. Braving the bitter cold of the Moscow winter, 20,000 marched in the cortege to the Novodevichii Monastery, the burial place of Kropotkin's ancestors. They carried placards and black banners bearing demands for the release of all anarchists from prison and such mottoes as "Where there is authority, there is no freedom," and "The liberation of the working class is the task of the workers themselves." A chorus chanted "Eternal Memory." As the procession passed the Butyrki prison, the inmates shook the bars on their windows and sang an anarchist hymn to the dead. Emma Goldman spoke at Kropotkin's graveside, and students and workers placed flowers by his tomb.79 Kropotkin's birthplace, a large house in the old aristocratic quarter of Moscow, was turned over to his wife and comrades to be used as a museum for his books, papers, and personal belongings. Supervised by a committee of scholarly anarchists which included Nikolai Lebedev, Aleksei Solonovich, and Dr. Atabekian, it was maintained by contributions from friends and admirers throughout the world.80
The Russian Civil War yielded a grim legacy of famine, industrial collapse, fuel shortages, personal hatred, and political disaffection. It was this bitter harvest which gave rise to the extreme tension in Moscow and Petrograd during the opening weeks of 1921, setting the scene for the Kronstadt rebellion, an event, as Lenin observed, which "lit up reality better than anything else."81
Towards the end of February, a sudden wave of strikes swept through the largest factories of Petrograd. Leaflets and proclamations were circulated, some demanding fuel and bread, the elimination of Trotsky's "labor battalions," and the revival of free Soviets and factory committees, others calling for freedom of speech, the restoration of the Constitutent Assembly, an end to Cheka terror, and the liberation of SR's, anarchists, and other political prisoners from Communist jails. Before the month was out, delegations of sailors and workmen from the Kronstadt naval base on nearby Kotlin Island had arrived in the capital to join with the strikers in some of their demonstrations. At Kronstadt itself, sympathy meetings were held in Anchor Square -- where Bleikhman had delivered his fiery speeches during the July Days of 1917 -- and on board the battleship Petropavlovsk, which lay in the harbor. The actual rebellion erupted early in March at the island base and its surrounding industrial complex. The rising lasted two weeks, until Bolshevik troops and volunteers crossed the frozen ice in the Gulf of Finland and suppressed the insurgents.82
Kronstadt had had a history of volatile radicalism reaching back to the Revolution of 1905. The revolt of March 1921, like the earlier uprisings during 1905 and 1917, was a spontaneous affair and not, as often depicted, engineered by the anarchists or, for that matter, by any other single party or group. Its participants, rather, were radicals of all striipes -- Bolsheviks, SR's, anarchists, and many with no specific political affiliation. Those anarchists who had played prominent roles in Kronstadt during 1917 were no longer present four years later: the sailor Zhelezniakov, it will be recalled, had been killed by Denikin's army in 1919; Bleikhman had died in Moscow in 1920 or early 1921; and Iarchuk was in Moscow with most of his comrades, who, when not in prison, were under the close surveillance of the Cheka.
Still, the spirit of anarchism, so powerful in Kronstadt during the Revolution of 1917, had by no means disappeared. On the eve of the insurrection, anarchists distributed leaflets among the sailors and workers, bearing the slogan, "Where there is authority, there is no liberty," and reviling the "iron discipline" and "forced labor" imposed on the factory workers by the Bolshevik regime. The leaflets reiterated the familiar anarchist demands for an end to compulsory labor, the restoration of workers' control, the formation of autonomous f partisan bands in place of the Red Army, and the inauguration of a true social revolution, one which would usher in the stateless society of free communes.83 But quite apart from such direct propaganda, the influence of anarchist ideas was much in evidence among the insurgents. Thus, in true anarchist fashion, the rebels lamented that Russia had fallen under the domination of "a small group of Communist bureaucrats," and they cried out for the destruction of the "commissarocracy" erected by Lenin and Trotsky and their retinue.84 The workers, they said, had not emancipated themselves from the private capitalists in order to become the slaves of the state.85 "All power to the Soviets," proclaimed the insurrectionists, "but not to the parties."86 In the rebel journal, they announced that the Kronstadt uprising marked the beginning of the "third revolution," destined to continue until the Russian people were liberated from their new masters: "Here in Kronstadt the first stone of the third revolution has been laid, striking the last fetters from the laboring masses and opening a broad new road for socialist creativity."87
The anarchists, elated by the mutiny, hailed Kronstadt as "the second Paris Commune."88 Even such pro-Soviet groups as the Universalists and Karelin's All-Russian Federation of Anarchists were jubilant, and denounced the government when troops were sent to put down the revolt. Fearing a bloodbath, Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman, together with two of their comrades, petitioned Zinoviev to allow them to mediate the dispute.89 But the government was in no mood to consider any accommodation with the insurgents. "The time has come," declared Lenin to the Tenth Party Congress as the rebellion raged in the Finnish Gulf, "to put an end to opposition, to put the lid on it; we have had enough opposition."90
Following this pronouncement, the "workers' opposition" (though its adherents had joined their fellow Communists in condemning the Kronstadt revolt) was quickly suppressed. A new wave of political arrests swept the country. Anarchists were rounded up in Petrograd, Moscow, Kiev, Kharkov, Ekaterinoslav, and Odessa. Those who had been released after their arrest in November 1920, when the backbone off the movement was broken, were taken into custody once aigain. The Moscow Cheka seized Maksimov and Iarchuk, the secretary and treasurer of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Executive Bureau, and sent them to join their colleagues in the Taganka prison.91 Most of the surviving book stores, printing offices, and clubs were closed92 and the few remaining anarchist circles broken up. Even the pacifist followers of Tolstoy were imprisoned or banished. (A number of Tolstoyans had abready been shot during the Civil War for refusing to serve in the Red Army.)93
Aleksei Borovoi was dismissed from the faculty of Moscow University.94 In November 1921, the police raided the Universalist Club, a former center of "Soviet anarchism," and shut down its newspaper. Two of its leaders, Vladimir Barimash and German Askarov, both prominent intellectuals and members of the Moscow Soviet, were arrested on charges of "banditry and underground activities."95 According to Maksimov, the Universalists, who had rejoiced at the outbreak olf the Kronstadt insurrection, were succeeded by a more subservient group called the "Anarcho-Biocosmists," which pledged unwavering support of the Soviet government and solemnly declared its intention to launch a social revolution "in interplanetary space but not upon Soviet territory."96
The suppression of the anarchists produced some undesired repercussions. At the same time as the Bolsheviks were filling the cells of Butyrki and Taganka with syndicalists, Universalists, Makhnovtsy, and members of the Nabat Confederation, they were engaged in a heated competition with the Socialist International in Amsterdam for the allegiance of the syndicalists in Western Europe and North America. In July 1921, the Communists created the Red International of Trade Unions (better known as the Profintern) with the mission of alluring the organized labor movement away from the International Federation of Trade Unions in Amsterdam. But the foreign delegates attending the founding congress of the Profintern in Moscow, already disturbed by the liquidation of Makhno's army and by the suppression of the Kronstadt rising, were stunned anew by the latest wave of anarchist arrests. S. A. Lozovskii, the president of the Profintern, Foreign Minister Chicherin, and Lenin himself repeatedly assured their visitors that "ideological" anarchists were in no way being persecuted. Nevertheless, Goldman, Berkman, and Alexander Schapiro were able to persuade a number of European syndicalists to make representations to Lenin on behalf of their imprisoned Russian comrades.97 Other Profintern delegates lodged a protest with Feliks Dzerzhinskii, head of the Cheka.98 To dramatize their plight, the anarchist prisoners in Taganka -- Maksimov, Volin, Iarchuk, Barmash, Mrachnyi, among others -- staged an eleven-day hunger strike while the Profintern congress was in session.99
To add to the government's embarrassment, another commotion arose when, in September 1921, the Cheka shot the
anarchist poet, Lev Chernyi, and Fanya Baron. Chernyi had been active in the Moscow Black Guard and was a member of the Underground Anarchists, the group responsible for the Leontiev Street bombing of the Moscow Communist headquarters in 1919, but he personally had played no part in the incident. Fanya Baron's record as an "ideological" anarchist was untainted by terrorism of any sort.100 Emma Goldman was so outraged by the executions that she considered making a scene in the manner of the English suffragettes, by chaining herself to a bench in the hall where the Third Comintern Congress was meeting and shouting her protests to the delegates, but she was dissuaded by her Russian friends.101
Amid the outcry at home and abroad, Lenin deemed it prudent to relent. That same month, he released those of the better-known anarchist prisoners who had no record of violent opposition to the Soviet government, on condition that they leave the country at once. Maksimov, Volin, Mrachnyi, Iarchuk, and a few others departed for Berlin in January 1922.102 Meanwhile, Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, and Sanya Schapiro, profoundly disheartened by the turn the revolution had taken, had made up their minds to emigrate also. "Grey are the passing days," Berkman recorded in his diary. "One by one the embers of hope have died out. Terror and despotism have crushed the life born in October. The slogans of the Revolution are forsworn, its ideals stifled in the blood of the people. The breath of yesterday is dooming millions to death; the shadow of today hangs like a black pall over the country. Dictatorship is trampling the masses under foot. The Revolution is dead; its spirit cries in the wilderness. . . . I have decided to leave Russia."103
1 Nabat (Kharkov), No. 15, 12 May 1919, p. 3; Biulleten' Initsiativnoi Gruppy Anarkhistskoi Molodezhi Ukrainy "Nabat," No. 1, April 191"; Biulleten' Kievskoi Gruppy Anarkhistskoi Molodezhi (Kiev, 1920).
On the Nabat groups and their activities, see P. Rudenko, Na Ukraine:
povstanchestvo i anarkhicheskoe dvizhenie (Buenos Aires, 1922), pp. 19-27.
2 Delo Truda-Probuzhdenie, No. 16, January 1946, p. 16.
3 Volna, No. 28, April 1922, pp. 12-14; Goneniia na anarkhizm v Sovetskoi Rossii, pp. 36-37. The Nabat journal appeared in a number of Ukrainian cities during the Civil War, including Kharkov, Elizavetgrad, Odessa, and Guliai-Pole.
4 P. A. Arshinov, Dva pobega (iz vospominanii anarkhista 1906-9 gg.) (Paris, 1929).
5 Goneniia na anarkhizm v Sovetskoi Rossii, p. 48.
6 Letters from Russian Prisoners (London, 1925), p. 104; Emma Goldman, My Disillusionment in Russia (Garden City, New York, 1923), p. 166; Bulletin of the Joint Committee for the Defense of Revolutionists Imprisoned in Russia, No. 1, October 1923.
7 Goneniia na anarkhizm v Sovetskoi Rossii, pp. 57-58.
8 Ibid., pp. 51-52; Gorelik, Anarkhisty v rossiiskoi revoliutsii, p. 38.
9 Goneniia na anarkhizm v Sovetskoi Rossii, p. 52.
10 Ibid., p. 44; Volna, No. 28, pp. 11-12.
11 Pervaia konferentsiia anarkhistskikh organizatsii Ukrainy "Nabat": aeklaratsii i rezoliutsii (Buenos Aires, 1922), pp. 13-27.
12 Nabat (Kharkov), No. 9, 23 March 1919, p. 3.
13 Rezoliutsii pervogo s"ezda Konfederatsii anarkhistskikh organizatsii Ukrainy "Nabat" (Buenos Aires, 1923), p. 24; Nabat, No. 14, 5 May 1919, p. 4.
14 Rezoliutsii pervogo s"ezda, pp. 14-32. The Third Anarcho-Syndicalist Conference never met.
15 Ibid., p. 18.
16 Guliai-Pole, which is conventionally described as a "village," had a Population of about 30,000 and boasted several factories and schools.
17 Makhno is often portrayed as a village schoolmaster, but Volin notes that there is no evidence to support this: La Revolution inconnue, p. 523. For an excellent account of Makhno's career, see David Footman, Civil War in Russia (London, 1961), pp. 245-302.
18 P. Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia (1918-1921 gg.) Berlin, 1923), pp. 48-50; I. Teper, Makhno (Kiev, 1924), p. 22.
19 Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia, pp. 50-51; N. Makhno, Russkaia revoliutsiia na Ukraine (ot marta 1917 g. po aprel' 1918 (Paris, 1929), pp. 7-20; George Woodcock, Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements (New York, 1962), p. 419.
20 N. Makhno, Pod udarami kontr-revoliutsii (aprel'-iiun'
(Paris, 1936), pp. 106-107.
21 Lenin didl not elaborate on the "well-known conditions."
22 Ibid., pp. 126-135. Cf. Footman, Civil War in Russia, pp. 252-256.
23 Makhno, Pod udarami kontr-revoliutsii, p. 93.
24 Ibid., pp. 98-100, 146.
25 Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia, p. 52. Subsequently, another brother died in battle with Denikin, and a third was shot in Guliai-Pole by the Bolsheviks. Voline, La Revolution inconnue, pp. 667-668.
26 Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia, p. 56.
27 Ibid., pp. 52-56; V. V. Rudnev, Makhnovshchina (Kharkov, 1928). pp. 22-23.
28 Nomad, Apostles of Revolution, p. 309.
29 Serge, Memoires d'un revolutionnaire, p. 135.
30 Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia, pp. 57-58.
31 Put' k Svobode (Guliai-Pole), No. 2, 24 May 1919, p. 1; Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia, pp. 86-89.
32 Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia, pp. 84-86; Makhno, Russkaia revoliutsiia na Ukraine, pp. 172-181. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, founders of the German Communist party, were shot by right-wing soldiers after the abortive Spartacus uprising of January 1919, while being taken to prison in Berlin.
33 Voline, La Revolution inconnue, p. 581; Delo Truda-Probuzhdenie, No. 16, January 1946, p. 17.
34 Ferrer was a respected Spanish libertarian who had been court-martialed and executed in 1909 on a trumped-up charge of fomenting a rebellion in Barcelona.
35 Voline, La Revolution inconnue, pp. 637-638.
36 Ibid., pp. 673-675; Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia, pp. 203-213; Nomad, Apostles of Revolution, p. 311. Volin adduces testimony by Elias Tcherikover, an eminent Jewish historian and authority on anti-Semitism in the Ukraine, to the effect that the number of anti-Semitic acts committed by the Makhnovtsy was "negligible" in comparison with those committed by other combatants in the Civil War, the Red Army not excepted.
37 Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia, pp. 94-95.
38 Quoted in Footman, Civil War in Russia, p. 267.
39 Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia, pp. 98-103.
40 Voline, La Revolution inconnue, p. 578.
41 Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia, pp. 134-141.
42 Voline, La Revolution inconnue, p. 599.
43 Ibid., p. 602; Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia, pp. 149-152.
44 Voline, La Revolution inconnue, pp. 598-599.
45 Ibid., pp. 610-611; Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia, pp. 146-148.
46 Voline, La Revolution inconnue, pp. 578, 603; Rudnev, Makhnovshchina, p. 66.
47 "Tovarishchi krest'iane!" (leaflet, 3 February 1920), Fedeli Archive.
48 "Ostanovis'! Prochitai! Porazdumai!" and "Tovarishchi krasnoar-meitsy fronta i tyla," Fedeli Archive.
48 Voline, La Rivolution inconnue, p. 635n.
50 Teper, Makhno, p. 78; Rudnev, Makhnovshchina, pp. 22-23. Galina was Makhno's wife.
51 In June 1920, Wrangel attempted to strike a bargain with Makhno for common action against the Bolsheviks. But Makhno seized and executed the Baron's unfortunate envoys, just as he had executed his rival guerrilla chieftain, Grigoriev, when the latter came to discuss military cooperation the year before.
52 Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia, pp. 171-173.
53 Voline, La Revolution inconnue, pp. 642-648.
54 Arshinov, Istoriia makhnovskogo dvizheniia, pp. 189-200.
55 Maximoff, The Guillotine at Work, p. 361.
56 Goldman, Living My Life, n, 799ff.; Letters from Russian Prisoners, p. 249.
57 G. P. Maksimov, Za chto i kak bol'sheviki izgnali anarkhistov it Rossii? (n.p. [Berlin], 1922), p. 3.
58 Gorelik, Anarlchisty v rossiiskoi revoliutsii, p. 46; Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, pp. 280-287; Maximoff, The Guillotine at Work, pp. 360-361.
59 Angelica Balabanoff, My Life as a Rebel (New York, 1938), p. 254.
60 Ibid., p. 255.
61 Alexander Berkman noted in his diary on 7 March 1920 that the Golos Truda bookstore in Moscow was being deluged with requests for literature from every corner of Russia. "Diary: Russia, 1919-1921," Berkman Archive.
62 Vmesto programmy, p. 28.
64 Maximoff, The Guillotine at Work, pp. 368-369.
85 A. Kollontai, The Workers Opposition in Russia (Chicago, 1921). pp. 29-30. 66 Ibid., p. 20.
67 Ibid., pp. 22-23; "Tezisy rabochei oppozitsii," Pravda, 25 January 1921, pp. 2-3.
68 Kollontai, The Workers Opposition, p. 44.
69 Lenin, Sochineniia, xxvi, 222-233.
70 Ibid., xxi, 399; xxvi, 103.
71 Goldman, My Disillusionment in Russia, p. 158.
72 P. Kropotkin, Etika (Petrograd, 1922). The uncompleted manuscript was published by the Golos Truda press.
73 P. A. Kropotkin i ego uchenie, pp. 196-200; Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets, p. 254.
74 P. A. Kropotkin i ego uchenie, p. 197; Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets, p. 253.
75 David Shub, "Kropotkin and Lenin," Russian Review, xn (October 1953), 232; Delo Truda, No. 62-63, January-February 1931, pp. 7-13.
76 Anarkhicheskie Organizatsii: Pamiati Petra Alekseevicha Kropotkina, No. 1, 8-13 February 1921, p. 1.
77 Pamiati Petra Alekseevicha Kropotkina, pp. 108-112; Goneniia na anarkhizm v Sovetskoi Rossii, pp. 48-49. After the October Revolution, Atabekian again established his own anarchist press in Moscow, in the teeth of Bolshevik interference.
78 Anarkhicheskie Organizatsii, p. 1.
79 Interview with Princess Alexandra Kropotkin, 10 March 1965; Woodcock and Avakumovic, The Anarchist Prince, pp. 436-437; Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets, p. 29; Emma Goldman, My Further Disillusionment in Russia (Garden City, New York, 1924), pp. 63-64; Serge, Mimoires d'un rivolutionnaire, pp. 137-138; P. A. Kropotkin i ego "chenie, p. 320; Klich Anarkhistov, May 1921.
80 Kropotkin's Revolutionary Pamphlets, p. 30; N. K. Lebedev, Muzei P. A. Kropotkina (Leningrad and Moscow, 1928); "Muzei imeni P. A. Kropotkina," Probuzhdenie, No. 15, February 1931, pp. 44-46; Woodcock and Avakumovic, The Anarchist Prince, p. 437; Serge, Mimoires d'un revolutionnaire, p. 138.
81 Lenin, Sochineniia, xxvi, 291.
82 A sound discussion of the revolt is George Katkov's "The Kronstadt Rising," Soviet Affairs, No. 2, 1959, pp. 9-74. See also Alexander Berkman, The Kronstadt Rebellion (Berlin, 1922); Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, pp. 291-297; E. Iarchuk, Kronshtadt v russkoi revoliutsii (New York, 1923), pp. 52-63; Voline, La Revolution inconnue, pp. 425-488; Wa Mett, La Commune de Cronstadt (Paris, 1949), pp. 30-58; Robert V. Daniels, "The Kronstadt Revolt of 1921: A Study in the Dynamics of Revolution," American Slavic and East European Review, x (December 1951), 241-254; and D. Fedotoff White, The Growth of the Red Army (Princeton, 1944), pp. 127-157.
83 N. A. Kornatovskii, ed., Kronshtadtskii miatezh: sbornik statei, vospominanii i dokumentov (Leningrad, 1931), pp. 164-166.
84 Pravda o Kronshtadte (Prague, 1921), pp. 66, 102, 110. In October 1918, there was a small mutiny at Kronstadt, the precursor of the 1921 affair, in which the participants (likewise radicals of various hues) demanded the replacement of the "commissarocracy" by a federation of "free Soviets." I. Flerovskii, "Miatezh mobilizovannykh matrosov v Peterburge 14 oktiabria 1918 g.," Proletarskaia Revoliutsiia, 1926, No. 8 (55), pp. 218-237.
85 Pravda o Kronshtadte, p. 173.
86 Berkman, The Kronstadt Rebellion, p. 25; A. S. Pukhov, Kronshtadtskii miatezh v 1921 g. (Leningrad, 1931), p. 77.
87 Pravda o Kronshtadte, pp. 83-84; Berkman, The Kronstadt Rebellion, p. 28.
88 Gorelik, Anarkhisty v rossiiskoi revoliutsii, p. 51.
89 Goldman, Living My Life, n, 887; Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, p. 302.
90 Leonard Schapiro, The Origin of the Communist Autocracy (Cambridge, Mass., 1956), p. 316.
91 Maksimov, Za chto i kak bol'sheviki izgnali anarkhistov iz R'ossii?, pp. 5-6.
92 The Golos Truda printing establishment and book stores (in Petrograd and Moscow) were a notable exception, surviving unltil the end of the NEP.
93 A. Tolstaia, Otets: zhizri L'va Tolstogo (2 vols., New York, 1953), n, 305; Woodcock, Anarchism, p. 418.
94 Delo Truda, No. 52-53, September-October 1929, pp. 1-2; Goldman, Living My Life, n, 892; Maximoff, The Guillotine at Work, p. 595. In early 1921, at the request of the student body of Sverdlov University, Borovoi was scheduled to debate with Bukharin and Lunacharsikii on the theme of "Anarchism versus Marxism," but at the last moment the Communists cancelled the meeting.
95 M. Mrachnyi, "Kto sidit v komm. tiur'makh?," Volna, No. 28, April 1922, pp. 14-15; Emma Goldman, The Crushing of the Russian Revolution (London, 1922), p. 12; Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, p.
96 Maximoff, The Guillotine at Work, p. 362. In 1923, another
anarchist group called for support of the Soviet government and the Third International. Pravda, 7 September 1923, p. 2.
97 Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, pp. 152-153; Goldman, Living My Life, n, 909-914; Goneniia na anarkhizm v Sovetskoi Rossii, p. 5; Anarkhicheskii Vestnik, No. 5-6, November-December 1923, p. 54; Jean Gaudeaux, Six mois en Russie bolchiviste (Paris, 1924), pp. 122-194. Gaudeaux, a French syndicalist, was one of the Profintern delegates who personally protested to Lenin.
98 Maksimov, Za chto i kak bol'sheviki izgnali anarkhistov, p. 14.
99 Maximoff, The Guillotine at Work, pp. 194, 484; Letters from Russian Prisoners, p. 252; Goneniia na anarkhizm v Sovetskoi Rossii, pp. 57-58; Maksimov, Za chto i kak bol'sheviki izgnali anarkhistov, pp. 10-20.
100 A. Gorelik, "Za chto i kak ubili L'va Chernogo," Probuzhdenie, No. 23-27, June-October 1932, p. 27; Voline, La Revolution inconnue, pp. 289-290; Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, p. 318n; Goldman, Living My Life, n, 919; Anarkhicheskii Vestnik, No. 1, July 1923, p. 62.
101 Serge, Memoires d'un revolutionnaire, pp. 168-169.
102 Maksimov, Za chto i kak bol'sheviki izgnali anarkhistov, pp. 20-32; Gorelik, Anarkhisty v rossiiskoi revoliutsii, p. 51.
103 Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth, p. 319.