Alexander Berkman Russian Revolution and the Communist Party a4[1]

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  • 8/3/2019 Alexander Berkman Russian Revolution and the Communist Party a4[1]


    Alexander Berkman

    Russian Revolution and theCommunist Party


  • 8/3/2019 Alexander Berkman Russian Revolution and the Communist Party a4[1]


  • 8/3/2019 Alexander Berkman Russian Revolution and the Communist Party a4[1]




    Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

    e Russian Revolution and the Communist Party . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

  • 8/3/2019 Alexander Berkman Russian Revolution and the Communist Party a4[1]



  • 8/3/2019 Alexander Berkman Russian Revolution and the Communist Party a4[1]




    Clarity of ideas is not characteristic of the average mind. Many peoplestill continue to think and to talk of the Russian Revolution and of the

    Bolsheviki as if the two were identical. In other words, as ifnothing hadhappened in Russia during the last three years.

    e great need of the present is to make clear the difference betweenthat grand social event and the ruling, political party a difference asfundamental as it has been fatal to the Revolution.

    e following pages present a clear and historically true picture of theideals that inspired the Revolution, and of the role played by the Bolshe-viki. is pamphlet conclusively proves what the Russian Revolution IS

    and what the BoIshevik State, alias the Communist Party, is not.I consider this brochure a very able, and for popular reading suffi-

    ciently exhaustive, analysis of the Russian Revolution and of the causesof its undoing. It may be regarded as an authoritative expression ofthe Anarchist movement ofRussia, for it was wrien by Anarchists ofdifferent schools, some of them participants and all of them well versedin the events of the Revolution. It is the joint work of four well knownMoscow Anarchists. eir names cannot be mentioned at present, in

    view of the fact that some of them are still in Russia. Nor are their namesimportant in this connection: rather is it the subject and its treatment. Ihereby accept full responsibility for the contents of the following pages,as I am also responsible for the rendering of the Russian manuscript intoEnglish.

    I take this occasion to correct the erroneous statement contained inRudolf Rockers Preface to the German edition of this pamphlet, regard-ing its authorship. is brochure was wrien in Moscow, in June, 1921,

    and secretly forwarded to Rocker. Because of a misunderstanding Com-rade Rocker ascribed the authorship of the manuscript to one person,hinted at but unnamed in Rockers Preface. e fact of the authorship isas stated above.

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    Te Russian Revolution and the Communist


    e October Revolution was not the legitimate offspring of traditional

    Marxism. Russia but lile resembled a country in which, according toMarx, the concentration of the means ofproduction and thesocialisationof the tools of labor reached the point where they can no longer becontained within their capitalistic shell. e shell bursts. . .

    In Russia, the shell burst unexpectedly. It burst at a stage of lowtechnical and industrial development, when centralisation of the meansofproduction had made lile progress. Russiawasacountry withabadlyorganised system of transportation, with a weak bourgeoisie and weak

    proletariat, but with a numerically strong and socially important peasantpopulation. In short, it was a country in which, apparently, there couldbe no talk of irreconcilable antagonism between the grown industriallabor forces and a fully ripened capitalist system.

    But the combination ofcircumstances in 1917 involved, particularlyforRussia, an exceptional state ofaffairs which. resulted in the catastrophicbreakdown of her whole industrial system. It was easy for Russia,Lenin justly wrote at the time, to begin the socialist revolution in the

    peculiarly unique situation of 1917.e specially favorable conditions for the beginning of the socialist

    revolution were:

    1. the possibility of blending the slogans of the Social Revolution withthe popular demand for the termination of the imperialistic worldwar, which had produced great exhaustion and dissatisfaction amongthe masses;

    2. the possibility of remaining, at least for a certain period aer quiingthe war, outside the sphere of influence of the capitalistic Europeangroups that continued the world war;

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

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    4. the exceptionally favorable position of Russia, in case of possiblenew aggression on the part of West European imperialism, due toher vast territory and insufficient means of communication;

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

    6. the possibility of almost immediately satisfying the fundamental de-mands of the revolutionary peasantry, notwithstanding the fact thatthe essentially democratic viewpoint of the agricultural populationwas entirely different from the socialist program of the party of theproletariat which seized the reins of government.

    Moreover, revolutionary Russia already had the benefit of a great ex-

    perience the experience of 1905, when the Tsarist autocracy succeededin crushing the revolution for the very reason that the laer strove to beexclusively political and therefore could neither arouse the peasants norinspire even a considerable part of the proletariat .

    e world war, by exposing the complete bankruptcy ofconstitutionalgovernment, served to prepare and quicken the greatest movement ofthe people a movement which, by virtue of its very essence, coulddevelop only into a social revolution.

    Anticipating the measures of the revolutionary government, oeneven in defiance of the laer, the revolutionary masses by their owninitiative began, long before the October days, to put in practice theirSocial ideals. ey took possession of the land, the factories, mines,mills, and the tools of production. ey got rid of the more hated anddangerous representatives ofgovernment and authority. In their grandrevolutionary outburst they destroyed every form of political and eco-nomic oppression. In the deeps of Russia the Social Revolution wasraging, when the October change took place in the capitals ofPetrogradand Moscow.

    e Communist Party, which was aiming at the dictatorship, from thevery beginning correctly judged the situation. rowing overboard thedemocratic planks of its platform, it energetically proclaimed the slogansof the Social Revolution, in order to gain control of the movement of the

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    masses. In the course of the development of the Revolution, the Bolshe-viki gave concrete form to certain fundamental principles and methodsofAnarchist Communism, as for instance: the negation of parliamen-tarism, expropriation of the bourgeoisie, tactics of direct action, seizure

    of the means ofproduction, establishment of the system ofWorkers andPeasants Councils (Soviets), and so forth.Furthermore, the Communist Party exploited all the popular demands

    of the hour: termination of the war, all power to the revolutionaryproletariat, the land for the peasants, etc. is, as we shall see later, basedemagoguery proved of tremendous psychologic effect in hastening andintensifying the revolutionary process.

    But if it was easy, as Lenin said, to begin the Revolution, its further

    development and strengthening were to take place amid difficult sur-roundings.e external position of Russia, as characterised by Lenin about the

    middle of 1918, continued to be unusually complicated and dangerous,and tempting for the neighboring imperialist States by its temporaryweakness e Socialist Soviet Republic was in an extraordinarily un-stable, very critical international position.

    And, indeed, the whole subsequent external history ofRussia is full of

    difficulties in consequence of the necessity of fighting ceaselessly, oenon several fronts at once, against the agents ofworld imperialism, andeven against common adventurers. Only aer the final defeat of theWrangel forces was at last put an end to direct armed interference in theaffairs of Russia.

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

    Complete breakdown of the whole industrial fabric; failure of the na-

    tional economy; disorganisation of the transportation system, hunger,unemployment; relative lack oforganisation among the workers; unusu-ally complex and contradictory conditions ofpeasantlife; the psychologyof the pey proprietor, inimical to the new Soviet regime; sabotage ofSoviet work by the technical intelligentsia; the great lack in the Partyof trained workers familiar with local conditions, and the practical in-efficiency of the Party heads; finally, according to the frank admissionof the acknowledged leader of the Bolsheviki, the greatest hatred, by

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    the masses, and distrust of everything governmental that was thesituation in which the first and most difficult steps of the Revolution hadto be made.

    It must also be mentioned that there were still other specific problems

    with which the revolutionary government. had to deal. Namely, thedeep-seated contradictions and even antagonisms between the interestsand aspirations of the various social groups of the country. e mostimportant of these were:

    1. the most advanced, and in industrial centers the most influential,group of factory proletarians. Notwithstanding their relative culturaland technical backwardness, these elements favored the applicationof true communist methods;

    2. the numerically powerful peasant population, whose economic at-titude was decisive, particularly at a time of industrial prostrationand blockade. is class looked with distrust and even hatred uponall aempts of the Communist government to play the guardian andcontrol their economic activities;

    3. the very large and psychologically influential group (in the sense of

    forming public opinion, even ifofapanicky character) of the commoncitizenry: the residue of the upper bourgeoisie, technical specialists,small dealers, pey bosses, commercial agents of every kind anumerous group, in which were also to be found functionaries ofthe old regime who adapted themselves and were serving the Sovietgovernment, now and then sabotaging; elements tempted by theopportunities of the new order of things and seeking to make acareer; and, finally, persons torn out of their habitual modes of lifeand literally starving. is class was approximately estimated at 70%of the employees of Soviet institutions.

    Naturally, each of these groups looked upon the Revolution with theirown eyes, judged its further possibilities from their own point of view,and in their own peculiar manner reacted on the measures of the revolu-tionary government.

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    All these antagonisms rending the country and, frequently clashingin bloody strife, inevitably tended to nourish counter-revolution notmere conspiracy or rebellion, but the terrific convulsion of a countryexperiencing two world cataclysms at once: war and social revolution.

    us the political party that assumed the role ofdictator was facedby problems of unprecedented difficulty. e Communist Party did notshrink from their solution, and in that is its immortal historic merit.

    Notwithstanding the many deep antagonisms, in spite of the apparentabsence of the conditions necessary for a social revolution, it was too lateto discuss about driving back the uninvited guest, and await a new, morefavorable opportunity. Only blind, dogmatic or positively reactionaryelements could imagine that the Revolution could have been made

    differently. e Revolution was not and could not be a mechanicalproduct of the abstract human will. It was an organic process burst withelemental force from the very needs of the people, from the complexcombination of circumstances that determined their existence.

    To return to tile old political and economical regime, that of industrialfeudalism, was out of the question. It was impossible, and first of allbecause it were the denial of the greatest conquest of the Revolution:the right ofevery worker to a decent human life. It was also impossible

    because of the fundamental principles of the new national economy: theold regime was inherently inimical to the developement of free socialrelationship it had no room for labor initiative.

    It was apparent that the only right and wholesome solution whichcould save the Revolution from its external enemies, free itfrom the innerstrife which rent the country, broaden and deepen the Revolution itself lay in the direct, creative initiative of the toiling masses. Only they whohad for centuries borne the heaviest burdens could through conscious

    systematic effort find the road to a new, regenerated society. And thatwas to be the fiing culmination of their unexampled revolutionary zeal.Lenin himself, replying ino neofhis works to the question, How is the

    discipline of the revolutionary party of the proletariat to be maintained,how to be strengthened? clearly and definitely replied: By knowinghow to meet, to combine, to some extent even to merge, if you will, withthe broad masses of the toilers, mainly with the proletariat, but also withthe non-proletarian laboring masses. (Italics are Lenins.)

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    However, this thought was and still remains, on the whole, in irrec-oncilable conflict, with the spirit of Marxism in its official Bolshevikinterpretation, and particularly with Lenins authoritative view of it.

    For years trained in their peculiar underground social philosophy,

    in which fervent faith in the Social Revolution was in some odd mannerblended with their no less fanatical faith in State centralisation, theBolsheviki devisedanentirely new science of tactics. It is to the effect thatthe preparation and consummation of the Social Revolution necessitatesthe organisation of a special conspirative staff, consisting exclusivelyof the theoreticians of the movement, vested with dictatorial powersfor the purpose of clarifying and perfecting beforehand, by their ownconspirative means, the class-consciousness of the proletariat.

    us the fundamental characteristic of Bolshevik psychology wasdistrust of the masses, of the proletariat. Le to themselves, the masses according to Bolshevik conviction could rise only to the consciousnessof the pey reformer.

    e road that leads to the direct creativeness of the masses was thusforsaken.

    According to Bolshevik conception, the masses are dark, mentallycrippled by ages ofslavery. ey are multi-colored: besides the revolu-

    tionary advance-guard they comprise great numbers of the indifferentand many self-seekers. e masses, according to the old but still correctmaxim of Rousseau, must be made free by force. To educate them toliberty one must not hesitate to use compulsion and violence.

    Proletarian compulsion in all its forms, writes Bukharin, one of theforemost Communist theoreticians, beginning with summary executionand ending with compulsory labor is, however paradoxical it may sound,a method of reworking the human material of the capitalistic epoch into

    Communist cynical doctrinairism, this fanatical quasi-philosophy flavoredwith Communist pedagogic sauce and aided by the pressure of can-onized officials (expression of the prominent Communist and laborleader Shliapnikov) represent the actual methods of the Party dictator-ship, which retains the trade mark of the dictatorship of the proletariatmerely for gala affairs at home and for advertisement abroad. Already

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    in the first days of the Revolution, early in 1918, when Lenin first an-nounced to the world his socio-economic program in its minutest details,the roles of the people and of the Party in the revolutionary reconstruc-tion were strictly separated and definitely assigned. On the one hand,

    an absolutely submissive socialist herd, a dumb people; on the other,the omniscient, all-controlling Political Party. What is inscrutable to all,is an open book to It. In the land there may be only one indisputablesource of truth the State. But the Communist State is, in essenceand practice, the dictatorship of the Party only, or more correctly the dictatorship of its Central Commiee. Each and every citizen mustbe, first and foremost, the servant of the State, its obedient functionary,unquestioningly executing the will of his master if not as a maer

    ofconscience, then out of fear. All free initiative, of the individual aswell as of the collectivity, is eliminated from the vision of the State. epeoples Soviets are transformed into sections of the Ruling Party; theSoviet institutions become soulless offices, mere transmiers of the willof the center to the periphery. All expressions ofState activity must bestamped with the approving seal ofCommunism as interpreted by thefaction in power. Everything else is considered superfluous, useless anddangerous.

    is system ofbarrack absolutism, supported by bullet and bayonet,has subjugated every phase of life, stopping neither before the destruc-tion of the best cultural values, nor before the most stupendous squan-dering of human life and energy.

    * * *

    By its declaration Ltatcestmoi, the Bolshevik dictatorship has as-sumed entire responsibility for the Revolution in all its historic and

    ethical implicationsHavingparalised the constructive efforts of the people, the CommunistParty could henceforth count only on its own initiative. By what means,then, did the Bolshevik dictatorship expect to use to best advantagethe resources of the Social Revolution? What road did it choose, notmerely to subject the masses mechanically to its authority, but alsoto educate them, to inspire them with advanced socialist ideas, and tostimulate them exhausted as they were by long war, economic ruin

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    and police rule with new faith in socialist reconstruction? What hasit substituted in place of the revolutionary enthusiasm which burned sointensely before?

    Two things, which comprised the beginning and the end of the con-

    structive activities of the Bolshevik dictatorship:

    1. the theory of the Communist State, and

    2. terrorism.

    In his speeches about the Communist program, in discussions at con-ferences and congresses, and in his celebrated pamphlet on InfantileSickness of Leism in Communism, Lenin gradually shaped that pe-

    culiar doctrine of the Communist State which was fated to play thedominant role in the aitude of the Party and to determine all the sub-sequent steps of the Bolsheviki in the sphere of practical politics. It isthe doctrine ofa zigzag political road: of respites and tributes, agree-ments and compromises, profitable retreats, advantageous withdrawalsand surrenders a truly classical theory of compromise.

    Scorning the chucklingandgiggling of the lackeys of the bourgeoisie,Lenin calls upon the laboring masses to steer down the wind, to re-treat, to wait and watch, to go slowly, and so on. Not the fiery spirit ofCommunism, but sober commercialism which can successfully bargainfor a few crumbs of socialism from the still unconquered bourgeoisie that is the need of the hour. To encourage and develop the virtues ofthe trader, the spirit ofparsimony and profitable dealing: that is the firstcommandment to the regenerated people.

    In the pamphlet referred to, Lenin scouts all stereotyped morality andcompares the tactics of his Party with those of a military commander,ignoring the gulfwhich divides them and their aims. All means are goodthat lead to victory. ere are compromises and compromises. ewhole history of Bolshevism before and aer the October Revolution,Lenin sermonises the naive German le Communists who are stifling intheir own revolutionary fervor, is replete with instances of agreementsand compromises with other parties, the bourgeoisie included. To provehis assertion, Lenin enumerates in great detail various cases ofbargaining

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    with bourgeoisie parties, beginning with 1905 and up to the adoption bythe Bolsheviki, at the time of the October Revolution, of the agrarianplatform of the socialists-revolutionists, in toto, without change.

    Compromise and bargaining, for which the Bolsheviki so unmerci-

    fully and justly denounced and stigmatised all the other factions ofStateSocialism, now become the Bethlehem Star pointing the way to revolu-tionary reconstruction. Naturally, such methods could not fail to lead,with fatal inevitability, into the swamp of conformation, hypocrisy andunprincipledness.

    e Brest Litovsk peace; the agrarian policy with its spasmodicchanges from the poorest class of peasantry to the peasant exploiter;the perplexed, panicky aitude to the labor unions; the fitful Policy in

    regard to technical experts, with its theoretical and practical swayingfrom collegiate management of industries to one-man power; nervousappeals to West European capitalism, over the heads of the home andforeign proletariat; filially, the latest inconsistent and zigzaggy, but incon-trovertible and assured restoration of the abolished bourgeoisie suchis the new system of Bolshevism. A system of unprecedented shame-lessness practiced on a monster scale, a policy of outrageous double-dealing in which the le hand of the Communist Party is beginning

    consciously to ignore, and even to deny, on principle, what its righthand is doing; when, for instance, it is proclaimed, on the one hand, thatthe most important problem of the moment is the struggle against thesmall bourgeoisie (and, incidentally, in stereotyped Bolshevik phrase-ology, against anarchist elements), while on the other hand are issuednew decrees creating the techno-economic and psychological conditionsnecessary for the restoration and strengthening of that same bourgeoisie that is the Bolshevik policy which will forever stand as a monument

    of the thoroughly false, thoroughly contradictory, concerned only in self-preservation, opportunistic policy of the Communist Party dictatorship.However loud that dictatorship may shout about the great success of

    its new political methods, it remains the most tragic fact that the worstand most incurable wounds of the Revolution were received at the handsof the Communist dictatorship itself.

    An inevitable consequence ofCommunist Party rulewasalso the othermethod of Bolshevik management: terrorism.

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  • 8/3/2019 Alexander Berkman Russian Revolution and the Communist Party a4[1]



    State: the schools and universities are speedily transformed into Partyschools.

    Election campaigns, as for instance the recent re-elections to theMoscow Soviet (1921), involve the arrest and imprisonment of oppo-

    sition candidates who are not favored by the authorities. With entireimpunity the government exposes non-Communist candidates to publicinsult and derision on the pages of the official newspapers pasted onbulletin boards. By numberless stratagems the electors are cajoled andmenaced, in turn, and the result of the so-called elections is the completeperversion of the peoples will.

    State terrorism is exercised through government organs known asExtraordinary Commissions. Vested with unlimited powers, indepen-

    dent ofany control and practically irresponsible, possessing their ownsimplified forms of investigation and procedure, with a numerous staffof ignorant, corrupt and brutal agents, these Commissions have withina short time become not only the terror of actual or fancied counter-revolution, but also and much more so the most virulent ulcer onthe revolutionary body of the country.

    e all-pervading secret police methods, the inseparable from themsystem ofprovocation, the division of the population into well-meaning

    and ill-disposed, have gradually transformed the Struggle for the newworld into an unbridled debauch of espionage, pillage and violence.No reactionary rgime ever dominated the lifeand liberty of its citizens

    with such arbitrariness and despotism as the alleged dictatorship ofthe proletariat. As in the old days of Tsarism, the okhranka (secretpolice section) rules the land. e Soviet prisons are filled with socialistsand revolutionists of every shade of political opinion. Physical violencetoward political prisoners and hunger strikes in prisonareagain the order

    of the day. Summary executions, not only of individuals but en masse, arecommon occurrences. e Socialist State has not scrupled to resort to ameasure which even the most brutal bourgeois governments did not dareto use: the system of hostages. Relationship or even casual friendshipis sufficient ground for merciless persecution and, quite frequently, forcapital punishment.

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

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    With logical inevitability the Extraordinary Commissions have grad-ually grown into a monstrous autocratic mechanism, independent andunaccountable, with power over life and death. Appeal is impossible,non-existent. Even the supreme organs of State authority are powerless

    before the Extraordinary Commissions, as proven by bier experience.* * *

    e Bolshevik Party is not in the habit of scorning any perversionof truth to stigmatise every anti-Bolshevik criticism or protest as con-spiracy of one of the right socialist parties: of the social-democraticMensheviki and Socialist-Revolutionists. us the Communists seek to

    justify brutal repressions against the right elements. In regard to the

    Anarchists, however, Bolshevist terrorism cannot be justified by suchmeans.It is apropos here to sketch, though very briefly, the mutual relations

    between Anarchism and Bolshevism during the Revolution.When, in the first days of the Revolution (1917), the laboring masses

    began the destruction of the system of private ownership and of gov-ernment, the Anarchists worked shoulder to shoulder with them. eOctober Revolution instinctively followed the path marked out by the

    great popular outburst, naturally reflecting Anarchist tendencies. eRevolution destroyed the old State mechanism and proclaimed in politi-cal life the principle of the federation ofsoviets. It employed the methodof direct expropriation to abolish private capitalistic ownership: thepeasants and workers expropriated the landlords, chased the financiersfrom the banks, seized the factories, mines, mills and shops. In the fieldof economic reconstruction the Revolution established the principle ofthe federation of shop and factory commiees for the management of

    production. House commiees looked aer the proper assignment ofliving quarters.In this early phase of the October Revolution, the Anarchists aided

    the people with all the power at their command, and worked hand inhand with the Bolsheviki in supporting and strengthening the new prin-ciples. Among the legion ofenthusiastic fighters of the Revolution, whoto the end remained true to the ideals and methods ofAnarchism, wemay particularly mention here Justin Zhook, the founder of the famous

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    Schluesselburg powder mill, who lost his life while performing revolu-tionary military duty; also Zhelesnyakov, who with rare strength andcourage dispersed the Constituent Assembly, and who aerwards fellfighting against counter-revolutionary invasion.

    But as soon as the Bolsheviki succeeded in gaining control of themovement of the masses, the work ofsocial reconstruction suffered asharp change in its character and forms.

    From now on the Bolsheviki, under cover of the dictatorship of theproletariat, use every effort to build up a centralised bureaucratic State.All who interpreted the Social Revolution as, primarily, the self-determi-nation of the masses, the introduction of free, non-governmental Com-munism, they are henceforth doomed to persecution. is persecution

    was directed, first of all, against the critics from the le, the Anar-chists. In April, 1918, the ruling Communist Party decided to abolish allAnarchist organisations. Without warning, on the night of April 12th,the Anarchist club of Moscow was surrounded by artillery and machineguns, and those present on the premises ordered to surrender. Fire wasopened on those resisting. e Anarchist quarters were raided, and thefollowing day the entire Anarchist press was suppressed.

    Since then the persecution ofAnarchists and of their organisations

    has assumed a systematic character. On the one hand our comradeswere perishing on the military fronts, fighting counter-revolution; onthe other, they were struck down by the Bolshevik State by means of theExtraordinary Commissions (Tcheka).

    e further the ruling Party departed from the path marked out by theOctober Revolution, the more determinedly it oppressed the other revo-lutionary elements and particularly the Anarchists. In November, 1918,the All-Russian Conference of the Anarcho-Syndicalists, held in Moscow,

    was arrested in corpore. e other Anarchist organisations were brokenup and terrorised. Because of the total impossibility of legal activity,some Anarchists decided to go underground. Several of them, in coop-eration with some le Socialist-Revolutionists, resorted to terrorism. OnSeptember 25, 1919, they exploded a bomb in the building (LeontevskyPereulok) in which the Moscow Commiee of the Party was in session.e Anarchist organisations ofMoscow, not considering terrorism a solu-tion of the difficulties, publicly expressed disapproval of the tactics of the

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    underground group. e government, however, replied with repressionsagainst allAnarchists. Many members of the underground group wereexecuted, a number of Moscow Anarchists were arrested, and in theprovinces every expression of the Anarchist movement was suppressed.

    e finding, during a search, ofsuch Anarchist literature as the worksof Kropotkin or Bakunin, led to arrest.Only in the Ukraina, where the power of the Bolsheviki was compara-

    tively weak, owing to the wide-spread rebel-peasant movement knownas the Makhnovstschina (from its leader, the Anarchist Makhno), theAnarchist movement continued to some extent active. e advance ofWrangel into the heart of the Ukraina and the inability of the Red Armyto halt his progress, caused Makhno temporarily to suspend his struggle

    with the Bolsheviki for free Soviets and the self-determination of thelaboring masses. He offered his help to the Bolsheviki to fight the com-mon enemy Wrangel. e offer was accepted, and a contract officiallyconcluded between the Soviet Government and the army of Makhno.

    Wrangel was defeated and his army dispersed, with Makhno playingno inconsiderable part in this great military triumph. But with the liq-uidation of Wrangel, Makhno became unnecessary and dangerous tothe Bolsheviki. It was decided to get rid of him, to put an end to Makl-

    movstschina, and, incidentally, dispose of the Anarchists at large. eBolshevik government betrayed Makhno: the Red forces treacherouslysurrounded Makhnos army demanding surrender. At the same time allthe delegates who had arrived in Kharkov to participate in the AnarchistCongress, for which official permission had been given, were arrested,as well as the Anarchists resident in Kharkov and the comrades still enroute to the Congress.

    Yet, in spite of all the provocative and terroristic tactics of the Bolshe-

    viki against them, the Anarchists of Russia refrained, during the wholeperiod of civil war, from protesting to the workers of Europe and Amer-ica aye, even to those ofRussia itself fearing that such action mightbe prejudicial to the interests of the Russian Revolution and that it mayaid the common enemy, world imperialism.

    But with the termination of civil war the position of the Anarchistsgrew even worse. e new policy of the Bolsheviki ofopen compromisewith the bourgeois world became clearer, more definite, and ever sharper

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    their break with the revolutionary aspirations of the working masses.e struggle against Anarchism, till then oen masked by the excuse offighting banditism in the guise ofAnarchism, now became open andfrank warfare against Anarchist ideals and ideas, as such.

    e Kronstadt events offered the Bolsheviki the desired pretext forcompletely liquidating the Anarchists. Wholesale arrests were insti-tuted throughout Russia. Irrespective of factional adherence, practicallyall known Russian Anarchists were taken into the police net. To thisday all of them remain in prison, without any charges having been pre-ferred against them. In the night ofApril 25th-26th, 1921, all the politicalprisoners in the Bootirka prison (Moscow), to the number of over 400,consisting of representatives of the right and le wings of socialist par-

    ties and members of Anarchist organisations, were forcibly taken fromthe prison and transferred. On that occasion many of the prisoners suf-fered brutal violence: women were dragged down the steps by their hair,and a number of the politicals sustained serious injuries. e prison-ers were divided into several groups and sent to various prisons in theprovinces. Of their further fate we have so far been unable to receivedefinite information.1

    us did the Bolsheviki reply to the revolutionary enthusiasm and

    deep faith which inspired the masses in the beginning of their greatstruggle for liberty and justice a reply that expressed itself in thepolicy of compromise abroad and terrorism at home.

    is policy proved fatal: it corrupted and disintegrated the Revolution,poisoned it, stayed its soul, destroyed its moral, spiritual significance.By its despotism; by stubborn, pey paternalism; by the perfidy whichreplaced its former revolutionary idealism; by its stifling formalism andcriminal indifference to the interests and aspirations of the masses; by its

    cowardly suspicion and distrust of the people at large, the dictatorshipof the proletariat hopelessly cut itself off from the laboring masses.

    1 is pamphlet was wrien in June, 1921, as mentioned in my Preface. Since then some ofthe Anarchists imprisoned in Moscow have been deported from Russia, though nativesof that country; others have been exiled to distant parts, while a large number are stillin the prisons. A. B.

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    rust back from direct participation in the constructive work of theRevolution, harassed at every step, the victim ofconstant supervision andcontrol by the Party, the proletariat is becoming accustomed to considerthe Revolution and its further fortunes as the private, personal affair

    of the Bolsheviki. In vain does the Communist Party seek by ever newdecrees to preserve its hold upon the countrys life. e people haveseen through the rear meaning of the Party dictatorship. ey know itsnarrow, selfish dogmatism, its cowardly opportunism; they are aware ofits internal decay, its intrigues behind the scenes.

    In the land where, aer three years of tremendous effort, of terribleand heroic sacrifice, there should have come to bloom the wonder-flowerof Communism, alas, even its withered buds are killed in distrust,

    apathy, and came about the era of revolutionary stagnation, ofsterility, whichcannot be cured by any political party methods, and which demonstratesthe complete social atrophy.

    e swamp of compromise into which Bolshevik dictatorship hadsunk proved fatal to the Revolution: it became poisoned by its noxiousmiasma. In vain do the Bolsheviki point to the imperialistic world waras the cause of Russias economic breakdown; in vain do they ascribe

    it to the blockade and the aacks ofarmed counter-revolution. Not inthem is the real source of the collapse and dbacle.No blockade, no wars with foreign reaction could dismay or conquer

    the revolutionary people whose unexampled heroism, self-sacrifice andperseverance defeated all its external enemies. On the contrary, it isprobable that civil war really helped the Bolsheviki. It served to keepalive popular enthusiasm and nurtured the hope that, with the end ofwar, the ruling Communist Party will make effective the new revolution-

    ary principles and secure the people in the enjoyment of the fruits of theRevolution. e masses looked forward to the yearned for opportu-nity for social and economic liberty. Paradoxical as it may sound, theCommunist dictatorship had no beer ally, in the sense ofstrengtheningand prolonging its life, than the reactionary forces which fought againstit.

    It was only the termination of the wars which permied a full viewof the economic and psychologic demoralisation to which the blindly

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    despotic policy of the dictatorship brought the revolutionary country.en it became evident that the most formidable danger to the Revolutionwas not outside, but within the country: a danger resulting from thevery nature of the social and economic arrangements which characterise

    the present transitory stage.We fully realise the gross error of the theoreticians ofbourgeois po-litical economy who wilfully ignore the study of [historical] evolutionfrom the historico-social viewpoint, and stupidly confound the system ofState capitalism with that of the socialist dictatorship. e Bolsheviki arequite right when the insist that the two types ofsocio-economic develop-ment are diametrically opposed in their essential character. However, itwere wrong and useless to pretend that such a form of industrial life as

    expressed in the present system of proletarian dictatorship is anythingessentially different from State capitalism.As a maer of fact, the proletarian dictatorship, as it actually exists, is

    in no sense different from State capitalism.e distinctive characteristics of the laer inherent social antago-

    nisms are abolished only formally in the Soviet Republic. In realitythose antagonisms exist and arc very deep-seated e exploitation oflabor, the enslavement of the worker and peasant, the cancellation of the

    citizen as a human being, as a personality, and his transformation intoa microscopic part of the universal economic mechanism owned by thegovernment; the creation of privileged groups favored by the State; thesystem of compulsory labor service and its punitive organs such arethe characteristic features of State capitalism.

    All these features are also to be found in the present Russian system.It were unpardonable naivity, or still more unpardonable hypocrisy, topretend as do Bolshevik theoreticians, especially Bukharin that

    universal compulsory labor service in the system of the proletarian dicta-torship is, in contradistinction to State capitalism, the self-organisationof the masses for purposes of labor, or that the existing mobilisationof industry is the strengthening of socialism, and that State Coercionin the system ofproletarian dictatorship is a means ofbuilding the Com-munist society.

    A year ago Trotzky, at the Tenth Congress of the Communist Party ofRussia, thundered against the bourgeois notion that compulsory labor

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    is not productive. He sought to convince his audience that the mainproblem is to draw the worker into the process of labor, not by externalmethods of coercion, but by means internal, psychological. But whenhe approached the concrete application of this principle, be advocated a

    very complex system, involving methods ofan ethical nature, as well aspremiums and punishment, in order to increase the productivity of laborin consonance with those principles of compulsion according to whichwe are constructing our whole economic life.

    e experiment was made, and it gave surprising results. Whetherthe old bourgeois notion proved correct, or the newest socialism waspowerless internally, psychologically compulsory to draw the workerinto the process ofproduction, by means ofpremiums, punishment, etc.,

    at any rate, the worker refused to be snared by the tempting formula ofpyschologic coercion. Evidently the ideology as well as the practiceof Bolshevism convinced the toilers that the socio-economic ideals ofthe Bolsheviki are incidentally also a step forward in the more intensiveexploitation of labor. For Bolshevism, far from saving the country fromruin and in no way improving the conditions ofexistence for the masses,is aempting to turn the serf of yesterday into a complete slave. Howlile the Communist State is concerned about the workers well-being is

    seen from the statement ofa prominent Communist delegate to the TenthCongress of the Party: Up till now Soviet policy has been characterisedby the complete absence of any plan to improve the living conditionsof labor. And further: All that was done in that regard happenedaccidentally, or was done by fits and starts, by local authorities underpressure of the masses themselves.

    Is this, then, the system ofproletarian dictatorship or State capitalism?Chained to their work, deprived of the right to leave the job on pain

    of prison or summary execution for labor desertion; bossed and spiedupon by Party overseers; divided into qualified sheep (artisans) andunqualified goats (laborers) receiving unequal food rations; hungry andinsufficiently clad, deprived of the right to protest or strike such arethe modern proletarians of the Communist dictatorship. Is this self organisation of the toiling masses not a step backward, a return tofeudal serfdom or negro slavery? Is the hand of the Communist Stateexecutioner less ruthless than the whip of the plantation boss? Only

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    scholasticism or blind fanaticism can see in this, the most grievous formof slavery, the emancipation of labor or even the least approach to it.

    It is the height of tragedy that State Socialism, enmeshed in logicalantitheses, could give to the world nothing beer than the intensification

    of the evils of the very system whose antagonisms produced socialism.e Party dictatorship applies the same policy, in every detail, alsoto the peasantry. Here, too, the State is the universal master. e samepolicy ofcompulsory labor service, ofoppression, spying, and systematicexpropriation of the fruits of the peasants toil: the former method ofrequisition which frequently stripped the peasants even of the neces-saries of life; or the newly initiated, but no less predatory, food tax; tilesenseless, enormous waste of foodstuffs due to the cumbrous system of

    centralisation and the Bolshevik food policy; the dooming ofwhole peas-ant districts to slow starvation, disease and death; punitive expeditions,massacring peasant families by the wholesale and razing entire villagesto the ground for the slightest resistance to the plundering policy of theCommunist dictatorship such are the methods of Bolshevik rule.

    us, neither economic nor political exploitation of the industrial andagrarian proletariat has ceased. Only its forms have changed: formerlyexploitation was purely capitalistic; now, labeled workers and peasants

    government and christened communist economy, it is State capitalis-tic.But this modern system ofState capitalism is pernicious not only be-

    cause it degrades the living human into a soulless machine. It containsanother, no less destructive, element. By its very nature this systemis extremely aggressive. Far from abolishing militarism, in the narrowsense of the term, it applies the principle ofmilitarisation with all its at-tributes of mechanical discipline, irresponsible authority and repression

    to every phase of human effort.Socialist militarism is not only admied, but defended and justified bythe theoreticiansof the Party. us Bukharin in his work on the Econom-ics of the Transition Period writes: e workers government, whenwaging war, seeks to broaden and strengthen the economic foundationson which it is built that is, socialist forms of production. Incidentally,it is clear from this that, in principle, even an aggressive revolutionary

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    socialist war is permissible. And, indeed, we are already familiar withsome imperialistic pretensions of the workers dictatorship.

    us the bourgeois prejudices kicked out through the window re-en-ter through the door.

    It is evident that the militarism of the labor dictatorship, like anyother militarism, necessitates the formation ofa gigantic army ofnon-producers. Moreover, such an army and all its various organs mustbe supplied with technical resources and means of existence, whichputs additional burdens on the producers, that is, the workers and thepeasants.

    Another and the most momentous internal danger is the dictatorshipitself. e dictatorship which, despotic and ruthless, has alienated itself

    from the laboring masses, has strangled initiative and liberty, suppressedthe creative spirit of the very elements which bore the brunt of theRevolution, and is slowly but effectively instilling its poison in the heartsand minds of Russia.

    us does the dictatorship itself sow counter-revolution. Not conspir-acies from without, not the campaigns of the Denikins and Wrangels arethe Damocles sword ofRussia. e real and greatest danger is that coun-try-wide disillusionment, resentment and hatred ofBolshevik despotism,

    that counter-revolutionary aitude of the people at large, which is thelegitimate offspring of the Communist Party dictatorship itself.Even in the ranks of the proletariat is ripening, with cumulative force,

    the protest against the reactionary big stick policy of Bolshevism.

    * * *

    e organised labor movement ofRussia developed immediately aerthe February Revolution. e formation ofshop and factory commiees

    was the first step toward actual control by labor of the activities of thecapitalist owners. Such control, however, could not be general withoutcoordinating the work of all other similar commiees, and thus came tolife Soviets, or General Councils, of shop and factory commiees, andtheir All-Russian Congress.

    In this manner the shop and factory commiees (zahvkomy)were thepioneers in labor control of industry, with the prospect of themselves,in the near future, managing the industries entire. e labor unions, on

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    the other hand, were engaged in improving the living conditions andcultural environment of their membership.

    But aer the October Revolution the situation changed. e central-isation methods of the Bolshevik dictatorship penetrated also into the

    unions. e autonomy of the shop commiees was now declared super-fluous. e labor unions were reorganised on industrial principles, withthe shop commiee emasculated into a mere embryo of the union, andentirely subjected to the authority of the central organs. us all inde-pendence ofaction, all initiative was torn from the hands of the workersthemselves and transferred to the union bureaucracy. e result of thispolicy was the complete indifference of the workers to their unions andto the fate of the industries.

    en the Communist Party began to fill the labor unions with its ownparty members. Tey occupied the union offices. at was easily donebecause all the other political parties were outlawed and there existed nopublic press except the official Bolshevik publications. No wonder thatwithin a short time the Communists proved an overwhelming majorityin all the provincial and central executive commiees, and had in theirhands the exclusive management of the labor unions. ey usurpedthe dominant role in every labor body, including even such organisa-

    tions where the membership (as in the Union ofSoviet Employees) ismanifestly and most bierly opposed to the BoIsheviki. Whenever anoccasional union proved refractory, as the printers, for instance, andrefused to yield to internal psychologic persuasion, the Communistssolved the difficulty by the simple expedient of suspending the entireadministration of the union.

    Having gained control of the political machinery of the labor organi-sations, the Communist Party formed in every shop and factory small

    groups of its own members, so-called Communist cells, which becamethe practical masters of the situation. e Communist cell is vestedwith such powers that no action of the shop or factory commiee (evenif the laer consist of Communists) is valid unless sanctioned by thecell. e highest organ of the labor movement, the All-Russian CentralSoviet of Labor Unions, is itself under the direct control of the CentralCommiee of the Communist Party.

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    Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders take the position that the laborunion must be, first and foremost, a school ofCommunism. In practicethe role of the labor union in Russia is reduced to that ofan automaticagency for the execution of the orders of the ruling Party.

    However, this state ofaffairs is becoming unbearable even to that laborelement which is still faithful to the commandments ofState Commu-nism. In the ranks of the Communist Party itself there has developedan opposition movement against the military governmentalisation ofthe labor unions. is new movement, known as the Labor Opposition,though still loyal to its Communist parent, yet realises the full horror ofthe hopeless position, the blind alley into which the criminally stupidpolicies of the Bolsheviki have driven the Russian proletariat and the

    Revolution.e Labor Opposition is characterised by the good orthodox Commu-nist Kolontay as the advance guard of the proletariat, class consciousand welded by the ties of class interests, an element which has notestranged itself from the rank and file of the working masses and hasnot become lost among Soviet office holders. is Labor Oppositionprotests against the bureaucratisation, against the differentiation be-tween the upper and the lower people, against the excesses of the

    Party hegemony, and against the shiing and twisting policy of the rul-ing central power. e great creative and constructive power of theproletariat, says the Labor Opposition, cannot be replaced, in the taskof building the Communist society, by the mere emblem of the dicta-torship of the working class, of that dictatorship which a prominentCommunist characterised at the last Congress of the Communist Partyas the dictatorship of the Party bureaucracy.

    Indeed, the Labor Opposition is justified in asking: Are we, the pro-

    letariat, really the backbone of the working class dictatorship, or arewe to be considered merely as a will-less herd, good enough only tocarry on our backs some party politicians who are pretending to recon-struct the economic life of the country without our control, without ourconstructive class spirit?

    And this Labor Opposition, according to Kolontay, keeps on growingin spite of the determined resistance on the part of the most influential

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    leaders of the Party, and gains more and more adherents among thelaboring masses throughout Russia.

    But the Tenth Congress of the Communist Party ofRussia (April, 1921)put its decisive veto on the Labor Opposition. Henceforth it is officially

    doomed, discussion of its ideas and principles forbidden because of theirAnarcho-syndicalist tendency, as Lenin expressed himself. e Commu-nist Party declared war on the Labor Opposition. e Party Congressdecided that propagation of the principles of the Labor Opposition isincompatible with membership in the Communist Party. e demandto turn the management of the industries over to the proletariat wasoutlawed.

    * * *e October Revolution was initiated with the great bale cry of the

    First International, e emancipation of the workers must be accom-plished by the workers themselves. Yet we saw that, when the period ofconstructive destruction had passed, when the foundations of Tsarismhad been razed, and the bourgeois system abolished, the CommunistParty thought itself sufficiently strong to take into its own hands theentire management of the country. It began the education of the workers

    in a spirit ofstrictest authoritarianism, and step by step the Soviet sys-tem became transformed into a bureaucratic, punitive police machine.Terrorism became its logical, inevitable handmaid.

    General indifference and hatred, and complete social paralysis, werethe result of the government course. An atmosphere of slavish submis-sion, at once revolting and disgusting, pervades the whole country. Itstifles alike the oppressed and the oppressors.

    What boots it that the sober minded, compromise ready Lenin begins

    his every speech with the confession of the many and serious mistakeswhich have been made by the Party in power? No piling up of mistakesby the ingenious opportunist, as Lunacharsky dubs Lenin, can dismaythe champions of Bolshevism intoxicated with their Partys politicaldominion. e mistakes of their leaders become, in the interpretationof Communist theoreticians and publicists, eminent necessity, andthe convulsive aempts to correct them (the whole agrarian policy) are

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    hailed as acts of the greatest wisdom, humanity and loyalty to Bolshevikprinciples.

    In vain the impatient cry of Kolontay: e fear of criticism, inherentin our system of bureaucracy, at times reaches the point of caricature.

    e Party Elders brand her a heretic for her pains, her pamphlet eLabor Opposition is prohibited, and Illitch himself (Lenin) seles herwith a few sarcastic personal slurs. e syndicalist peril is supposedlyremoved.

    Meanwhile the Opposition is growing, deepening, spreading through-out working Russia.

    Indeed, what shall the impartial observer think of the peculiar picturepresented by Bolshevik Russia? Numerous labor strikes, with scores

    ofworkers arrested and oen summarily executed; peasant uprisingsand revolts, continuous revolutionary insurrections in various parts ofthe country. Is it not a terribly tragic situation, a heinous absurdity?Is not the rebellion of workers and peasants, however lacking in classconsciousness in some cases, actual war against the workers and peas-ants government the very government which is flesh of the fleshand blood of the blood of themselves, which had been called to guardtheir interests, and whose existence should be possible only in so far as

    it corresponds to the needs and demands of the laboring masses?e popular protests do not cease. e opposition movement grows,and in self-defense the Party must, from time to time, mollify the people,even at the sacrifice of its principles. But where it is impossible by a fewsops to still the craving for bread and liberty, the hungry mouths areshut with bullet or bayonet, and the official press brands the protestantswith the infamous name of counter-revolutionists, traitors against theworkers and peasants government.

    en Russia, Bolshevik Russia, is quiet again with the quietness ofdeath.e history of recent days is filled with grewsome illustrations ofsuch

    quiet.One of those illustrations is Kronstadt Kronstadt, against which

    has been perpetrated the most awful crime of the Party dictatorship, acrime against the proletariat, against socialism, against the Revolution.

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    A crime multiplied a hundredfold by the deliberate and perfidious liesspread by the Bolsheviki throughout the world.

    Future history will deal adequately with this crying shame. Here weshall give but a brief sketch of the Kronstadt events.

    In the month ofFebruary, 1921, the workers of four Petrograd factorieswent on strike. It had been an exceptionally hard winter for them: theyand their families suffered from cold, hunger and exhaustion. eydemanded an increase of their food rations, some fuel and clothing. Hereand there was also voiced the demand for the Constituent Assemblyand free trade. e strikers aempted a street demonstration, and theauthorities ordered out the military against them, chiefly the kursants,the young Communists of the military training schools.

    When the Kronstadt sailors learned what was happening in Petrograd,they expressed their solidarity with the strikers in their economic and rev-olutionary demands, but refused to support any call for the ConstituentAssembly and free trade. On March 1, the sailors organised a mass-meet-ing in Kronstadt which was aended also by the Chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Commiee, Kalinin, (the presiding officer ofthe Republic of Russia), by the Commander of the Fortress of Kronstadt,Kuzmin, and by the Chairman of the Kronstadt Soviet, Vassilyev. e

    meeting, held with the knowledge and permission of the Executive Com-miee of the Kronstadt Soviet, passed resolutions approved by the sailors,the garrison and the citizen meeting of 16,000 persons. Kalinin, Kuzminand Vassilyev spoke against the resolutions. e main points of the laerwere: free speech and free press for the revolutionary parties; amnestyfor imprisoned revolutionists; re-election of the Soviets by secret ballotand freedom from government interference during the electioneeringcampaign.

    e Bolshevik authorities replied to the resolutions by beginning toremove from the city the food and ammunition supplies. e sailorsprevented the aempt, closed the entrances to the city, and arrestedsome of the more obstreperous commissars. Kalinin was permied toreturn to Petrograd.

    No sooner did the Petrograd authorities learn of the Kronstadt res-olutions, than they initiated a campaign of lies and libel. In spite ofthe fact that Zinoviev kept in constant telephonic communication with

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    the presiding officer of the Kronstadt Soviet, and was assured by thelaer that all was quiet in Kronstadt and that the sailors were busy onlywith preparations for the re-elections, the Petrograd radio station waskept hard at work sending messages to the world announcing a counter-

    revolutionary conspiracy and a white-guard uprising in Kronstadt. Atthe same time Zinoviev, Kalinin and their aids succeeded in persuadingthe Petrograd Soviet to pass a resolution which was an ultimatum toKronstadt to surrender immediately, on pain ofcomplete annihilation incase of refusal.

    A group of well-known and trusted revolutionists, then in Petrograd,realising the provocative character ofsuch a policy, appealed to Zinovievand to the Council of Defense, of which he was the President. ey

    pointed out the un-revolutionary, reactionary nature ofhis policy andits great danger to the Revolution. e demands of Kronstadt wereclearly set forth: they were against the Constituent Assembly, againstfree trade, and in favor of the Soviet form ofgovernment. But the peopleof Kronstadt, as they frankly stated in their bulletin, could no longertolerate tile despotism of the Party, and demanded the right to air theirgrievances and the re-establishment of free Soviets. All power to theSoviets was again their watch-word, as it had been that of the people

    and of the Bolsheviki in 1917. To resort to armed force against Kronstadtwere the height of folly; indeed, a terrible crime. e only right andrevolutionary solution lay in complying with the request of Kronstadt(wired by the sailors to Zinoviev, but not transmied by him to theSoviet) for the selection ofan impartial Commission to reach an amicableselement.

    But this appeal of the Petrograd group of revolutionaries was ignored.Many Communists clearly understood how maliciously reactionary was

    the government aitude toward Kronstadt, but slavishly debased andmorally crippled by the jesuitism of the Party, they dared not speak andmutely participated in the crime .

    On March 7th Trotzky began the bombardment of Kronstadt, and onthe 17th the fortress and city were taken, aer numerous fierce assaultsinvolving terrific human sacrifice and treachery. us Kronstadt wasliquidated, and the counter-revolutionary plot quenched in blood.e conquest of the city was charactcrised by ruthless savagery to

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    the defeated, although not a single one of the Communists arrested bythe Kronstadt sailors had been injured or killed by them. And evenbefore the storming of the fortress the Bolsheviki summarily executednumerous soldiers of the Red Army, whose revolutionary spirit and

    solidarity caused them to refuse to participate in the bloody bath.e conspiracy and the victory were necessary for the CommunistParty to save it from threatening inner decomposition. Trotzky, whoduring the discussion of the role of the Labor Unions (at the joint sessionof the Communist Party, the Central Executive Council of the Unions,and the delegates to the 6 th Congress of the Soviets, December 30, 1920)was treated by Lenin as a bad boy who dont know his Marx, oncemore proved himself the savior of the country in danger. Harmony

    was re-established.A few days aer the glorious conquest ofKronstadt, Lenin said atthe 10th Congress of the Communist Party ofRussia: e sailors did notwant the counter-revolutionists but they did not want us, either. And, irony of the executioner! at that very Congress Lenin advocated

    free trade, as a respite.On March 17th the Communist government celebrated its bloody vic-

    tory over the Kronstadt proletariat, and on the 18 th it commemorated

    the martyrs of the Paris Commune. As if it was not evident to all whohad eyes and would see, that the crime commied against Kronstadt wasfar more terrible and enormous than the slaughter of the Commune in1871, for it was done in the name of the Social Revolution, in the name ofthe Socialist Republic. Henceforth to the vile classic figures of iers andGallifet are added those of Trotzky, Zinoviev, Dihbenko, Tukhachefsky.

    * * *

    us is human sacrifice brought to the Moloch of Bolshevism, to thegigantic lie that is still growing and spreading throughout the world andenmeshing it in its network of ruin, falsehood and treachery. Nor is itonly the liberty and lives of individual citizens which are sacrificed tothis god of clay, nor even merely the well-being of the country: it isSocialist ideals and the fate of the Revolution which are being destroyed.

    Long ago Bakunin wrote: e whole power of the Russian Tsar isbuilt upon a lie a lie at home and it lie abroad: a colossal and artful

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    system of lies never witnessed before, perhaps, in the whole history ofman.

    But now such a system exists. It is the system of State Communism.e revolutionary proletariat of the worldmust open their eyes to the real

    situation in Russia. ey should learn to see to what a terrible abyss theruling Bolshevik Party, by its blind and bloody dictatorship, has broughtRussia and the Russian Revolution. Let the world proletariat give ear tothe voices of true revolutionists, the voices of those whose object is notpolitical party power, but the success of the Social Revolution, and towhom the Revolution is synonymous with human dignity, liberty andsocial regeneration.

    May the proletariat ofEurope and America, when the world revolution

    comes, choose a different road than the one followed by the Bolsheviki.e road ofBolshevism leads to the formation ofa social rgime withnew class antagonisms and class distinctions; it leads to State capitalism,which only the blind fanatic can consider as a transition stage toward afree society in which all class differences are abolished.

    State Communism, the contemporary Soviet government, is not andcan never become the threshold of a free, voluntary, non-authoritarianCommunist society, because the very essence and nature of governmen-

    tal, compulsory Communism excludes such an evolution. Its consistenteconomic and political centralisation, its governmentalisation and bu-reaucratisation ofevery sphere ofhuman activity andeffort, its inevitablemilitarisation and degradation of the human spirit mechanically destroyevery germ ofnew lifeandextinguish the stimuli ofcreative, constructivework.

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

    e historic struggle of the laboring masses for liberty necessarily andunavoidably proceeds outside the sphere ofgovernmental influence. estruggle against oppression political, economic and social againstthe exploitation of man by man, or of the individual by the government,is always simultaneously als o a struggle against government as such. epolitical State, whatever its form, and constructive revolutionary effortare irreconcilable. ey are mutually exclusive. Every revolution in the

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    course of its development faces this alternative: to build freely, indepen-dent and despite of the government, or to choose government with all thelimitation and stagnation it involves. e path of the Social Revolution,of the constructive self-reliance of the organised, conscious masses, is

    in the direction ofnon-government, that is, ofAnarchy. Not the State,not government, but systematic and coordinated social reconstructionby the toilers is necessary for the upbuilding of the new, free society.Not the State and its police methods, but the solidaric cooperation ofall working elements the proletariat, the peasantry, the revolutionaryintelligentsia mutually helping each other in their voluntary associations,will emancipate us from the State superstition and bridge the passagebetween the abolished old civilisation and Free Communism. Not by

    order of some central authority, but organically, from life itself, mustgrow up the closely-knit federation of the united industrial, agrarian, etc.associations; by the workers themselves must it be organised and man-aged, and then and only then will the great aspiration of labor forsocial regeneration have a sound, firm foundation. Only such an organi-sation of the commonwealth will make room for the really free, creative,new humanity, and will he the actual threshold of nongovernmental,Anarchist Communism.

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

    e revolutionary world proletariat must be permied to hear thisAnarchist voice, which cries to them as of yore from the depths,from the prison dungeons.

    e world proletariat should understand the great tragedy of the toilersof Russia: the heart-breaking tragedy of the workers and peasants who

    bore the brunt of the Revolution and who find themselves now helplessin the iron clutch of an all-paralising State. e world proletariat must,ere too late, loosen that stranglehold.

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

    Moscow, June , 1921.

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