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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL special July-August - history, Dossier 1917: Editorial: Anarchists, their role, their choices (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Tue, 11 Jul 2017 06:14:58 +0300

A dossier realized by Guillaume Davranche (AL Montreuil) ---- and Pierre Chamechaude (Friend of AL, Paris north-east) ---- Of the Russian Revolution, libertarians often retain only two epic and meaningful episodes: the Makhnovshchina, Cronstadt 1921. The initial sequence of 1917-1918 is less well known. Yet this is where the main part of the game has been played for the anarchist movement. ---- What then was his consistency, what was his role, what choices did he make ? ---- In February 1917, after the collapse of the imperial institutions, an alternative administration - the soviets, the factory committees - emerged as the basis of a possible popular power. Possible, but not assured. Much would depend on the direction of the various political currents at work. ---- In February 1917, anarchism was the most minority component of Russian socialism.

To be sure, the overwhelming politicization of the proletariat and the conscripts led to a bloated growth of parties and unions, hitherto clandestine. But how can we transform this flood of volatile converts into a collective force capable of influencing the course of events ?

All the organizations were confronted with this issue, which the anarchist movement could not answer. For lack of means, assuredly ; Because of a lack of will as well, because of a spontaneous residue inherited from the " terrorist " period of 1905-1906.

Years later, many activists will highlight these shortcomings. Voline deplored the lack of " cadres " to spread anarchist ideas and "to thwart the powerful propaganda and Bolshevist action ". [1]Makhno want to " anarchists cities " for not having supported those campaigns [2]. Anatole Gorélik will judge that " there were very few anarchist militants of sufficient theoretical formation " and will evoke his anguish when in the Donbass he saw " every week,

Since the anarchist movement had not been able to overcome its initial disadvantage in time, a large part of its movement was satellited and then aspired by the Bolshevik Party, which its numerical and organizational superiority revealed as a more effective tool to counter the hurry: The bourgeoisie and the counter-revolution.

What to do to escape this fatality, and create surprise ?

This dossier tells how the libertarian movement played its part and tried to catch up, before being brutally strangled by the new power.

In summary

February-March 1917: After the Tsarists, drive the capitalists
Minority but galvanized, anarchists advocate expropriation all the way
A tract of the Communist Anarchist Federation of Petrograd (March 1917)
April-May: the irrepressible rise to the social explosion
The first libertarian wave (1905-1908)
Anarcho-syndicalists in factory committees
June-July: insurrection not enough
The fiasco of the days of July
August-September: the counter-revolution digs its own tomb
The Other Components of Russian Socialism in 1917
October red (and black): the assault in the unknown
A Ukrainian revolutionary: Maroussia emerges from oblivion
November 1917-April 1918: from pluralism to the confiscated revolution. Four cleavage points:
People's Power vs. State Power
Socialization against nationalization
Popular militia against hierarchical army
On requisitions and expropriations
Epilogue 1918-1921: resistance and eradication

[1] Voline, The Unknown Revolution, Volume 2, Entremonde, 2009, page 17.

[2] Nestor Makhno, Memoirs and Writings 1917-1932, Ivrea, 2009, page 108.

[3] Anatole Gorélik, quoted in Alexandre Skirda, The Russian Anarchists, the Soviets and the Revolution of 1917, Editions de Paris-Max Chaleil, 2000, page 144.

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