A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Greek_ 中文 Chinese_ Castellano_ Català_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ The.Supplement

The First Few Lines of The Last 10 posts in:
Greek_ 中文 Chinese_ Castellano_ Català_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours || of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003 | of 2004 | of 2005 | of 2006 | of 2007 | of 2008 | of 2009 | of 2010 | of 2011 | of 2012 | of 2013 | of 2015 | of 2016 | of 2017 | of 2018 | of 2019 | of 2020 | of 2021

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF | How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) avtonom: "Political physiognomy" of the insurgent Kronstadt: to the centenary [machine translation]

Date Tue, 9 Mar 2021 10:02:01 +0200


A century of a historical event sometimes turns out to be a borderline when it is necessary to figure out what kind of event it was. With the Kronstadt uprising of 1921, this is especially necessary. The event is well documented, most of the identified sources are published, we know more participants by name than in any other event of a comparable scale in those years. And at the same time, our knowledge of the event is a set of propaganda cliches, behind which there are neither living participants in the uprising, nor living suppressors of it. The information war accompanying the event buried the event itself for us. It is worth thinking about what our era will give to descendants, in which not a fact, but its informational echo is also important.
What did the Kronstadters want in March 1921?

The resolutions of the meetings and the appeals of the Revolutionary Committee, known to us, refute the common point of view, according to which "Soviets without Communists" were the main demand of the insurgents. " Izvestia of the Provisional Revolutionary Committee of Sailors, Red Armymen and Workers of the City of Kronstadt " (hereinafter - "Izvestia of the Revolutionary Committee") formulated the slogan " Power to the Soviets, not the parties " (a separate article was devoted to this in the March 15 issue). In addition, it is likely that the slogan was carried to the masses not by the Revolutionary Committee itself, but by an employee of Izvestia of the Revolutionary Committee, Anatoly Lamanov, the former chairman of the Kronstadt Soviet, a maximalist Social Revolutionary by conviction, by the beginning of the uprising he was a member of the Bolshevik Party.

How should we understand the slogan "Power to the Soviets"? After 70 years of what was called the Soviet power, the very idea of the power of the Soviets is clouded. What did the Kronstadters understand by Soviet power in July 1917 and March 1921?

As now, a century ago, the prevailing opinion was that society consists of groups of individuals who share common interests. Then these groups, most often, were defined as nations, and as classes. The differences between the then fashionable ideologies, nationalism and Marxism, were based precisely on the priority of national interests to the detriment of class interests, or vice versa.

In Russia, the peasants mobilized in 1914 perceived themselves to be natives of this or that province more than as "Great Russians", and they thought of Germany as one of the distant provinces. National and state interests did not find a place in this picture of the world. And after the carnage wrought by nationalism in the next four years, there was also a tendency among educated people to pay more attention to class interests.

When in 1917 in Russia, with the liquidation of the monarchy, the possibility of a new structuring of society opened up, two approaches emerged at once: the traditional way of building a power vertical within the national boundaries, this time based on parliamentarism, and the way of building from the bottom up governing assemblies elected on a class basis. Since both models were democratic, both of them immediately began to experience the deforming influence of the traditions of the peasant community, in which democracy was present, but dissent was rejected, so that the discussion of the issue had to end with a consensus decision, which was easier to achieve by coercion than persuasion.

As a result of the political struggle that took place in 1917, the victors turned out to be the party of supporters of the class approach, who announced the construction of not only the power of the soviets, but also the dictatorship of the proletariat. The party leader who stood at the head of this dictatorship expressed his views on it as follows: " Everyone knows that the masses are divided into classes ... that the classes are usually led and in most cases, at least in modern civilized countries, by political parties; - that political parties in the form of a general rule are governed by more or less stable groups of the most authoritative, influential, experienced persons elected to the most responsible positions, called leaders ... ".

By the beginning of 1921, the ruling party itself was on the verge of a split, many party members feared that R.K.P. (b.) Was too carried away by building a dictatorship of party leaders and broke away from the class on whose behalf the leaders exercised this dictatorship.

All the more, the non-party workers appreciated the system of councils they elected, but did not feel sympathy for new and new restrictions imposed by the dictatorship of the party. It was widely believed that in the name of the proletariat, real, living workers were put on starvation rations and attached to enterprises. The slogan "Plants for the workers" did not prevent the factories from being turned into places of enslavement of the workers. We can say that these measures were temporary, but the tightening of the regime went on increasing for three years.

I am writing here about workers. The relationship between the Bolsheviks and the peasantry (the largest social group in Russia at that time) followed a much more complex and steep trajectory. But we will talk about Kronstadt and Petrograd. Despite the calculations of the Bolshevik propagandists, information about the erosion of the Kronstadt garrison by the peasants was greatly exaggerated. And from the demands of the rebels it is clear that the interests of the peasants were on the periphery of their attention.

It is worth considering the content of the fateful resolution of the general meeting of the commands of the 1st and 2nd brigades of battleships on March 1. Some of its points are not slogans, but contain a plan of action, starting with the main decision on the re-election of the Soviets (paragraph 1). At the same time, this item can be considered a programmatic one. The rest of the software requirements of the resolution are as follows:

Freedom of speech and press for workers and peasants, anarchists, left-wing socialist parties (points 2 and 13);

The release of political prisoners of socialist parties, participants in the workers 'and peasants' movements, a review of the cases of the rest of the prisoners (points 5 and 6);

Abolition of political control bodies and armed formations of R.K.P. (b.) (Pp. 7 and 10);

Removal of barrage detachments (preventing the transport of goods) and freedom of handicraft production, that is, steps towards freedom of trade or, as follows from further texts, freedom of exchange (clauses 8 and 12);

Soldering equation (p. 9);

The right of the peasants to freely dispose of the land (clause 11).

Later, the Revkom, in its proclamations, supplemented this moderate platform. In an appeal to the railway workers, the Revolutionary Committee proclaimed freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, freedom of direct exchange between workers and peasants, the abolition of the death penalty and the abolition of the political police (" Closure of all CHEKA "), the dissolution of the Labor Army (as a type of slave labor), " payment in gold, and not with paper trash ". At the end of the address, the Revkom himself summed up: " Our demands are modest. We want fewer freedoms than there were in 1917. For this we are going to die . "

Finally, the previously mentioned article " Power to the Soviets, not to the Parties " contains the following justification: " ... whatever party takes power, it will not escape the role of a dictator, since, no matter how extremely socialist it is, we will have programmatic and tactical points worked out not by life, but created within the walls of the cabinet . "

So, the Kronstadters remained on the positions of 1917, proclaiming that power should belong to the Soviets of workers and peasants, the workers should be given to manage factories and factories, and the peasants - the land and crops. At the same time, they declared that the party dictatorship, the Bolshevik monopoly on propaganda, the political police and new forms of slave labor should be eliminated. Political prisoners should have been released. Freedom of speech should extend to workers and peasants, left-wing socialist parties (and the largest of them by 1921 was R.K.P. (b.)) And anarchists. No rushing towards a Constituent Assembly or a homogeneous socialist government was observed. There was no demand for freedom of trade, it was only about the free exchange of products of labor between workers' collectives, artisans and peasants.Such a program was presented by the rebels themselves.

Kronstadt uprising
What did their opponents attribute to the rebels?

The Kronstadt events of March 1921 were superimposed on the already ongoing information war, causing its aggravation. The world press briskly reprinted rumors and speculations about events in Russia. In Bolshevik Russia itself, a new propaganda campaign began with constant meetings, reports, resolutions, proclamations and posters aimed at imposing their own interpretation of events. The rebels published a newspaper, tried to distribute proclamations and leaflets outside the island, and conducted regular radio broadcasts. The Bolsheviks tried to jam the Kronstadt radio communications with the radio station "New Holland", but not very successfully.

The interpretation by the Bolshevik propagandists of what happened in Kronstadt on March 1 was based on the Government message of March 2, signed by the chairman of the Labor and Defense Council Ulyanov (Lenin) and the chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic, Trotsky, which we will now consider in detail.

Message starts, oddly enough, not with the events on the island, and with the publication of the Paris newspaper " La Matin " ( " La Matin ", "Morning") dated February 13, the uprising in Kronstadt. It is asserted: "The French counterintelligence service was only slightly ahead of the events ." And further: " Whiteguard leaflets appeared in Kronstadt and Petrograd. Notorious spies were detained during the arrests .

So, the first message is that the speech was prepared by foreign agents.

Second: " On February 28 in Kronstadt, disturbances began on the ship" Petropavlovsk ". A Black Hundred Socialist-Revolutionary resolution was adopted."

The second message is that forces from the Black Hundreds to the Socialist-Revolutionaries are acting, that is, the spectrum of anti-Bolshevik forces that has already become traditional.

Third: " A group of ex. General Kozlovsky ... ". Further: " Former General Kozlovsky with three officers, whose names have not yet been established ... ". " Thus, the meaning of recent events has been fully explained. This time the tsarist general stood behind the Socialist-Revolutionaries ".

The third message is that another general's dictatorship has emerged.

This is where the narrative ends, the directive begins with three points:

" 1) Outlaw the former General Kozlovsky and his associates.

2) Declare the city of Petrograd and the Petrograd province in a state of siege.

3) Transfer all power in the Petrograd fortified area to the Petrograd Defense Committee . "

The last step was very characteristic of the Bolsheviks throughout the civil war - under the slogan of protecting the Soviet regime, transfer power from the councils of deputies to a committee of appointees.

Let's analyze three sends in turn.

The first message is about a newspaper report.

People's Commissariat for Military Affairs Lev Trotsky regularly read foreign newspapers. It was he who discovered the message about Kronstadt in the issue of " La Maten " dated February 13. Later he talked about it himself. He described the message as follows: " ... in a number of foreign newspapers, including in Maten, a message about the uprising in Kronstadt appeared in mid-February, that is, at a time when Kronstadt was completely calm ." It should be noted here that the message was not about the uprising, it only stated that " ... in view of the recent unrest of the Kronstadt sailors, the military Bolshevik authorities are taking a number of measures", And then - completely unreliable message about hundreds of those arrested. Of course, there were no hundreds of those arrested in February, but there were reasons to write about the unrest. Chekist Vladimir Feldman, in his report of December 10, 1920, wrote about " discontent "; in general, there is enough evidence that the situation was far from calm.

Building cause-and-effect chains is a double-edged weapon. Already on February 24, the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet declared martial law in Petrograd because the day before the Trubovochny Zavod went on strike on Vasilievsky Island. The factories in Petrograd went on strike before, but here not only Vasilievsky Island, but the whole city was declared martial law. The question can be posed: is Zinoviev's greater attention to this strike explained by the perspicacious foresight of its consequences, or are the consequences the result of tough actions by the Executive Committee?

If we stick to the conspiracy theory, then we can get to the assertion that the arrests of approximately 10,000 Kronstadters after the capture of the fortress by the Red Army were prepared by the French special services, since before that the arrests were written in La Maten .

So, Trotsky, according to his own statement, having read in a French newspaper about the "unrest" in Kronstadt, as the people's commissar for military and naval affairs, instructed the command of the Baltic Fleet to take measures to prevent the uprising. This correspondence was not found, measures, as you know, were taken, but not sufficient.

Some of the high-ranking Bolsheviks already had a very developed spy mania. For example, on March 9, 1921, during the Kronstadt events, Felix Dzerzhinsky wrote to Vyacheslav Menzhinsky: " ... today an English radio telegram about the uprising in Odessa was intercepted. So, if not, then there will be attempts . "

Lenin was obviously very impressed by the news that La Maten had announced the uprising in Kronstadt in advance. He devoted most of his message to the Xth Congress on the events in Kronstadt to this circumstance. Despite the expressed interest of ordinary delegates, little was reported about Kronstadt at the congress. Nevertheless, Lenin then returned to the February report of La Maten , having made a detailed survey of the latest publications of the bourgeois press.

I will cite small excerpts from this long review, since it well reveals the situation on this front of the then information war: " Since the beginning of March, every day the entire Western European press has been publishing whole streams of fantastic news about the uprisings in Russia, about the victory of the counter-revolution, about the flight of Lenin and Trotsky to the Crimea, about the white flag on the Kremlin, about the streams of blood on the streets of Petrograd and Moscow, about barricades in the same place, about dense crowds of workers descending from the hills to Moscow to overthrow Soviet power, about Budyonny's desertion to the side of the rebels, about the victory of the counter-revolution in a whole number of Russian cities, and now one, then another city appears, and in general, almost the majority of the provincial cities of Russia were listed . "

Further: " We have here in Moscow representatives of big business who misled all these rumors, and they announced how in America one group of citizens used an unprecedented method of agitation for Soviet Russia.

This group collected from newspapers of the most diverse, for several months everything that was said about Russia, about the flight of Lenin and Trotsky, about Trotsky's shooting of Lenin and back, collected everything in one brochure. The best agitation for Soviet power could not be imagined. From day to day, information was collected about how many times Lenin and Trotsky were shot, killed, this information was repeated every month, and then, in the end, they are collected in one collection and published . "

The story about the brochure makes it clear that the flow of fantasy did not begin at the beginning of March, that it lasted at least several months. This means that the February message about the unrest in Kronstadt is not anything special against the background of the message about the uprising in Odessa, the separation of Saratov from Russia, or the white flag over the Kremlin.

The alternating fictions about uprisings in various cities almost exclude a reaction to each such news, similar to Trotsky's reaction to the message about Kronstadt, or Dzerzhinsky to the message about Odessa.

However, not necessarily every report of the uprising was an invention of foreign journalists. One of the first issues of Izvestia of the Revolutionary Committee contained a report on the general uprising in Petrograd. The newspaper, probably, did not have significant circulation outside of Kronstadt, but it is known that the rebels actively used the radio station, and, quite likely, transmitted messages close to publications in Izvestia of the Revolutionary Committee.

The second message is about the " Black Hundred Socialist Revolutionary resolution ."

" Socialist-Revolutionary Black Hundred Resolutions"- this is the wording of Zinoviev, which was contained in the first cipher program, which reported on the events of February 28 on the battleships Petropavlovsk and Sevastopol in Kronstadt. The encryption message was sent at the same time, on February 28th. It is safe to assume that Zinoviev was not familiar with the texts of the resolutions of "Petropavlovsk" and "Sevastopol" at that time. If the texts of the resolutions were then or later known in Petrograd and could really be presented as Black Hundreds, then the Bolsheviks would have published them in whole or in part with their comments, as they did with other similar documents. This did not happen, moreover, the resolutions have not yet been discovered. This means that either the resolutions were lost in the course of further events on the island, and Zinoviev did not see them either then or later, or nothing was found in them,which could discredit battleship teams in the eyes of workers, peasants, Red Army men and Red Navy men.

We have already examined the real resolution adopted on March 1, it may have been too Socialist-Revolutionary for the Bolsheviks, but certainly too Bolshevik for the Socialist-Revolutionaries. Even freedom of speech and press was proclaimed only for the " left socialist parties ", the Party of Socialist Revolutionaries (PSR) was excluded from this definition. As far as can be judged on the basis of the available facts, only individual Socialist-Revolutionaries who had no contact with the rest of the P.S.R. participated in the uprising. When representatives of P.S.R. established contact with the rebels, they could offer cooperation only if the Kronstadt Revolutionary Committee supported the slogan of convening the Constituent Assembly. The Revolutionary Committee did not agree to these conditions.

The third message is about General Kozlovsky and the "zolotoponniki".

The message that the uprising was allegedly organized by a former general gave the greatest propaganda effect.

The strike movement in Petrograd had already subsided in early March, workers of many enterprises went to work on 1, 2, or in the morning of 3 March. This means that this happened even before the publication of the message of the Council of Labor and Defense, which pointed to General Kozlovsky as the organizer and leader of the uprising.

But it was this propaganda move that had a significant impact on the further course of events, on the curtailment of strikes, on the resolutions of labor collectives, on the stability of combat units. The political work of the Bolsheviks soon concentrated on this very argument. The address of the Baltic Fleet Revolutionary Troika "To all the sailors of the Baltic Fleet", published on March 5, stated: "The troublemakers, provocateurs and agents of the Entente have finally thrown off their masks! ". " Having accepted the services of the Judas former Lieutenant General Kozlovsky, they occupied some of the forts of the Kronstadt fortress ." For the sake of weight, the Revtroyka promoted Major General Kozlovsky to Lieutenant General.

Soon, resolutions were adopted everywhere, very similar to each other, for example, "On March 13, the city-wide meeting of the Red Army soldiers of the Gatchina garrison, together with members of the trade unions, after hearing a report from Comrade Podpeka and others on the current situation, decides:" We send our contempt to the traitors of the working class s.-roar ., to the Mensheviks and Tsarist generals, who involved the deceived Kronstadt sailors in a criminal adventure, preparing a treacherous stab in the back of the working class of Russia ... ".

Where do such resolutions come from? The beginning of many of them leaves no doubt - the resolutions were passed after the propagandist's report.

So, on March 15, the newspaper Smena publishes: " Having heard the report on the situation near Kronstadt, we, the workers 'and peasants' youth, members of the RKSM, were taken into a detachment of the regiment of trade unions, seeing the vile game started by the white generals and the black pack, thanks to which they entangled and caught on the Socialist-Revolutionary Menshevik bait of the Kronstadtites and some workers of Red Peter ... ".

On March 26, the newspaper "Red Baltic Fleet" publishes the following: " After hearing the report of the head of the garrison, Comrade. A novel about the Kronstadt events, we, the red sailors of the Black Sea Fleet and the Red Army soldiers of the Novorossiysk garrison, vow to die for the red banner and act as one in the fight against the protege of world reaction - gene. Kozlovsky ... ".

The fact that there is a former general in the fortress, of course, in Petrograd could not but know. After the commissar of the fortress Gromov made his way to Oranienbaum (apparently on March 2), the names of several more former officers became known, and reliable information appeared that Kozlovsky had actively supported the uprising. It remained to finish writing about the leading role of Kozlovsky in the uprising, about the fact that it was he who had arrested the commissar of the Baltic Fleet Nikolai Kuzmin, etc.

The Bolsheviks understood that participation in the uprising of the Socialist-Revolutionaries, Mensheviks and anarchists would not discredit the uprising in the eyes of non-party people. Therefore, in the messages sent to the outside, they talked about the Black Hundreds, generals, gold chasers, spies and homeowners. Thus, the surname of a member of the Kronstadt Revolutionary Committee, Tukin, was systematically distorted in order to evoke associations with the Turkins merchant family known in Kronstadt and Petrograd.

A special gift to the Bolshevik propagandists was the arrival on March 8 in Kronstadt, as a representative of the Red Cross, Baron Wilken, who commanded the battleship "Sevastopol" in 1917. The story of the Red Cross mission, as soon as it became known on the mainland, immediately overgrown with many unreliable details. But the argument so convincing at the beginning of 1921 that aid from international and foreign organizations inevitably imposes some political obligations was destined to soon become inconvenient for the Bolsheviks, when famine broke out in the Volga region, and American organizations provided their aid to the starving.

Of course, the crudest lie was best assimilated far from Kronstadt and Petrograd. The most indignant resolutions came from the well-fed south. Some of them were addressed to the rebels. Some, especially the addresses of the Black Sea sailors, reprinted "Petrogradskaya Pravda" and "Red Baltic Fleet", but they did not reach the insurgents. Only ultimatums and texts close to them aimed at intimidation, such as the appeal of the Petrograd Defense Committee "They knocked out", which later the Bolsheviks themselves regarded as a political mistake, got to Kronstadt.

There is an interesting, although not entirely reliable, story about the polemics of propagandists on both sides. On March 5, the commissar of the Krasnoflotskiy fort, Sladkov, told Zinoviev that he had a conversation on the radio with allegedly the chairman of the revolutionary committee, whom he called Volin, who, however, had addressed Ivan Sladkov as "Kolka". Despite these oddities, the conversation retold by Sladkov is very remarkable: Commissar Sladkov reproduced propaganda tricks about a coup led by the "zolotoponnikov", to which Sladkov's opponent insisted that "Petropavlovsk" was and will remain a red ship, that only communists gravitating towards dictatorship were arrested, the rest work in their places, that the "gold-chasers" flee from the fortress to the Bolsheviks, and so on.

It is impossible to say that no information about the actual state of affairs was received upstairs. A comparatively accurate assessment of the situation in Kronstadt was given by the Chekist Vladimir Feldman before the uprising, the fleet commander Alexander Nemitz during the uprising and the Chekist Semyon Agranov after the uprising. But propaganda was important to the leaders, and propaganda does not seek the truth.

The exceptional activity of propaganda in March 1921 can be explained by many reasons: along with the strategic position of Kronstadt, it is the programmatic proximity of the conflicting parties, which created fluctuations in the masses, and the peculiarities of the moment that raised the stakes in the unfolding struggle. On March 16, in London, Leonid Krasin and Robert Horn signed a Soviet-British trade agreement. On March 18, a peace treaty was signed in Riga between R.S.F.S.R. and Poland. A different course of events on the banks of the Marquisovaya Puddle could have influenced the outcome of these negotiations. But the biggest stake was the congress of the R.K.P. (b.).

The Xth Congress was Lenin's frontal attack on the Workers' Opposition and the supporters of democratic centralism. The struggle was for the unity of the R.K.P. (b.). As we found out earlier, the slogans of the rebels were very moderate, not very far from the criticism of the formed dictatorship from the supporters of the "Workers' Opposition" and the Decists. And that is precisely why it was necessary to present the uprising as an action radically hostile to the Bolsheviks and workers and peasants. Only this made it possible to prevent the rebels from joining the extreme opposition within the ruling party itself. Namely, the internal party issues worried the Central Committee. more than the uprising of this or that city or county.

Ivar Smilga said at the congress: " Of course, it's not that scary that in Kronstadt Kozlovsky, in a bloc with the Right Socialist Revolutionaries, rebelled. I would say that this does not have a decisive influence on the issue we are now discussing, just as even the fact that there were bagpipes at the Petrograd factories is a matter of the current moment. The question that interests us now is the question of party building, and the danger in it is the moment that among our Kronstadt communist comrades, according to Comrade Trotsky, 30 percent take an active part against us, 40 percent take neutral positions and only the rest some are fighting against the Kronstadt rebels . "

The data on the split of the Kronstadt organization of R.K.P. (b.) Were then clarified when re-registering in it, but there was a split, and there is enough evidence that it arose even before the uprising, indeed under the influence of internal party discussions.
What was the fate of the Kronstadt organization of the Bolsheviks against the backdrop of discussion and uprising?

The re-registration of the Kronstadt organization of the R.K.P. (b.) In September 1920 showed a voluntary decline from 25 to 27% of the total number. This situation could still be considered relatively favorable, according to Vladimir Feldman's report of December 10, in the Baltic Fleet as a whole, more than 40% of the members left the party organization.

By March 1, there were 2,126 members of the R.K.P. (b.) In Kronstadt, of which 684 were attached to the district committee, and 1,442 to the Kronstadt Political Department (that is, most of the Kronstadt Bolsheviks were in military service), there were also about 500 candidates. There were almost no Bolsheviks with pre-revolutionary experience. About 85% of the Kronstadt party members in the registration cards were listed as workers and peasants, but in fact most of them were employees, military and civilians. That is, they "left the people" as well as the majority of the party, and the essence of the party discussion that took place at the end of 1920 and the beginning of 1921 was precisely that the "left of the people" party members began to lose touch with the people, from which they went out.

At the Xth Congress of the R.K.P. (b.), Already during the uprising, representatives of the Workers' Opposition made very alarming statements. The leader of the group, Alexander Shlyapnikov, argued that, despite the growth of R.K.P. (b.), Among the workers who remained in the industry, the number of party members was decreasing. So, among the metalworkers of St. Petersburg, according to their own words, there are not even 2% of the Bolsheviks, and more reliable information about the number of Bolsheviks among the metalworkers of Moscow was given by 4%.

Delegate Yuri Milonov described the dilemma faced by the party: "How can we solve the following problem: since the peasantry is not with us, since the working class is falling under the influence of various petty-bourgeois anarchist elements, since it also has a tendency to move away from us, what can the Communist Party rely on now? Here you will have to look for a way out in two directions. Either it must be said, as some local people say, that the working class in the revolutionary and political struggle and socialist construction is selfish and cannot be relied on - and such a theory has been invented - or we must say that it is impossible to rely on anyone, as Comrade Osinsky has already tried to point out. The result is an absurd situation: we find ourselves over a chasm, between the working class, which is infected with petty-bourgeois prejudices, and the peasantry, which is essentially petty-bourgeois;you can't rely on the same Soviet and party bureaucracy?".

The delegates of the Leninist Ten and the Buffer, which joined them, objected that it was inadmissible to criticize the party and state leadership in such terms as was done during the discussion preceding the congress. Leon Trotsky at the convention cited " the newspaper so Zinoviev. " I suppose, "Petrograd truth": " Autocratic power and hierarchical enterprise management system that prevails today on the railways and which promote Tsektran, together with the People's Commissariat scattered" eyes "around an enterprise that should frighten the workers, pull the reins from above, and from below encourage the workers, sometimes in the most rude form, to obey these reins - these are typical features of the manufacturing period . "

The result was summed up in the resolution of the congress "On the unity of the Party": in order to exclude criticism of RKP (b.) From the outside, the congress decided not to eliminate the phenomena that caused criticism, but to limit criticism from within. The "workers' opposition" was branded in the resolution "On the syndicalist and anarchist deviation in our party."

One way or another, the very degeneration of R.K.P. (b.), And his criticism by the opposition, split the Kronstadt Bolshevik organization. As we have already said, she was not as workers 'and peasants', as she claimed, but the level of literacy of party members was relatively high. Nor were they indifferent fellow travelers, indifferent to the situation in the country and the party. On the contrary, the Kronstadt Bolsheviks actively joined the discussion, but not through abstract theorizing, but turning to personalities, finding out which of the comrades demonstrates their bourgeoisness and in what exactly, counting the chairs in the rooms of colleagues and the dresses of their wives. During the discussion of the relationship between the "top and bottom", non-party Kronstadters, who were also not an unconscious gray mass, were drawn into the discussion. Chekist Feldman notedthat one of the reasons for the dissatisfaction of the Balts with political work is "thirst to learn, to gain knowledge ... especially among sailors . "

While " the newspaper so. Zinoviev ," that obey the Kronstadt Bolsheviks attached to the District Committee, branded " absolute authority " Tsektran, most of the organizations attached to Kronpolitotdelu, subordinate to the Commissioner of the Baltic Fleet Nikolai Kuzmin, who had already acquired appearance " fat holonogo master " and was remembered by the shout " I will not allow the committee to breed ."

During the uprising, the split became a fact. Since March 2, the Provisional Bureau of the Kronstadt organization of R.K.P. consisting of Yakov Ilyin, Anton Kabanov and the chairman of the union of metalworkers Fyodor Pervushin, already on March 3 they called on the communists to stay in their places and cooperate with the Revolutionary Committee. During the period from 2 to 5 March, all the Bolsheviks who did not leave the island, who declared their non-recognition of the Revolutionary Committee, were arrested by the rebels, partly placed in the Investigative Prison, and partly under house arrest. Thus, for almost the entire duration of the uprising, two bureaus of the Communist Party operated in the fortress. Members of the old bureau continued to call themselves Bolsheviks and were in the Investigative Prison, members of the temporary bureau supported the uprising.

The inmates of the remand prison were released during the street fighting in the fortress, while the Provisional Bureau, on the other hand, was arrested. Note that the members of the Provisional Bureau did not leave the island, unlike the majority of the members of the Revolutionary Committee. The Chekists singled out the investigation against the "Provisional Bureau" in a separate case, in which 14 people were involved. During the investigation, the members of the Provisional Bureau claimed that they were guided by tactical plans aimed at keeping the maximum number of communists at large and plotting them against the Revolutionary Committee. Investigator Kordovsky, on the contrary, believed that the appeal of the Provisional Bureau " changed the whole course of the rebellion and paralyzed all underground work". The trio agreed with the investigator's arguments, sentencing 6 people, including Ilyin, Kabanov and Pervushin to death, and the remaining 8 communists who did not take active action - to 5 years of community service conditionally.

During the uprising, the largest number of communists chose to leave the party, and this was done, as a rule, demonstratively. According to the report provided by the specially authorized Semyon Agranov to the Presidium of V.Ch.K .: " During the rebellion, the Revolutionary Committee and the editorial board received from 800 to 900 applications for withdrawal from the RCP ." In other words, applications were written by 37.6 to 42.3% of the organization's members. When re-registering the party organization, it was believed that during the uprising of R.K.P. (b.) 497 people (23.4%) voluntarily left.

When re-registering after the suppression of the uprising in R.K.P. (b.), 734 people (34.5%) were reinstated. Of these, 95 people were outside the fortress by the beginning of March, 167 people left the island and took part in suppressing the uprising, 327 people were arrested by the rebels, 135 people remained in Kronstadt, but did not take part in the events on anyone's side. In addition, 211 people were expelled from the RKP (b.) Upon re-registration, and 137 people did not go through re-registration.

The investigation did not manage to establish the facts of the activities of organized political groups in Kronstadt, which had disintegrated in 1919 and 1920. There were only individual Mensheviks, maximalists and anarchists among the mass of non-party and communists. According to the materials of the investigation, Anatoly Lamanov on March 4 wrote for Izvestiya Revkom a statement on his withdrawal from the R.K.P. (b.) And joining the Union of Socialist-Revolutionary Maximalists, but it does not follow from this that this Union is in fortress acted. During interrogations, a member of the Revolutionary Committee Vladislav Valk insisted that he considered himself a Menshevik-internationalist, but denied the existence of a Menshevik cell in Kronstadt.

Even if we admit that there were some groups of socialists or anarchists, it should still be admitted that the most numerous and organized structures of the party type in the rebellious fortress were the organizations of the communists, one of which supported the uprising, the other was arrested.

As a result, contrary to popular belief, the Kronstadt uprising must be considered an uprising of non-party and opposition communists who remained on the platform of Soviet power, but opposed the party dictatorship. This uprising was a direct continuation of the "Kronstadt Republic" of 1917, and the insurgents had a program that directly dates back to the demands of July 1917.

Andrey Kalyonov
anarchist from St. Petersburg

https://avtonom.org/pages/politicheskaya-fizionomiya-vosstavshego-kronshtadta-k-stoletiyu
_________________________________________
A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
By, For, and About Anarchists
Send news reports to A-infos-en mailing list
A-infos-en@ainfos.ca
Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://ainfos.ca/mailman/listinfo/a-infos-en
Archive: http://ainfos.ca/en
A-Infos Information Center