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ISO and the Mahknovists

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Jabberman
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Jan 8 2008 22:46
ISO and the Mahknovists

In a debate with some Lenninists on another forum recently they linked to this article from the ISO:

More disturbing was Makhno’s treatment of women. According to Voline, Makhno and his commanders would hold drunken parties that turned into “orgies in which certain women were forced to participate.”91

http://isreview.org/issues/53/makhno.shtml

the article it self is the usual Marxist smear job, however the above allegation is one I have not heard before.

Randy
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Jan 9 2008 00:25
Jabberman wrote:
..the above allegation is one I have not heard before.

Stick around, you'll hear it again. Which says nothing for it's veracity, one way or the other.

Deezer
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Jan 9 2008 01:00

feck it

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fnbrill
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Jan 9 2008 02:33
Jabberman wrote:
the article it self is the usual Leninist smear job, however the above allegation is one I have not heard before.

Fixed.

Anarcho
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Jan 9 2008 11:54

I've already replied to this. It was printed in issue 47 of Anarcho-Syndicalist Review:

On the Bolshevik Myth

or here:

On the Bolshevik Myth

That issue of ISO magazine had three questionable articles on anarchism or anarchist related subjectes. My article covers all three. As far as Makhno goes, An Anarchist FAQ has an appendix on the Makhnovists. I have not added this attack to it yet, but I will -- eventually.

I should also note that Weekly Worker also had a go at the Makhnovists using the same (questionable) source as the ISO smear, namely Leninist historian Colin Darch. He uses Soviet sources pretty uncritically, it should be noted. There can be found at my webpage.

As far as "Makhno as rapist" goes, basically it is Voline's assertion against Ida Mett and Leah Feldman -- both of whom explicitly denied Voline's claims. Mett and Feldman were both active women Makhnovists and anarchists.

Jabberman
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Jan 12 2008 01:30

I have read 'On the Bolshevik Myth' but unless I missed something it doesn't cover this particular attack. The only reason I don't dissmiss it as Bolshevik propaganda trying to make Mahkno look like a bandit is that the assertion is accredited to Voline, who from what I understand was a Mahknovist

Feighnt
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Jan 12 2008 07:09

Voline wasnt actually a makhnovist, he was (from what i understand) shortly in NABAT - if you read what Skirda says about him, particularly in "Anarchy's Cossack," he gives the impression that Voline had only brief encounters with Makhno, and, later in his life, a rivalry seemingly grew between them. Voline became one of the most vocal critics of the Platform.

the truth of the matter, i hardly know. it's hard to know what's true and what's not, concerning Makhno and the Makhnovists, there's just so much vilification which is hard to definitively prove or disprove. and Skirda, while a good source, personally seems tricky to me, as he's... well... a bit *too* fawning, it's hard to tell if his love for Makhno hasnt gotten in the way of his objectivity at times.

however, i'll say this, concerning the whole issue: Skirda did make what seemed to me to be a believable argument concerning the myth of Makhno's drunkenness. one of the original people to spread this idea was Voline, though Skirda offers evidence that Makhno actually totally avoided drink altogether. if Voline had been wrong on this fairly important and influential accusation, he could've been quite wrong on the topic at hand.

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Red Marriott
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Jan 12 2008 14:52

As previously stated, other female participants have disputed Voline's claim. But, regardless, the Makhnovists were a movement of thousands continuing for 4 years over a wide territory. So even if the accusation were true it wouldn't negate the validity of the whole movement; unless one evaluates on the terms of bourgeois history - the history of heroic iconic leaders etc. - which is not very anarchist anyway. Though the fact that Makhno became such a figurehead may have been a major weakness in itself.

Anarcho
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Jan 14 2008 14:44
Jabberman wrote:
I have read 'On the Bolshevik Myth' but unless I missed something it doesn't cover this particular attack. The only reason I don't dissmiss it as Bolshevik propaganda trying to make Mahkno look like a bandit is that the assertion is accredited to Voline, who from what I understand was a Mahknovist

I did not cover it because I was concentrating on the social movement and not on individuals. Unlike the ISO, I do not equate a mass social movement with one person. Regardless of Makhno's good and bad qualities, it was a class movement and that is what should be remembered.

When this issue is mentioned in comments, I provide the claims of the two Makhnovist women. I have no way of saying who is correct, but it seems strange that Ida and Leah would have defended Makhno if Voline's claims were true.