NIHILIST — Ukrainian anarchist online zine

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2C-B
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Feb 11 2018 15:15
NIHILIST — Ukrainian anarchist online zine

Happy to present the international section of the Ukrainian online publication "Nihilist". We translate our articles about Ukrainian affairs, military conflict and anarchist theory mostly in English.

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Editorial site NIHILIST are anarchists and anti-authoritarian radical left.

We allow ourselves to call a spade a spade directly honestly and sincerely. We are not afraid to seem «unconstructive», because we understand that «constructiveness» is a so-called «fair play».

We are not afraid to offend someone’s feelings and aesthetic tastes, because these feelings and tastes are formed by the system we are fighting against.

We are not afraid to seem destructive, because we are the destroyers indeed.

The State, the Family, the Church and the Сapital must die, and we make sure these ungrateful dead, guided by the thirst for power, do not drag the whole world down into their graves.

Sooner or later some beautiful flowers will grow on these graves and they will be cultivated by wise and sensitive gardeners. But now mankind needs much more evil and uncompromising gravediggers.

Read the newest articles here: https://www.nihilist.li/inter-antinational/

2C-B
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Feb 12 2018 12:28

Fascists and rebellion

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It happens that the fascists behave like revolutionaries. They fight with the police, expose large property fraud, use their flags at the strikes. This is their common tactic. They manipulate something precious and close to target audience’s heart by using flattery. When there is a need to agitate the masses of dissatisfied — fascists will build barricades, turn over cars and embody other dreams of an embittered citizen. And then, on a wave of universal trust, they come to power and turn the country into hell. Under their vigilant leadership, the «fatherland» will always be «in danger». Not the time for revolution, my dear! You’d better look for enemies not think about radical measures of justice.
2C-B
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Feb 14 2018 14:09

Anarchism and war

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Among leftist pacifists, it is widely believed that those Ukrainian anarchists who took an anti-Russian position, had made their choice under the influence of state or nationalist propaganda. Allegedly, life in an aggressive, authoritarian environment, broke their will and forced them to obey. I would like to stop this nonsense, because the anarchists came to the anti-Russian position not because of, but in spite of propaganda.

The authority shout like on bullhorn that Russia violated treacherously our sovereignty. Are state borders an argument for those who profess anarchist views, after all? Absolutely not. The state and its jurisdiction is not a value, and the more this state comes to freedom, the more resistance it deserves. In the current conflict, the Russian state is the more terrible enemy of freedom, and therefore, logic and common sense force to oppose it, first of all.

2C-B
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Feb 15 2018 10:20

Why leftists can’t support Novorossia

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I write this only to make people stop talking about «the division of the left into supporters and opponents of the Novorossia». Novorossia is a non-class project: the workers in it are fighting against other workers, and not against the capitalists. The workers are not fighting under the leadership of the workers’ party, but under the leadership of the Moscow oligarchs and Russian fascists (not those, of course, on the battlefields). Novorossia is an anti-humanistic project: its agents deny the diversity of religions and life-styles, any right of an unarmed person. And all these facts are known to us, unless we are afraid to face the truth.
Spikymike
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Feb 15 2018 11:03

Despite a reasonable sounding start to this announcement, we should have some serious doubts about aspects of this groups claimed independence from Ukrainian nationalism in it's 'lesser evil' approach to fighting the authoritarian Russian lead occupation of eastern Ukraine and Crimea until there is chance to examine their politics more thoroughly - maybe others who post on libcom with more knowledge on the Ukrainian political scene could help with that??

2C-B
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Feb 15 2018 13:18

I'm sure that you are guided by the best motives and you did not want to insult anyone, but such a comment looks really disrespectful and arrogant.

What is nationalism for you and why do you have doubts about the relationship between the magazine and the nationalists?

What is "the lesser evil" in your understanding and why should this concept influence the evaluation of events that happen without your participation and far from your home?

2C-B
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Feb 15 2018 13:24

Nationalism and the National Question

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It should be noted that ethnocultural and even just linguistic unity in the formation of the nation plays an important part, but it is, by no means, paramount. Examples being of a Swiss nation made up of several compactly residing ethnic groups, or the antagonism of the nations of the former Yugoslavia, which sometimes has a purely confessional and political background, with actual cultural and linguistic homogeneity, is clearly demonstrated. A nation is a product of the development of capitalist production relations in a particular territory and the basic structural unit of the world capitalist economy. On the subjective plane, this is a product of socio-political action, that is, created (in many cases artificially, virtually from scratch, then to be used by the state, as in the case of Ukrainian and Russian nationalisms) at a certain historical moment, a community that relies on developing economic relations. National identity can not be measured and defined in any way, but ideological. In other words, a nation exists as long as its representatives coexist in a homogeneous socio-economic space, believe in a common goal, and support the actions that lead to it.
Spikymike
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Feb 16 2018 11:06

My previous post here expressed my doubts about the 'internationalist' credentials of this group specifically in relation to the short text titled 'Anarchism and War' which I found confusing and in need of some clarification. They say for instance, ''Due to the circumstances,the anarchists were not only permissible, but it was also necessary, to join the ranks of the armed formations'' fighting against the Russian supported authorities in the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. Which 'armed formations' and within which territories is unclear and who exactly these anarchist would be fighting alongside isn't stated. The text alongside others makes clear this groups ideological opposition to the state and nationalism but also appears to acknowledge that what they are advocating is still in practice aligned with the interests of the Ukrainian state 'in the circumstances'. The 'lesser evil' chosen in this case is the limited freedoms for them and others to operate within the confines of the Ukrainian state as compared with the more repressive conditions in the Russian occupied areas. Whilst there is a history of independent anarchist armed formations in the past acting within and across national state boundaries as auxiliaries to rising class struggles against their respective states, the approach of this group seems a long way from that? Given previous criticism on this site of some Ukrainian anarchist politics and activities in the period prior to the Russian incursions I thought this aspect of the groups politics deserved more scrutiny and preferably by some of those who have previously contributed on these issues.
PS: See here just one of a very long list of previous discussions that come to mind.
https://libcom.org/forums/general/ukraine-crisis-left-07102014

2C-B
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Feb 23 2018 16:51
Spikymike wrote:
Which 'armed formations' and within which territories is unclear and who exactly these anarchist would be fighting alongside isn't stated.

Ukraine is just as a post-revolutionary colony that suffer from imperialist military reaction. The armed formations means army and unofficial military formations that resist Russian military aggression. Anarchists aren't a major political group so would be fighting alongside other citizens of different political views.

Spikymike wrote:
The text alongside others makes clear this groups ideological opposition to the state and nationalism but also appears to acknowledge that what they are advocating is still in practice aligned with the interests of the Ukrainian state 'in the circumstances'.

That's true - right now Ukrainian anarchists have no better choice rather then fight alongside other citizens of different political beliefs in the ranks of army. If they had a possibility to fight Russian intervention separately it would be fantastic. But the point is that there are no such possibilities and they can't just hide from military tasks behind the backs of Ukrainian soldiers - people that die for peace in the larger part of unoccupied territories.

Spikymike wrote:
Whilst there is a history of independent anarchist armed formations in the past acting within and across national state boundaries as auxiliaries to rising class struggles against their respective states, the approach of this group seems a long way from that?

The defeat of Russian imperialism will break Ukrainian dominion status. This means there will be many ways to develop class politics that isn't much popular during all-national military suffer. Independent anarchist armed formations were based on mass peasant, working class and soldiers' support.

bastarx
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Feb 24 2018 03:03
2C-B wrote:
The defeat of Russian imperialism will break Ukrainian dominion status. This means there will be many ways to develop class politics that isn't much popular during all-national military suffer. Independent anarchist armed formations were based on mass peasant, working class and soldiers' support.

An interesting new take on stage theory. Classically it was national liberation movements supported by the Soviet Union and opposed by the USA that had to be victorious before capitalism could be properly opposed. Now it's a nationalist movement supported by the USA. Where else have we seen that lately?

redschlog
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Feb 24 2018 11:54

I witter on about modern 'anarchists' being, in practice, indistinguishable from tankies and, like magic, before my very eyes one appears.

2C-B
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Feb 25 2018 09:15



About historical tradition: Anarchism and Nationalism

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We have been confronted with the fact that some individuals who have aligned themselves to the anarchist movement are trying to consider certain emancipatory traditions of certain members to be the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists and Ukrainian Insurgent Army (OUN, UPA).

We understand the reasons of such ideological mutations. They provide an opportunity to build alliances with those representatives of Ukrainian nationalists who are trying to invent another and more decent ideological pedigree. Let’s recall the past of the organized nationalism of the «Bandera trend», focusing on the events of the 40’s. After all, the events of this period are often falsified.

Spikymike
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Feb 25 2018 11:49

And I wonder what all the groups who much earlier signed this statement:
https://libcom.org/news/declaration-internationalists-againt-war-ukraine-critical-introduction-15042014
would make of this current Ukrainian anarchists strange approach to strategy and tactics that appear to diverge from an otherwise familiar critique of capitalism and the nation state if not of the more recent phase of inter-imperialist confrontation??

2C-B
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Feb 25 2018 12:51

About revolutionaries and armies

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Until the end of the 19th century, in a number of the largest and most influential powers, the army had been a kind of hard labor where an ordinary man, a soldier, could count on survival only. Powers, privileges and career opportunities had been in the hands of the commanding officers, treating soldiers as supplies. The only exceptions being the forces of those countries in which the revolution had won.

Thus, volunteers went en masse into the army of the first French Republic, for ideological reasons. The military patriotism of that time gave formerly disenfranchised French the opportunity to make an independent decision and rely on its fruits.

The old empires had been able to achieve goodwill from the patrials only towards the 20th century, but far from all social groups. The German Empire could count, for example, on patriotic high school students, ready to rush for the fatherland into trenches. In the Russian Empire, the students of military schools joyously died for their faith, the tsar and the fatherland. The ideological heir of the Empire — the White Movement — and all allegedly «Voluntaria».

Spikymike
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Feb 25 2018 13:44

An unfortunate direct line of argument from the second world war's 'defence of democracy' against fascism, the defence of the democratic republic against fascism in 1930's Spain, the defence of democracy against Islamic Fascism in Syria, to the defence of Ukrainian democracy against Russian state Fascism today on the basis of anarchist principles! Generally Internationalist anarchists and communist were opposed to that line previously and certainly things have moved on in today's global capitalism and imperialist line-up not to simply give old arguments some new clothes.

2C-B
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Feb 25 2018 17:27

So what's your practical proposition for anarchists in Ukraine during reactionary military aggression, if you think they're wrong about joining the armed structures?

Spikymike
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Feb 25 2018 17:43

2C-B, Well I'm not arguing against people resorting to self-defence when directly attacked by state or state aligned forces but that is a long way from signing up with the same such forces on either side of state sponsored inter-imperialist/civil wars. I understand the choice you have made but minorities such as yours will be fighting alongside your enemies for reasons that may seem sound in your own mind but in practice will serve the objective interests of the relevant states.

2C-B
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Feb 25 2018 19:59

Well, the self-isolation during military suffer from far-right clerical dictatorship is equal to malicious inactivity. You can't be neutral during all-social crisis but you can choose the closest side and fight for your truth alongside thousands of people who believe in the better world, even if it's not anarchy. So it goes.

bastarx
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Feb 25 2018 23:15
2C-B wrote:
Well, the self-isolation during military suffer from far-right clerical dictatorship is equal to malicious inactivity. You can't be neutral during all-social crisis but you can choose the closest side and fight for your truth alongside thousands of people who believe in the better world, even if it's not anarchy. So it goes.

Even if many of those thousands of people are outright fascists?

Why are Eastern European "anarchists" so frequently drawn towards fascism?

2C-B
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Feb 26 2018 07:25
bastarx wrote:
Even if many of those thousands of people are outright fascists?

I'm not sure that it's possible to cooperate with outright fascists. I am talking about majority of people who follow the common sense ideas.

bastarx wrote:
Why are Eastern European "anarchists" so frequently drawn towards fascism?

Who are those "Eastern European anarchists"?

2C-B
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Feb 26 2018 07:27

Anarchist military organization during the civil war in Spain

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According to a widespread prejudice, «ideological anarchism» excludes a classical military organization based on a one-man command and obedience to orders. This comes not only from the anti-anarchist propaganda of the Bolsheviks, who represented the anarchists as an uncontrollable rabble. Even the anarchists themselves, competing in a level of ideological purity, sometimes claim that true anarchism is so much anti-authoritatian that it excludes a one-man command from military tasks. This can usually be heard from insurgent anarchists, who reduce all forceful actions to the coordination of the set of affinity groups.

But if this can be effective for direct action, then to protect the revolution, and even more to counter foreign invasion, this method is not suitable. How can you fight the thousands-strong army formation with the autonomous groups of 10-20 people who at any moment can split up? A war with anyone requires supplies, strict discipline and guarantees that units will not give up their weapons.

But even those who glorify the role of the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) and the National Confederation of Labor (CNT) in the Spanish revolution, can’t ignore or deny the fact that they have typical army principles. Dissolve these prejudices by the example of the Confederal Militia — the armed forces of Spanish revolutionaries during the civil war of 1936-1939.

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Noa Rodman
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Feb 26 2018 15:44

Do you try to make contact with anarchist groups in Russia?

And if I may ask, how many people are working on your site and organisation? Does it represent just some isolated young intellectuals or do you have influence on the (political) scene?

Blesk
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Feb 26 2018 15:58
bastarx wrote:
An interesting new take on stage theory. Classically it was national liberation movements supported by the Soviet Union and opposed by the USA that had to be victorious before capitalism could be properly opposed. Now it's a nationalist movement supported by the USA. Where else have we seen that lately?

RO-RO-ROjava
O-O-Ocalan

bastarx
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Feb 26 2018 22:15
2C-B wrote:
bastarx wrote:
Even if many of those thousands of people are outright fascists?

I'm not sure that it's possible to cooperate with outright fascists. I am talking about majority of people who follow the common sense ideas.

bastarx wrote:
Why are Eastern European "anarchists" so frequently drawn towards fascism?

Who are those "Eastern European anarchists"?

The common sense ideas of nationalism? It's certainly unfortunate that so many proles have nationalist ideas. Doesn't mean radicals have to pretend to share them.

You for a start, supporting the war against the separatists in Eastern Ukraine, a war that is very popular with fascists.

2C-B
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Mar 2 2018 13:41
Noa Rodman wrote:
Do you try to make contact with anarchist groups in Russia?

Sure thing. NIHILIST.LI editorial board includes also Russian anarchists. But the broader anarchist circles in Russia treat us with suspicion.
Mostly they stand for the "civil war" concept - an idea that Ukrainian conflict means internal quarrels of the bourgeoisie and has nothing in common with Russian imperialist aggression.
Other Russian anarchists believe that Russian-Ukrainian war is the conflict between USA/NATO and Kremlin (or between Ukrainian and Russian bourgeoisie), so the revolutionaries shouldn't step in.
Thanks god that pro-Russian puppet Donbass republics (so called "workers'/antifascist mass uprising against Ukrainian fascism") aren't popular among them.
Russian anarchists in the majority don't want to support the Ukrainian resistance against Russian reactionary intervention. This is the main point of communication failure.
While Russian revolutionaries talk about possibility or impossibility of supporting Ukrainian resistance, Russian bombs kill Ukrainians and Russian special services special services kidnap, torture and imprison Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in the occupied territories.

Noa Rodman wrote:
And if I may ask, how many people are working on your site and organisation? Does it represent just some isolated young intellectuals or do you have influence on the (political) scene?

Our editorial board consists of 15 authors (30 y.o. in the majority) that work in different industries and are active in different social movements.
About the influence. For example, our media efforts revealed reactionary essence of Ukrainian leftists that joined "novorossia" project and led to the fact that their funding from the majority of the European left was stopped.
Also NIILIST.LI remains the only independent editorial office that deals with socio-economic and class matters of Ukraine and doesn't submit to the reactionary forces of Ukrainian, Russian or German establishment (Like Die Linke and their international foundations). We bear the burden not only of anarchist but also of liberal political work, revealing the reactionary nature of right-conservative and nationalist parties and movements that oppose the rights of women and LGBT people. It's hard to say how much our publication affects the state of affairs in Ukrainian society - but we continue to work.

2C-B
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Mar 2 2018 13:55
bastarx wrote:
The common sense ideas of nationalism? It's certainly unfortunate that so many proles have nationalist ideas. Doesn't mean radicals have to pretend to share them.

Civic nationalism of liberal kind is the common idea in Ukraine, that's true.
Are you trying to teach us? Well, you can settle in Ukraine and show us, what the real radical politics is.

bastarx wrote:
You for a start, supporting the war against the separatists in Eastern Ukraine, a war that is very popular with fascists.

1. There are no separatists in Ukraine. There are right-conservative, clerical and fascist pro-Russian irredentist.
2. Ukrainian fascists (the Dark Enlightenment, Neoreactionary kind like the "National Corps" party) promote the so called pan-slavic and monarchist ideas of white brotherhood of Russians and Ukrainians. Traditional Ukrainian nationalists die out as a political force. Of course fascists support the war against occupants - this is all-national idea.
3. The fact that anarchists and fascists have similar tasks doesn't make this tasks toxic. The main difference between us is that anarchists want make Ukraine free from reactionary forces, both Ukrainian and Russian, and fascists want make Ukraine a right-conservative police state of Russian kind.

2C-B
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Mar 2 2018 13:58


Kievan anarchist’s confession

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Events in the Crimea and in the East were classic counter-revolution and intervention in one bottle. In Russia, there is a similar regime of bureaucratic kleptocracy, which acted as the suzerain of Yanukovich. To demand peace and an agreement with the Russian Federation — to give guarantees that the bourgeois revolution will be strangled by political methods. There are no other tasks for Russia and the clients of the owners of Donbass and cannot be.

The counter-revolution acquired the character of a clerical-conservative reaction. In the Donbass, we see the realization of the very «conservative revolution» that the far-right thinkers of the West and the East have long dreamed of. The ideology of the DPR / LPR is an original form of Russian totalitarian nationalism. That is, it is fascism in the «anti-fascist» wrapper.

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Noa Rodman
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Mar 2 2018 21:36
2C-B wrote:
Our editorial board consists of 15 authors (30 y.o. in the majority) that work in different industries and are active in different social movements.

There's no denying that your Nihilist.li group appears to be a deeply committed, and genuine and well-read anarchists (e.g. you translated an article on nationalism from old TheCommune website).

And your defencist position can be found already in Bakunin himself, who in 1870 urged French workers and peasants to fight in the Franco-Prussian war, to exterminate every one the 5 to 600,000 of the "armed gangs of Prussian militarism" on French soil ("d'exterminer jusqu'au dernier soldat du roi de Prusse et de Bismarck") – not to leave a single one of them alive (letter 2 September 1870), in the name of the holy cause of revolutionary socialism. His reason too was, like yours, that the official French government was not actively enough in the prosecution of the war.

(not that I compare Donbas situation to Prussian invasion)

In case of the (for now unlikely) scenario that the Ukrainian government at some point in the future will accept the situation of Donbass autonomy/loss of Crimea, and cease the war/mobilisation, what will your position be then?

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Karetelnik
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Mar 2 2018 23:21

Noa Rodman wrote:

Quote:
And your defencist position can be found already in Bakunin himself, who in 1870 urged French workers and peasants to fight in the Franco-Prussian war, to exterminate every one the 5 to 600,000 of the "armed gangs of Prussian militarism" on French soil ("d'exterminer jusqu'au dernier soldat du roi de Prusse et de Bismarck") – not to leave a single one of them alive (letter 2 September 1870), in the name of the holy cause of revolutionary socialism. His reason too was, like yours, that the official French government was not actively enough in the prosecution of the war.

But Bakunin insisted that before the German troops could be expelled from France, there had to be a popular revolt to overthrow the "internal Prussians," i.e. the French bourgeoisie. This is quite different from a defencist position that intends to preserve the prevailing social system.

Bakunin's writings on the Franco-Prussian War were used by anarchists (James Guillaume, for one) to justify their defencist position in World War I (supporting the Entente powers). But very few anarchists at that time were swayed by their arguments.

As for exterminating the "armed gangs of Prussian militarism," let's look at Bakunin's complete sentence:

Quote:
Car celui-ci leur commande, dans l’intérêt des travailleurs de tous les pays, de détruire ces bandes féroces du despotisme allemand, comme elles-mêmes ont détruit les bandes armées du despotisme français, d’exterminer jusqu’au dernier soldat du roi de Prusse et de Bismarck, au point qu’aucun ne puisse quitter vivant ou armé le sol de la France.

I would translate this as:

Quote:
For this [sacred cause] requires, in the interests of the workers of all countries, that [the French workers] destroy these ferocious bands of German despotism, just as the latter destroyed the armed bands of French despotism; that they eliminate the armies of the King of Prussia and Bismarck to the last soldier, to the point that no one can leave the soil of France alive or armed.

Since Bakunin suggests that German soldiers could leave France if they laid down their arms, perhaps he was not as bloodthirsty as appears at first sight.

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Karetelnik
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Mar 2 2018 23:22

double post

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Noa Rodman
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Mar 3 2018 09:04

Another difference from the time of Bakunin in 1870 France, is that people employed in agriculture (I don't know if they include independent peasants) in Ukraine today are about 6% of the labour force, so there's no sense to call for a popular revolt of peasants in the countryside of Ukraine.