A day mournful and overcast... An account of the Iron Column

A personal account of a liberated prisoner's experience as a fighter during the Spanish Civil War and Revolution of 1936-9 in the anarchist militia unit called the Iron Column prior to its incorporation into the Communist-run Republican army.

"An alliance concluded between two different parties turns to the advantage of the more reactionary of the two; this alliance necessarily enfeebles the more progressive party by diminishing and distorting its programme." - Michael Bakunin.

Anarchists in the Russian Revolution - Paul Avrich

Anarchists protest against the Bolshevik dictatorship.

The Anarchists in the Russian Revolution, Paul Avrich. We present this in PDF format (270kb) but hope to convert it to text in the near future.

Why past revolutionary movements have failed

Anton Pannekoek

Anton Pannekoek, from "Living Marxism" Vol. 5, # 2 - Fall 1940.

Thirty years ago every socialist was convinced that the approaching war of the great capitalist powers would mean the final catastrophe of capitalism and would be succeeded by the proletarian revolution. Even when the war did break out and the socialist and labor movement collapsed as a revolutionary factor, the hopes of the revolutionary workers ran high.

When insurrections die - Gilles Dauvé

Franco, Mussolini and Hitler

Gilles Dauvé's pamphlet on the on the failures of the Russian, Spanish and German Revolutions, and the rise of fascism in Europe.

Brest-Litovsk, 1917 and 1939

"If the Russian Revolution becomes the signal for a proletarian revolution in the West, so that both complement each other, the present Russian common ownership of land may serve as the starting point for a communist development."

The civil war in France - Karl Marx

Karl Marx's contemporary account of the Paris Commune, placing it in context fo the wider events in France at the time. The Paris Commune significantly changed Marx's ideas about the "Dictatorship of the Proletariat", and his support for it's organisation structures suggests a different trajectory of revolutionary organisation to the "Marxist" revolutions in the 20th Century.

Written: July 1870 - May 1871;
First Published: 1871;
Source: English Edition of 1871;
Translated: from the French;
Transcription/Markup: Zodiac & Brian Basgen;
Online Version: Marx/Engels Internet Archive ( 1993, 2000.

The Paris Commune and the idea of the state - Mikhail Bakunin

Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin on the Paris Commune and the idea of government and the state.

This work, like all my published work, of which there has not been a great deal, is an outgrowth of events. It is the natural continuation of my Letters to a Frenchman (September 1870), wherein I had the easy but painful distinction of foreseeing and foretelling the dire calamities which now beset France and the whole civilized world, the only cure for which is the Social Revolution.

The Commune of Paris - Peter Kropotkin

Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin's analysis of the Paris Commune, a defining moment in revolutionary history which inspired both marxist and anarchist revolutionaries for many years afterwards, and warrants continued attention today.

The original English version appeared as Freedom Pamphlets, no. 2, London: W. Reeves, 1895, based on the original French version published in Le Révolté, March 20, 1880.
This text taken from the on-line version at Anarchist Archives

The Commune of Paris
By Peter Kropotkin

Hungary '56 - Andy Anderson

Andy Anderson's pamphlet, written in 1964 and published by Solidarity is invaluable as a guide to the events of the Hungarian uprising of 1956.

The demands for economic and political self-management were common to many revolutions of the past, but were unique in that they occurred in the context of the 'Communist' USSR, and after Stalin's regime had ended.

Re-published by AK Press 2002
ISBN: 0 934868 01 8

"We shall drag the blood-soaked Hungarian mud on to the carpets of your drawing rooms.