This article tries to go beyond the usual Kronstadt debate between Trotskyists and anarchists on why the Russian revolution failed. It includes sections on: workers' control, soviet democracy, the Red Terror, the 1921 workers' revolt and 'Stalinism'.
BEYOND KRONSTADT - THE BOLSHEVIKS IN POWER
An understanding of the Russian revolution is vital for any understanding of why the left failed in the 20th century. Yet most discussion amongst revolutionaries never goes beyond the usual argument about the Kronstadt rebellion.
First published in Spain in 1924, Angel Pestaña’s journal recounting his experiences in Russia in the summer of 1920 as the delegate sent by the Spanish anarchosyndicalist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (the CNT) to the Second Congress of the Third International, which he represents as “an objective accounting”, features encounters with Victor Serge, Peter Kropotkin, Lenin, Zinoviev, Lozovsky and Tomsky; while critical of the “mistakes” of the Bolsheviks, Pestaña ultimately absolves them of the greatest share of responsibility for the suffering of the Russian people, which he attributes to the blockade and civil war imposed and underwritten by the Western Democracies.
How Lenin wrote State and Revolution in order to extract the political project advanced by the autonomous struggles of the Russian proletariat during the July Days.
By the first days of July 1917, tensions in the Russian capital were the highest they had been since the February Revolution that deposed the Tsar, announced a Provisional Government, and gave birth to a new wave of soviets.
A short film about the Kronstadt rebellion of 1921 against the Bolshevik dictatorship.
Recently I made this short film about the Kronstadt rebellion. It is not intended as a comprehensive history of the heroic and tragic events of 1921. Instead I hope it serves as a brief overview of the revolt which will be of particular interest to those researching it for the first time.
Account of the Russian revolution written by Victor Serge, a Bolshevik who had become disillusioned with anarchism. We do not necessarily agree with it all but reproduce it for reference.
At the turn of the 20th century Białystok, an industrial city with a population of 80,000 in the Polish part of the Russian empire, was the scene of one of the earliest examples of a mass working class movement inspired by anarchist principles. The ideological impetus for the revolutionary movement in Białystok in 1903–1906 was supplied by Chernoye Znamya [Black Banner], an organization which drew on classical anarchist doctrines but also developed its own approach to building a revolutionary working class movement.
In this article, a leading participant of the movement, Iuda Solomovich Grossman-Roshchin, reminisces about Białystok Black Banner and the place it occupies in the history of proletarian revolution. By 1924, when this article was published, Grossman-Roshchin had renounced many of his earlier views but his nostalgia for the period of the 1905 Russian Revolution is apparent.
A libertarian socialist analysis of Women's roles in the Russian Revolution, critiquing Lenin and Bolshevik moves against Women's Autonomy. The author shows in every case where the party was wrong, Women were at the front, starting with the first day of the revolution when the party and the male workers were too scared to carry out the general strike. Women's Autonomy guarantees the success of the worker's revolution, which is incomplete in-itself.
Revolutionaries, in contrast to reactionaries, do not look down upon the world, but instead find in the world a source of great inspiration. A revolutionary realizes that the content of the world cannot change, but that she can give it a new form based on new productive forces.