USSR

Fighting back in Ukraine - Oleg Dubrovskii with Simon Pirani

pamphlet cover

This short pamphlet was put together by Simon Pirani in 1996/7 from a series of interviews with Ukrainian worker activist Oleg Dubrovskii. It’s of general interest in relation to the way that life for the workers changed when the old Soviet Union disintegrated, but also provides some useful background information to what’s happening in the Ukraine today.

It’s always useful to remind ourselves that the class struggle is lurking in the shadows, even in situations where national divisions appear to be far more significant than class ones.

The guillotine at work - Gregori Maximov

Originally published in 1940 in two parts, this is the (partly eyewitness) account of the Leninist terror inflicted upon Russia during the revolution after 1917. Maximov, a life-long anarchist, fought in the Russian Revolution, organized with the metal-workers, and was imprisoned by Lenin's secret police in 1920 when he refused to join the Red Army: he was happy to fight the Whites, but not put down workers' and peasants' uprisings.

Lessons of the counterrevolutions - Amadeo Bordiga

A 1953 text in which Amadeo Bordiga examines the lessons of counterrevolutions from the defeat of Spartacus to the Battle of Legnano in 1176 and from the Peasant War in Germany of 1525 to Stalinism (“State capitalism is not a semi-socialism, but just plain capitalism”) and recapitulates some “fundamental positions of Marxism”, which he describes as a “doctrine for the understanding of ... counterrevolutions”, since “everyone knows how to orient themselves at the moment of victory, but few are those who know what to do when defeat arrives” and “it is necessary to understand the counterrevolution in order to prepare the revolution of tomorrow”.

Lessons of the Counterrevolutions – Amadeo Bordiga

Introduction to the 1981 Spanish Translation

The anti-capitalist revolution in the west - Amadeo Bordiga

In this concise1953 programmatic text presented at the Genoa Meeting of the International Communist Party, Amadeo Bordiga sets forth a series of theses outlining the perspectives for revolution in the post-war world, and emphasizes that it will have to take place in the West, because of its more advanced capitalism, rather than in the less developed capitalism of Russia, based on Marx’s theory of the increasing productivity of labor and the falling rate of profit, and refers to the absence of a “communist party in the U.S. [with] an integral revolutionary program”, despite the maturity of the objective conditions there, as a “major historical problem”.

The Anti-capitalist Revolution in the West – Amadeo Bordiga

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The left and rape : why we should all be ashamed of the left’s role in covering up the rape of 2 million women.

A blogpost from an ex-Socialist Workers Party (UK) member about the neglect of the topic of rapes that occured during World War II. TRIGGER WARNING: This content deals with accounts of sexual assault and may be distressing for some people

How I was a rape denier & accepted rape myths

Not forgotten, then or now. Review: book of Russian anarchist prisoner support bulletins keeps their memory alive

The Kate Sharpley Library and Alexander Berkman Social Club collectives have recently produced a beautiful book containing complete facsimile reprints of the Bulletin of the Joint Committee for the Defense of Revolutionists Imprisoned in Russia, and the Bulletin of the Relief Fund of the International Working Men’s Association for Anarchists and Anarcho-Syndicalists Imprisoned or Exiled in Russia, which were originally published from 1923-1931.

These bulletins were produced and edited over the years by Alexander Berkman, Mark Mratchny, Milly Witcop, Rudolf Rocker, and others. They were part of the campaign to record and highlight the plight of a whole generation of anarchists and revolutionists imprisoned, exiled, or executed by the Bolshevik regime in Russia.

Great October in the Ukraine

A short piece on the events in the Ukraine during the October Revolution in 1917.

The month of October 1917 is a great historical watershed in the Russian revolution.

August 12, 1937: Killing day at Tobolsk

Tobolsk Prison

A short account of the state murder of Russian anarchists in 1937.

Tobolsk prison castle was constructed by the Tsarist authorities at the turn of the 17th -18th century. The town of Tobolsk is in Siberia on the banks of the Irtysh. Both political and common law prisoners were sent there. Many Decembrists were sent to this white-walled prison from which no one has escaped, and many died and were buried there.

Red Petrograd: revolution in the factories 1917-1918 - S.A. Smith

Well researched and detailed study of the factory-level impact of the Russian Revolution in Petrograd, dealing in particular with implementation of workers' control by the factory councils.

This book explores the impact of the 1917 Revolution on factory life
in the Russian capital. It traces the attempts of workers to take
control of their working lives from the February Revolution through
to June 1918, when the Bolsheviks nationalised industry. Although
not primarily concerned with the political developments of the

Darkness at Noon - Arthur Koestler

Darkness at Noon dramatises the Moscow show trials and the elimination of the Bolshevik old guard by "No.1" In the Fatherland of Revolution. Told primarily from the point of view of N.S. Rubashov a fictitious merging of real Bolsheviks known to Koestler

Written in 1940 and an influence on Orwell's own writings, particularly Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four Darkness at Noon is an account of one of the many show trials that were a common feature of Stalin's USSR.