The Underground Anarchists and the 1919 bombing of the Bolshevik Moscow HQ

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Boris Badenov
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Aug 9 2009 02:07
The Underground Anarchists and the 1919 bombing of the Bolshevik Moscow HQ

I was reading the wikipedia page on Lev Chernyi (Russian anarchist) and it mentioned this incident:

Quote:
On September 25, 1919, together with a number of leftist social revolutionaries, the Underground Anarchists bombed the headquarters of the Moscow Committee of the Communist Party during a plenary meeting. Twelve Communists were killed and fifty-five others were wounded, including eminent Bolshevik theorist and Pravda editor Nikolai Bukharin.[7] Chernyi was detained along with Fanya Baron on a counterfeiting charge.[8] In August 1921, the Moscow Izvestia published an official report announcing that ten "anarchist bandits", among them Chernyi, had been shot without hearing or trial. However, historian of anarchism Paul Avrich contends that Chernyi was executed in September of that year rather than August.[1] Although he was not personally involved in the bombing of the Communist Party headquarters, Chernyi was, because of his association with the Underground Anarchists, a likely candidate for a frameup. The Communists refused to turn over his body to his family for burial, and rumors persisted that he had in fact died of torture.

Does anybody know more about who the Underground Anarchists were or about the nature of this incident?

Dave B
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Aug 9 2009 09:09

Berkman mentions it

Quote:
From now on the Bolsheviki, under cover of the dictatorship of the proletariat, use every effort to build up a centralised bureaucratic State. All who interpreted the Social Revolution as, primarily, the self-determination of the masses, the introduction of free, non-governmental Communism, --- they are henceforth doomed to persecution. This persecution was directed, first of all, against the critics from "the left", the Anarchists. In April, 1918, the ruling Communist Party decided to abolish all Anarchist organisations. Without warning, on the night of April 12th, the Anarchist club of Moscow was surrounded by artillery and machine guns, and those present on the premises ordered to surrender. Fire was opened on those resisting. The Anarchist quarters were raided, and the following day the entire Anarchist press was suppressed.

Since then the persecution of Anarchists and of their organisations has assumed a systematic character. On the one hand our comrades were perishing on the military fronts, fighting counter- revolution; on the other, they were struck down by the Bolshevik State by means of the Extraordinary Commissions (Tcheka).

The further the ruling Party departed from the path marked out by the October Revolution, the more determinedly it oppressed the other revolutionary elements and particularly the Anarchists. In November, 1918, the All-Russian Conference of the Anarcho-Syndicalists, held in Moscow, was arrested in corpore. The other Anarchist organisations were broken up and terrorised. Because of the total impossibility of legal activity, some Anarchists decided to "go underground". Several of them, in cooperation with some left Socialist-Revolutionists, resorted to terrorism. On September 25, 1919, they exploded a bomb in the building (Leontevsky Pereulok) in which the Moscow Committee of the Party was in session. The Anarchist organisations of Moscow, not considering terrorism a solution of the difficulties, publicly expressed disapproval of the tactics of the underground group. The government, however, replied with repressions against all Anarchists. Many members of the underground group were executed, a number of Moscow Anarchists were arrested, and in the provinces every expression of the Anarchist movement was suppressed. The finding, during a search, of such Anarchist literature as the works of Kropotkin or Bakunin, led to arrest.

http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_archives/bright/berkman/iish/rusrev/russianrevandcp.html

Eastern Barbarian
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Aug 10 2009 01:15

that was the group closely connected with Machnovists, I believe led by Natasha Nikiforova, sent to Moscow as one of Machno's "special units" (other groups were sent to other parts of Russia and Ukraine with different missions such as bombing HQ of Wrangel etc. some more info about that in pamphlet Atamanasha published quite recently by Black Cat Press from Canada.

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Steven.
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Aug 10 2009 10:09
Eastern Barbarian wrote:
that was the group closely connected with Machnovists, I believe led by Natasha Nikiforova

I just googled, looks like she still has a Facebook profile in the Ukraine:
http://ru-ru.facebook.com/people/Natasha-Nikiforova/1527853327?_fb_noscript=1

Boris Badenov
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Aug 10 2009 15:35
Steven. wrote:
I just googled, looks like she still has a Facebook profile in the Ukraine:
http://ru-ru.facebook.com/people/Natasha-Nikiforova/1527853327?_fb_noscript=1

Well I definitely would blow up anything that woman told me to.

Thanks for the info, Dave and EB. I guess they couldn't have all been Makhnovists; some were definitely 'homegrown.'

Quote:
Because of the total impossibility of legal activity, some Anarchists decided to "go underground". Several of them, in cooperation with some left Socialist-Revolutionists, resorted to terrorism. On September 25, 1919, they exploded a bomb in the building (Leontevsky Pereulok) in which the Moscow Committee of the Party was in session. The Anarchist organisations of Moscow, not considering terrorism a solution of the difficulties, publicly expressed disapproval of the tactics of the underground group.

This is strange. Obviously 'terrorism' is a strategical dead-end but when the Bolshies are rounding up your lot and putting you in front of the execution squad, surely bombing a bunch of bastards like the CP elite is not such a great crime. And it's not like all (and probably most) of those accused of planning the bombing were in any way connected to it (Chernyi is only one example).

Dave B
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Aug 10 2009 16:31

Yes and lets not forget that the Bolsheviks were rounding the Marxists up as well. As anarchists.

The following was the reaction to a mass arrest of a Menshevik congress of workers and comes from British foreign office/ M16 dossier that was being compiled at the time;

Quote:
Protest of the (Russian) Social Democratic Labour Party and of the Jewish Socialist Party sent to the executive Committees of all Socialist Parties of Europe and America, August 1918

The imaginary dictatorship of the proletariat has definitely turned into the dictatorship of the Bolshevik party, which attracted all sorts of adventurers and suspicious characters and is supported only by the naked force of hired bayonets. Their sham socialism…………….

In the continuing struggle against the Bolshevik tyranny which dishonours the Russian revolution, social democracy pursues the following aims.

1) To make it impossible for the working class to have to shed its blood for the sake of maintaining the sham dictatorship of the toiling masses or of the sham socialistic order, both of which are bound to perish and are meanwhile killing the soul and body of the proletariat.

2) To organise the working class into a force which, in union with other democratic forces of the country will be able to throw off the yoke of the Bolshevik regime, to defend the democratic conquests ofthe revolution…….'

As well as; part of the same collection;

From R.H. Lockhart, 10th November 1918, document No,10 in ‘Bolshevism In Russia’

Quote:
“the worst crimes of the Bolsheviks have been against their socialist opponents. Of the countless executions which the Bolsheviks have carried out , a large percentage has fallen on the heads of Socialists.”

One can only wonder how M16 assessed this kind of intelligence;

“So what do you think Sir George, perhaps these Bolsheviks might be some of our kind of people.”

Battlescarred
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Aug 21 2009 23:01

It wasn't Natacha Nikiforova , it was Marussia Nikiforova!!! The Underground Anarchists (VOAP) numbered about 30 and had ten safe houses in Moscow. Groundwork for the VOAP had been laid by Witold Bhzostek, companion of Nikiforova and later hanged with her by the Whites. The leading activists of the VOAP were the Moscow railway worker Kasimierz Kovalevich ( who had spent years in prison under the Tsarist regime) and Yakov Glazgon who had worked in the Makhnovist counter-intelligence and Nikolai Markov, a leading light in the Russian Federation of Anarchist Youth as well as Piotr Sobelev who had also had connections with the Makhnovists. The bomb attack was in response for the execution by the Cheka of 7 Makhnovists in Kharkov on June 17th, 1919 (Kostin, Polunin, Mikhalev-Pavlenko, Byrbygu,Oleinik, Korobko and Ozerov)

akai
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Aug 22 2009 12:12

The revenge for the deaths of the seven rebels is specifically mentioned as one of the reasons for revenge, but not the main one. The main reason was that the Bolsheviks were to discuss intensifying repression, including declaring martial law in Moscow and shooting anarchists, left SRs and rebellious peasants.

From the notes of the underground anarchists and participants, they claim that a left SR that they met told them about this and they planned the act on the same day. The communique was written after the bomb was thrown and appeared two days later. The committee which signed it was non-existant.

Some people were later arrested. There was a shoot out with some anarchists who blew themselves up rather than be arrested. The pro-Bolshevik anarchists condemned the act.

BTW, Geitzman, who is mentioned in another thread here, was one of those who condemned the act and later became a Bolshevik scum. Of course worse happened and some even worked at the Cheka and killed people.

Russia speakers can download the Red Book of the Moscow Cheka here: http://www.alleng.ru/d/hist/hist044.htm

I put some excerpts from it and the anarchist document book here:

«Взрыву в Леонтьевском переулке предшествовали следующие обстоятельства. В тот же день в 3 часа, по рассказу Ковалевича, явился на Арбат один левый эсер, который сказал якобы, что вечером состоится собрание комитета РКП(б), на котором будут все видные представители партии и будут обсуждать вопрос о введении в Москве осадного положения и о борьбе с анархистами подполья, о которых комитет якобы имел уже некоторые сведения, об ее работе, об ее количестве. В тот же день вечером акт был сделан. Кто принимал в нем участие, точно не знаю, но знаю, что там были Соболев, Барановский, Миша Гречаников; кто бросил бомбу, не знаю, но факт тот, что дело, сделанное под влиянием чувств, им самим не доставило никакого удовлетворения, они сами испугались своего акта, когда узнали, что большинство погибших там рабочие. Чем и можно объяснить тот факт, что «Извещение», выпущенное после акта, было подписано не организацией, а каким-то несуществующим повстанческим комитетом. По всему вероятию, и они боялись взять на себя ответственность за дело, которое впоследствии они же сами ничем не могли оправдать и не оправдывали, и если впоследствии они опять кричали в своей газете о том, что сделали они, то я лично думаю, что это вызвано не сознанием самого акта, а скорее их упрямством, их нежеланием сознаться в своей ошибке, короче, желанием остаться правыми в своих действиях. Вот все, что можно сообщить о жизни и деятельности организации анархистов подполья…

… Взрыв в Леонтьевском переулке подготовлялся, вероятно, активными членами организации, так как мы, рядовые члены, абсолютно ничего не знали, только по совершении акта на второй день мне лично (М. Тямину. – Редактор) была поручена Ковалевичем пачка листовок с приказанием разбросать ее. Думаю, что и остальным было поручено то же самое.»

«Взрыв в Леонтьевском переулке был произведен анархистами подполья. В нем участвовали 5 человек: я (Барановский А.Н. – редактор), Петр Соболев (он бросал бомбу), Миша Гречаников, Федя Николаев и один, который убит на даче в Красково, фамилии его я не назову. Взрыв был произведен по инициативе Петра Соболева, который слыхал от одного видного коммуниста, как он говорил, что на заседании Московского комитета будет обсуждаться вопрос об эвакуации и сдаче Москвы, и он думал, что мы должны и сможем помещать этому. Он пришел ко мне в Дегтярный переулок, где я лежал больной тифом (только что заболел). Я был возмущен тем, что он мне рассказал о сдаче Москвы. Тогда же он предложил мне взорвать это заседание, и я согласился. Мы вместе пошли за бомбой на Арбат, дом № 30, кв. 58, где она хранилась. Взяв ее, мы пошли в Чернышевский переулок, где нас уже дожидались другие участники взрыва. Я перелез через ограду в Чернышевском переулке. Соболев передал мне бомбу на ограду. Я бомбу положил на землю внутри ограды, затем влез опять на ограду и помог Соболеву перелезть в свою очередь. Затем мы вместе с ним подошли к дому; Петр попробовал, удобно ли влезть по лестнице на балкончик; влезая туда, осмотрел место, потом слез.

Вместе с ним мы подошли к лежавшей у ограды бомбе, он зажег шнуровую зажигалку, обыкновенно употребляемую для раскуривания, положил ее в карман, бомбу взял под мышку и влез опять на балкончик, зажег зажигалкой бикфордов шнур бомбы и бросил ее в окно. Я подождал, когда он спустится с балкончика, затем влез на ограду и, обернувшись назад, увидел, что Петр запутался в ветках и упал. Я перескочил через ограду, через некоторое время на ограде появился Петр, и в это время раздался взрыв, которым Петр был сброшен на землю. Он поднялся, и мы с ним пошли в сторону Тверской улицы…»

«… Вместе с Соболевым они бросали бомбу на Леонтьевском переулке. Бомба была начинена динамитом и нитроглицерином, оболочка деревянная, не круглая, как бы футляр дамской шляпы, весила 1 пуд – 1 пуд 15 фунтов. Вероятно, покушение было произведено по инициативе левого эсера Черепанова (кличка Черепок), который сам участвовал во взрыве.

…Оболочкой для бомбы, которой был взорван Московский комитет РКП, послужила валявшаяся, оставленная кем-то у меня на квартире деревянная (из фанеры) коробка. Нитроглицерин и динамит, которыми впоследствии начинена была эта коробка, как-то за день-два принес ко мне (А. Розанову. – Редактор) Васька Азаров в свертке и, не предупреждая, что в нем завернуто, бросил под кровать. Затем в 6 часов вечера в день взрыва он пришел вместе с Петром Соболевым, попросил удалиться всех из комнаты. И в это время, по моему мнению, ими была начинена бомба. Оставались они одни в комнате минут пятнадцать. Затем они ушли. Через полтора часа пришел Соболев и забрал коробку. Через час после этого пришла наша жиличка и сказала, что где-то недалеко бросили бомбу с аэроплана. Только после этого я понял, что где-то нашими брошена бомба. На другой день я узнал, что был взорван Московский комитет. До этого дня я не знал совершенно о готовящемся взрыве.»

"ИЗВЕЩЕНИЕ

Граждане и братья!

Вечером 25-го сентября на собрании большевиков в Московском комитете обсуждался вопрос о мерах борьбы с бастующим народом. Властители большевики все в один голос высказывались на заседании о принятии самых крайних мер для борьбы с восстающими рабочими, крестьянами, красноармейцами, анархистами и левыми эсерами вплоть до введения в Москве чрезвычайного положения с массовыми расстрелами. Замысел большевиков был сорван.

В самый момент голосования и принятия противонародного решения революционными партизанами-повстанцами было взорвано здание Моск[овского] Комитета партии коммунистов-большевиков, в обломках которого нашли себе должный приют представители реакционнейшей кровавой партии – большевики и комиссары.

Так мстит рука революционных партизан-повстанцев чрезвычайщикам и комиссародержащим за десятки тысяч расстрелянных крестьян, рабочих и трудовой интеллигенции, за предательство повстанцев-махновцев Украины, за расстрел и аресты анархистов, за разгром федераций и групп во всех городах и деревнях, за закрытие всех газет и журналов.

Революция предается и предается направо и налево. Украина же продана диктатором Троцким Деникину, и не секрет – завтра большевики отдадут ему и Великороссию. Перед нами реакция красных и белых, каждый наш шаг взят на учет, всюду рыщут шпики, личность подавлена и обесценена хуже, чем в царские времена; всюду пытки, аресты, обыски и расстрелы за малейший протест против издевательств совнаркомщиков и чрезвычайщиков; самодеятельность трудящихся убита и национализирована, промышленность и транспорт разгромлены, поля не засеяны.

Этому варварскому строю должен быть положен конец. Крестьянские массы путем целого ряда восстаний в прошлом году уже доказали свою готовность уничтожить совнаркомовскую власть, но рабочие и красноармейцы не поддержали их. Ныне снова крестьяне Украины, Сибири и Великороссии поднимаются против насилия власти белых и красных. Анархист Махно отрядом партизан взял Екатеринослав, Александровск, Синельниково, Дебальцево и Мелитополь, повстанцы Сибири заняли Томск и ряд других городов и сел; здесь, в Великороссии, в ряды повстанцев-крестьян вливаются зеленоармейцы и красноармейцы, действующие в полном согласии с революционными повстанцами Сибири, Северного Кавказа, Тавриды и Украины. Наша задача – стереть с лица земли строй комиссародержавия и чрезвычайной охраны и установить Всероссийскую вольную федерацию союзов трудящихся и угнетенных масс. Нечего ждать прихода белой деникинской реакции и ухода красной, комиссарской. Мы сами должны установить свободный строй в стране теперь же, немедленно, не дожидаясь окончательной гибели завоеваний октябрьской революции. Близится третья социальная революция!

Рабочие! Покидайте ряды Красной Армии Крови, поступайте по примеру крестьян, которые все покинули ее ряды. Идите в ряды партизан.

Крестьяне! Еще усиленней сплачивайте свои партизанские отряды.

Красноармейцы! Будьте наготове и по первому предложению Всероссийского Повстанческого Комитета революционных партизан откажитесь исполнять приказы своих комиссаров.

Заленоармейцы! Бросьте нейтральное поле, вступайте в ряды партизан для борьбы с красной и белой реакцией.

Советские труженики! Будьте готовы к прекращению работ по предложению Всероссийского Повстанческого Комитета Революционных Партизан.

17 июня с[его] г[ода] Чрезвычайный Воен[но]-Револ[юционный] Трибунал расстрелял в Харькове семь повстанцев: Михалева-Павленкова, Бурбыгу, Олейника, Коробко, Костина, Полунина, Добролюбова и затем Озерова.

25 сентября с[его] г[ода] революционные повстанцы отомстили за их смерть Московскому комитету большевиков.

Смерть за смерть! Первый акт совершен, за ним последуют сотни других актов, если палачи революции своевременно сами не разбегутся.

Всероссийский Повстанческий Комитет требует от советской власти немедленного освобождения всех арестованных крестьян, рабочих, анархистов и прочих революционеров, за невыполнение чего оставляет за собой свободу действий. Динамиту и бомб хватит. Дух Бакунина еще живет в нас, на подвиги Равашоля еще способны наши бойцы! Нашей мести за растерзанный и распятый народ не будет конца. Все в наши ряды!

Разжиревшие комиссары бегут со всех фронтов в глубокий тыл, забирая с собой все ценности и оставляя на произвол рабочих и крестьян.

Наш долг организовать оборону революции.

Да здравствует революционное повстанчество!

Долой палачей революции!

Да здравствует третья социальная революция!

ВСЕРОССИЙСКИЙ ПОВСТАНЧЕСКИЙ КОМИТЕТ РЕВОЛЮЦИОННЫХ ПАРТИЗАН"

ernie
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Aug 23 2009 08:47

So in any future revolutionary republic we can expect that anarchists will take it upon themselves to 'punish' those in the soviets they do not agree with by blowing them up! Communist repressing anarchist BAD, anarchists repressing communists (or as Akai says "Bolshevik scum", nice turn of phrase!) GOOD: nice logic.
Like or not the Bolsheviks were answerable to the workers through the Soviets for their actions, whereas the anarchists did were not answerable to anyone.
For us (the ICC) one of the main lessons of the Russian Revolution was that we have to reject the idea of Red Terror and violence within the class. The strength of the proletariat is its consciousness and organisation, neither of which are strengthened by terror (be it Red, Black or black/Red) but in fact undermined by it, thus underminning the revolutionary process. Terror is an expression of desperation not strength.

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Joseph Kay
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Aug 23 2009 08:57
ernie wrote:
So in any future revolutionary republic we can expect that anarchists will take it upon themselves to 'punish' those in the soviets they do not agree with by blowing them up! (...) For us (the ICC) one of the main lessons of the Russian Revolution was that we have to reject the idea of Red Terror and violence within the class.

well, the terror was underway and anarchists were being murdered by the state. nice to see that you consider that state 'within the class' though.

(fwiw i'm no cheerleader of bombings)

Battlescarred
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Aug 23 2009 11:10

Hang on, Ernie- the Bolsheviks had already started executions and imprisonments before this all happened. As to the Bolsheviks being responsible to the workers, don't make me laugh.

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miles
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Aug 23 2009 11:35


Quote:
Hang on, Ernie- the Bolsheviks had already started executions and imprisonments before this all happened.

The point is, what do you take from this?

Is it that '....and therefore this justified the response of the anarchists elements..'

or is it, as Ernie said, the political principle of rejecting all forms of 'terror' within the working class?

Wellclose Square
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Aug 23 2009 12:48
Quote:

Quote:

Hang on, Ernie- the Bolsheviks had already started executions and imprisonments before this all happened.

The point is, what do you take from this?

Is it that '....and therefore this justified the response of the anarchists elements..'

or is it, as Ernie said, the political principle of rejecting all forms of 'terror' within the working class?

The either/or option, presented above by Miles, is a bit of a false choice, based on the seemingly mutually exclusive paths of 'anarchist terror' on the one hand, and the principled rejection of all forms of 'terror' within the working class on the other. For a start, even in 'non-revolutionary situations' like strikes, there are measures undertaken by combative workers - against employers, police and scabs (the latter 'within the working class') - which may be construed as forms of 'terror' (without drawing on the bizarre expansion of its definition within the current 'anti-terrorist' climate). Therefore 'principled rejections' of aspects of proletarian offensivity are a non-runner really, especially if such criticisms are couched in the language of bourgeois civility, as Ernie says:

Quote:
So in any future revolutionary republic we can expect that anarchists will take it upon themselves to 'punish' those in the soviets they do not agree with by blowing them up!

.
(By pointing out this appearance of democratist discourse, I'm not making any claims for the 'proletarian' credentials of the Underground Anarchists, any more than justifying what they did).

There's also the phrase 'within the working class', which begs some questions, the most relevant being, to what extent can the Bolsheviks be construed as being 'within the working class'? It's not an idle question, considering such 'proletarian' measures as the militarisation of labour, Kronstadt, etc. What's illuminating about this thread is the need for some posters to validate the role of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, even as they buried the revolution - some 'clear red water' appearing?

Dave B
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Aug 23 2009 15:05
ernie wrote:
So in any future revolutionary republic we can expect that anarchists will take it upon themselves to 'punish' those in the soviets they do not agree with by blowing them up! Communist repressing anarchist BAD, anarchists repressing communists (or as Akai says "Bolshevik scum", nice turn of phrase!) GOOD: nice logic.
Like or not the Bolsheviks were answerable to the workers through the Soviets for their actions, whereas the anarchists did were not answerable to anyone.
For us (the ICC) one of the main lessons of the Russian Revolution was that we have to reject the idea of Red Terror and violence within the class. The strength of the proletariat is its consciousness and organisation, neither of which are strengthened by terror (be it Red, Black or black/Red) but in fact undermined by it, thus underminning the revolutionary process. Terror is an expression of desperation not strength.

The Bolsheviks were NOT answerable to the workers through the Soviets for their actions. It was a dictatorship of one party and a party consisting of less than 1 % of the population

V. I. Lenin, SPEECH AT THE FIRST ALL-RUSSIA CONGRESS OF WORKERS IN EDUCATION AND SOCIALIST CULTURE JULY 31, 1919

Quote:
When we are reproached with having established a dictatorship of one party and, as you have heard, a united socialist front is proposed, we say, "Yes, it is a dictatorship of one party! This is what we stand for and we shall not shift from that position because it is the party that has won,

http://www.marx2mao.net/Lenin/SWSC19.html

And

EIGHTH CONGRESS OF THE R.C.P.(B. I.) MARCH 18-23, 1919

Quote:
We shall have to change our line of conduct very often, and this may appear strange and incomprehensible to the casual observer. "How is that?" he will say. "Yesterday you were making promises to the petty bourgeoisie, while today Dzerzhinsky announces that the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks will be stood against the wall. What a contradiction!" Yes, it is a contradiction. But the conduct of the petty-bourgeois democrats themselves is contradictory:

http://www.marx2mao.net/Lenin/EC19.html

Boris Badenov
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Aug 23 2009 19:07

lol ernie what are you on about? these anarchists were not at all the terrorists of bolshevik propaganda, they were workers; truck drivers, mechanics and so on. But of course the professional 'revolutionaries' that were in the CP's upper echelons were more in touch with the workers than actual workers were. And of course poor old Bukharin, that left-communist luminary, was nothing but a victim in this ruthless attack. Tsk tsk tsk. Nice logic. wink

Quote:
revolutionary republic

a republic that represents the interests of a state government is counter-revolutionary by definition; councils/soviets cannot constitute a republic in any meaningful sense of the word.

Dave B
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Aug 23 2009 20:58

Not wanting to be misunderstood I would just like to say that it was a stupid idea to try and blow up Nikolai Bukharin.

Just as it was a stupid idea to send a partially sighted woman, Fanny Kaplan, to shoot Lenin.

Although you have to admire her rate of fire.

Wellclose Square
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Aug 23 2009 22:36

This absolutely belongs on libcommunity, but after seeing the above post -

Quote:
Just as it was a stupid idea to send a partially sighted woman, Fanny Kaplan, to shoot Lenin.

- I've just remembered that Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromm - the Manson Family member who shot US President Gerald Ford - was released from prison last week. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to imply that Lenin was in any way as great as that scion of the vehicle-manufacturing family, or that Fromm's Marxist-humanist dad should in any way be held responsible for the way she turned out.

Battlescarred
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Aug 24 2009 09:04

Bukharin was himself directly involved in the shooting of Makhnovists. See Mike Malet's book on the Makhnovists for this.

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Aug 24 2009 14:47
Wellclose Square wrote:
This absolutely belongs on libcommunity... I've just remembered that Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromm - the Manson Family member who shot US President Gerald Ford - was released from prison last week. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to imply that Lenin was in any way as great as that scion of the vehicle-manufacturing family, or that Fromm's Marxist-humanist dad should in any way be held responsible for the way she turned out.

Fuck, for a second you actually tricked me into thinking Erich was Lynette's dad. Kind of reassuring to know he wasn't.

Wellclose Square
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Aug 24 2009 17:21

Farce wrote:

Quote:
Fuck, for a second you actually tricked me into thinking Erich was Lynette's dad. Kind of reassuring to know he wasn't.

I bet you didn't know that Cajo Brendel's brother is the renowned concert pianist, Alfred Brendel.

ernie
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Aug 26 2009 20:18

I didn't how interesting! I wonder what he thought of his politics?
The Bolsheviks were elected by the Soviets, like it or not, as Serge points out somewhere, at the time of the blowing up of the headquaters
There is no denying that many Anarchist were workers, who has denied that? The point is that the answer to errors being made by those elected by the workers was not to kill them, which if nothing else only further weakened the revolutionary process.
The main point made was not red good black bad but the need for workers to reject the use of terror within the class. The revolution cannot solve its internal problems at the point of a gun or with dynamite, but only through the discussion and confrontation of positions.
Whether Bolsheviks shot anarchists first is not the question. The question is who to respond. Did blowing up the CP HQ clarify what was happening for anyone apart from the Anarchists? Surely the point was to argue against the repression within the Soviets, and if you could not do it there, in the factories. This is what the Left Communist, around the Miasnikov group did. Despite arrests, deportations etc they did not revert to terror, but instead had confidence in the working class and did all they could to put forwards their positions in the factories, party cells, prison cells and labour camps. Terror is an act of desperation not strength.
As for Kronstadat we are with Miasnikov on this, rejection of it and any participation in it. I think he applied that to all acts of internal repression. He was for a free press, because repressing ideas does not get rid of them, only consciousness can do that, and that necessitates discussion.
One final point we are also against violence against strike breakers, beating the shit out of someone is not going to convince them of the need not only not to go to work but to fully participate in the struggle.
A final final point, one of our German comrades tells the story of how after bloody street fighting during the revolution in Germany the workers in one of the central German cities insisted that those who were killed fighting against them were buried beside their dead because they were their misguided class brothers. The struggle was not against them but the system and those leading them.

Eastern Barbarian
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Aug 26 2009 20:54

bla bla bla, sorry but post above its just lots of liberal bollocks..

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mikail firtinaci
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Aug 27 2009 09:08

Eastern Barbarian;

The post of comrade ernie is not defending non-violance. It is only arguing against VIOLANCE INSIDE WORKING CLASS. He is arguing against Kronstadt represion, the banning of working class press other than that of Bolsheviks, he is arguing against the massacre of workers. Do you really think that this is liberalism? Because unlike liberalism this is not a pure moralistic rejection of power. I think what comrade ernie comes to say is the real strength of working class is not its potential power of inflicting damage. This is more suited to Gengish Khan not to the working class whose strenght is class solidarity.

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Aug 27 2009 10:29
mikail firtinaci wrote:
Eastern Barbarian;

The post of comrade ernie is not defending non-violance. It is only arguing against VIOLANCE INSIDE WORKING CLASS.

That erroneous argument is based on the assumption that the Bolshies were part of the working class. When in fact they were a cancerous counter-revolutionary parasite hell bent on holding on to power at the expense of social revolution.

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mikail firtinaci
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Aug 27 2009 11:26

blackrainbow;

If we are going to accept your arguement for even a moment then some questions have to be clearly answered;

1- who were the actual workers -wage workers- inside the Bolshevik Party (let's say Kronstadt worker's who quit the party before insurrection, miasnikov etc.)

2- why the soviet worker's supported and joined this party?

3- Why Bolshevik's supported a worker's power through worker's self-organisations such as soviets?

If bolsheviks were a secret machivellian organisations with conspirational aims, would not it be far to easier to join in parlimentary work as liberals and supporting democratic means of struggle which would be far easier to do considerinf the huge charist repression? Would not that be far more easier than supporting internationalism in an environment where (for instance in 1916) majority of workers in the factories blamed bolshevik workers as being non-patriotic tritors? Why the huge majority of party members were liqudiated in their struggle against state capitalisms emergance beggining from 1918 till the gulag's, labor camps and torture chambers?

If the necessity of giving proper answer would really trouble one's mind and heart then it sohuld be accepted that there is not supra-historical answers for each momentarily questions that revolutionaries face. And even revolutionaries can make mistakes or find themselves in tragic dead ends... that even revolutionaries are human and bound to the historical circumstances they find themselves in.

I recommend the superb Ciliga autobiography and especially this part, which is an inner dialogue of a bolshevik party member in the cells of stalin, which as a result of discussions among various inter and outside party oppositions leading him to question "lenin, also";

http://libcom.org/library/lenin-ciliga

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Awesome Dude
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Aug 27 2009 15:34
mikail firtinaci wrote:
blackrainbow;

If we are going to accept your arguement for even a moment then some questions have to be clearly answered;

1- who were the actual workers -wage workers- inside the Bolshevik Party (let's say Kronstadt worker's who quit the party before insurrection, miasnikov etc.)

I don't fully understand what answers your question no.1 is seeking. If having wage labourers in a party is tantamount to it being a proletarian organisation then there would be no problem with social democratic parties and trade unions. Despite being 'voted' for by workers or having mass 'participation' they still behave strategically with the interests of the bourgeoisie at the top of the agenda. What differentiates the Bolsheviks from these other groups...apart from revolutionary rhetoric?

mikail firtinaci wrote:
2- why the soviet worker's supported and joined this party?

There were a variety of historical factors. The most important IMO being that the workers were a clear minority in Russia at the time of revolution. The workers needed an organisation that would satisfy several obstacles, winning over the peasant majority to social revolution being a top priority. But there was a country with a proletarian majority-Germany(1918-1919). What role did the 'workers' party play there?

mikail firtinaci wrote:
3- Why Bolshevik's supported a worker's power through worker's self-organisations such as soviets?

http://classagainstclass.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=125:anton-pannekoek-and-the-origins-of-leninism-h-schurer&catid=20:council-communist-related-texts&Itemid=32

Take particular note of the paragraph:

This idea of an elemental uprising of the masses was in the forefront of Lenin's mind during the early weeks of 1917 when he began to collect material for an essay on the Marxist conception of the state under the stimulus of an article by Bukharin. (29)After 4 August 1914 when the traditional parties and trade unions had shown that they were clearly unfitted to organise a protest movement against war a spontaneous elemental movement was the only form of protest which could be envisaged. When Marx discussed the Paris Commune he too had put all his emphasis on the creative action of the Paris working class and had paid scant regard to the role of the revolutionary leaders. During his examination of the Marxist literature on these problems in the winter of 1916-17 Lenin realised that the idea of the destruction of the bourgeois state and its replacement by a new type of government machinery, which he regarded as Marx's central contribution, had been plainly restated by Pannekoek in his controversy with Kautsky in 1912. When Lenin was making notes on the controversy at the beginning of 1917, chiefly to expose Kautsky's 'betrayal' of Marxism in the course of it, his sympathies were plainly with Pannekoek. By linking the experience of the Paris Commune as Marx had described it and the Russian soviets of 1905 (30) he reached conclusions which approximated very closely to ideas of direct democracy, of self-government of the masses without intermediary political organs. In 1912 Pannekoek had advanced the idea of a proletarian counter-state fighting the existing order over a long period of time in a series of graduated mass movements taking the form of mass strikes. But Lenin's notes indirectly criticised Pannekoek's exclusive reliance on the mass strike by stressing the possibility of an armed rising, with explicit reference to the Moscow rising of December 1905.(31) Lenin made his notes in January and February 1917 and developed them into 'State and Revolution' during August and September. Their tenor is unmistakable: reliance on the creative potentialities of the working class masses. They make hardly any mention of the role of the party, which has always seemed puzzling.

mikail firtinaci wrote:
If bolsheviks were a secret machivellian organisations with conspirational aims, would not it be far to easier to join in parlimentary work as liberals and supporting democratic means of struggle which would be far easier to do considerinf the huge charist repression? Would not that be far more easier than supporting internationalism in an environment where (for instance in 1916) majority of workers in the factories blamed bolshevik workers as being non-patriotic tritors? Why the huge majority of party members were liqudiated in their struggle against state capitalisms emergance beggining from 1918 till the gulag's, labor camps and torture chambers?

If there is one thing to take away from the Russian revolution is how the most ardent proponents of social revolution can end up as a blood soaked ruling class dictatorship over the masses.

Anarcho
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Aug 27 2009 20:54
ernie wrote:
So in any future revolutionary republic we can expect that anarchists will take it upon themselves to 'punish' those in the soviets they do not agree with by blowing them up! Communist repressing anarchist BAD, anarchists repressing communists (or as Akai says "Bolshevik scum", nice turn of phrase!) GOOD: nice logic.

Actually, by 1919 the Bolsheviks were openly advocating advocating the party dictatorship they had been imposing since mid-1918. The anarchists were NOT blowing up people they did "not agree with" but rather were attacking the new ruling class, the party leadership which had already disbanded soviets which were elected with non-Bolshevik majorities, gerrymandered numerous soviet elections to secure a majority, repressed strikes, destroyed socialist and anarchist organisations and newspapers.

So, in terms of logic it makes perfect sense. Anarchists were attacking the scum who had repressed them and the working class. No contradiction, if you knew the facts.

ernie wrote:
Like or not the Bolsheviks were answerable to the workers through the Soviets for their actions, whereas the anarchists did were not answerable to anyone.

Sorry, but what planet are you on? Like it or not, the Bolsheviks were openly proclaiming the need for the dictatorship of the party. Since spring of 1918 they had been systematically destroying soviet democracy and so were NOT answerable to "the workers" for their actions -- actions which included repressing any strikes which protested the destruction of soviet democracy!

ernie wrote:
For us (the ICC) one of the main lessons of the Russian Revolution was that we have to reject the idea of Red Terror and violence within the class.

Seems to me the main lesson the ICC has learned from the Russian Revolution is to ignore what actually happened and instead repeat fairy-tales....

ernie wrote:
Terror is an expression of desperation not strength.

So Engels was wrong: "and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionists"? ROTFL...

For anyone who wants an account of what really happened under the Bolsheviks, may I suggest section H.6 of An Anarchist FAQ (section H.4 has a critique of Engels' "On Authority", where that quote is from).

Anarcho
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Aug 27 2009 20:55
Dave B wrote:
Just as it was a stupid idea to send a partially sighted woman, Fanny Kaplan, to shoot Lenin.

well, that was the SRs for you...

Anarcho
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Aug 27 2009 21:02
ernie wrote:
The Bolsheviks were elected by the Soviets, like it or not, as Serge points out somewhere, at the time of the blowing up of the headquaters

Serge? Serge? That cheer-leader for Bolshevik dictatorship? He cannot be taken seriously. And the Bolsheviks had stopped being elected by the Soviets since the Fifth All-Russian Congress, when they gerrymandered it to stop the Left-SRs securing their rightful majority.

ernie wrote:
The point is that the answer to errors being made by those elected by the workers was not to kill them, which if nothing else only further weakened the revolutionary process.

They had been elected in 1917 and then spent the first half of 1918 making sure that subsequent elections were meaningless. Then they just gave up and admitted they stood for the dictatorship of the party.

ernie wrote:
Surely the point was to argue against the repression within the Soviets, and if you could not do it there, in the factories.

You REALLY don't have a clue about the reality of life under the Bolsheviks, do you? Argue against repression would ensure you got repressed....

ernie wrote:
This is what the Left Communist, around the Miasnikov group did.

After the civil war and guess what? they got repressed!

Really, learn some basic facts of history!

Anarcho
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Aug 27 2009 21:08
mikail firtinaci wrote:
2- why the soviet worker's supported and joined this party?

And left in droves come early 1918. And stopped voting for them at the same time, so forcing the Bolsheviks to gerrymander and disband soviets.

ernie wrote:
3- Why Bolshevik's supported a worker's power through worker's self-organisations such as soviets?

Oh, come on! They did no such thing. They supported party power, not workers' power. Lenin was very clear on that, as was Bolshevik practice. Unsurprisingly, when soviet democracy clashed with Party Power, it was the former which was destroyed to secure the latter.

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Demogorgon303
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Aug 28 2009 08:57

There are several questions bound up in this thread:

1) Were the Bolsheviks part of the working class or not?

2) Can the working class use violence to settle its internal disputes

There's also another question touched on by this statement:

Quote:
That erroneous argument is based on the assumption that the Bolshies were part of the working class. When in fact they were a cancerous counter-revolutionary parasite hell bent on holding on to power at the expense of social revolution.

Can we support terrorism against bourgeois governments? The ICC rejects terrorism, as stated in our basic positions:

"Terrorism is in no way a method of struggle for the working class. The expression of social strata with no historic future and of the decomposition of the petty bourgeoisie, when it’s not the direct expression of the permanent war between capitalist states, terrorism has always been a fertile soil for manipulation by the bourgeoisie. Advocating secret action by small minorities, it is in complete opposition to class violence, which derives from conscious and organised mass action by the proletariat."

In some respects, for us, whether the Bolsheviks had already been absorbed by the state by this point or even if they were always bourgeois is a moot point for assessing the class content of the bombing. What matters is whether this was conscious, mass action or the action of a small minority. If the latter, it is not the expression of the proletariat regardless of the nature of the target.