Anarchists who became Marxists

Submitted by Noa Rodman on August 3, 2011

or vice versa.

Paul Lafargue is maybe the prime example.

Judah Grossman-Roshchin (1883-1934) is an interesting case. From what I've gathered he was an anarchist from his teens up to and until working with Makhno in the Ukraine. Afterwards he critiqued anarchists such as Kropotkin and was in general busy with the history and theory of anarchism, but also literature from a Marxist perspective. Hopefully someone like battlescared could put up a biography in the library.

piter

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by piter on August 4, 2011

you have also Grandizio Munis, trotskyist leaders in Spain becoming an opponent to leninism, but maybe he became more a kind of libertarian marxist than an anarchist (but it is very close to anarchist with the same conception of capital and classes and etc.,)

ajjohnstone

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ajjohnstone on August 4, 2011

Victor Serge

Entdinglichung

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on August 4, 2011

Joaquín Maurín, Herbert Wehner, Sepp Oerter (became later a Nazi), Alfred Rosmer, Daniel Rebull, Kostas Seirinidis, Pierre Monatte, Murray Bookchin, Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis, Daniel Guérin, Johann Most, Clara & Paul Thalmann ...

Serge Forward

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Serge Forward on August 4, 2011

Lucy Parsons.

ocelot

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on August 4, 2011

Entdinglichung

Joaquín Maurín...

On what grounds? I'm not aware the Maurín was ever an anarchist. I hope you're not assuming that because he was a member of the CNT that made him an anarchist?

Steven.

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on August 4, 2011

A few here, who became Bolsheviks:
http://libcom.org/history/anarchists-who-turned-bolsheviks-nick-heath

Rob Ray

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Rob Ray on August 4, 2011

In that link: some very good reasons not to switch sides late on.

Noa Rodman

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on August 4, 2011

Peter Arshinov

Makhno on Grossman-Roshin . Two of his texts, another is a review of a book by Preobrazhensky:
Roshin

The final chapter of his beautiful sketch the author speaks of the inevitable withering away of all the class rules, including enforcement of law. That's good. But here's the strange thing. The author recalls this only at the end of his book. It would seem that, after Lenin's book, it became clear to everyone that collectivism is associated with the state, and communism - the proletarian statelessness. I will be told, but we are now building a state and a government moving towards anarchy. Let it be so. But we are now giving way to the NEP, is there no longer a reason to speak, gloss over communism. On the contrary. The fact that the proletarian state is now under construction, does not cancel, but emphasizes the need to fight state fetishism, the ideology of the state, which is so sweet, "which became a platform for Soviet" gentlemen Smena-Vekhists and fattened bureaucrats.
Comrade Preobrazhensky's book must be on the desk of every class-conscious worker.

He's mentioned in this debate around LEF.

Karetelnik

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Karetelnik on August 4, 2011

Noa Rodman wrote:
Judah Grossman-Roshchin (1883-1934) is an interesting case.

The Soviet historian S. N. Kanev in his 1974 book The October Revolution and the Downfall of Anarchism in Russia tried to quantify this phenomenon. He found that in 1922 the Bolshevik Party included 633 former anarchists, despite that fact that 221 members had been expelled in 1921 for previously belonging to anarchist organizations.

Like many Russian ex-anarchists, Grossman-Roshchin wrote a public denunciation of his former views. His appeared in Pravda, February 14 1926 issue. His sincerity might be open to question when one realizes it was necessary for him to earn a living as a literary critic, following the line of the vulgar-Marxist RAPP (Russian Association of Proletarian Writers).

In 1928 the OGPU tried to speed things up a bit by organizing an “All-Russian Anarchist Congress” at which prominent anarchists would announce the “final bankruptcy” of Russian anarchism. An organizing committee was set up which included the former anarcho-syndicalists Ablonsky and Yarchuk, and the anarcho-communist Basheyev. However this bizarre idea was abandoned when it was discovered that no one would attend such a conference (which would probably have ended with them being arrested).

Devrim

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on August 4, 2011

piter

you have also Grandizio Munis, trotskyist leaders in Spain becoming an opponent to leninism, but maybe he became more a kind of libertarian marxist than an anarchist (but it is very close to anarchist with the same conception of capital and classes and etc.,)

I don't think that Munis would have ever describe himself as a 'Libertarian Marxist' let alone an anarchist.

Devrim

flaneur

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by flaneur on August 5, 2011

Devrim

piter

you have also Grandizio Munis, trotskyist leaders in Spain becoming an opponent to leninism, but maybe he became more a kind of libertarian marxist than an anarchist (but it is very close to anarchist with the same conception of capital and classes and etc.,)

I don't think that Munis would have ever describe himself as a 'Libertarian Marxist' let alone an anarchist.

Devrim

He would have had a job calling himself a Trotskyist considering Trotsky denounced him.

Devrim

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on August 5, 2011

flaneur

He would have had a job calling himself a Trotskyist considering Trotsky denounced him.

He split from the Trotskyists, and ended up setting up a small organisation called 'Fomento Obrero Revolucionario', which ı think was quite clearly part of the communist left.

Devrim

Dannny

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Dannny on August 5, 2011

I don't think Trotsky did denounce him, fwiw.

piter

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by piter on August 5, 2011

piter wrote:

you have also Grandizio Munis, trotskyist leaders in Spain becoming an opponent to leninism, but maybe he became more a kind of libertarian marxist than an anarchist (but it is very close to anarchist with the same conception of capital and classes and etc.,)

I don't think that Munis would have ever describe himself as a 'Libertarian Marxist' let alone an anarchist.

Devrim

maybe, I don't know him that much.

but I don't think we can find many marxist renuncing all of their marxism to embrace "classical" anarchism (and would such people be so interesting for us?). so I understood going from marxist to anarchist as something for going from leninism to a marxism "somewhat" closer to class struggle anarchism.

but I admit that it's a bit lazy...

but I didn't say Munis called himself a libertarian marxist but that he became "a kind" of libertarian marxist. and is it really so far from some "left communist"? can't we describe for ex. Anton Pannekoek as a kind of "left communist" and also as a kind of "libertarian marxist"?

ocelot

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on August 5, 2011

piter

but I don't think we can find many marxist renuncing all of their marxism to embrace "classical" anarchism (and would such people be so interesting for us?).

You seem to be under the misapprehension that classical anarchism was based on a rejection of all of Marx's contributions to the critique of capitalism. Not so. Virtually all the classical anarchists welcomed the publication of Capital in the late 1860s.

In fact it was a point of sarcastic comment (by James Guillaume, iirc) that the supporters of the General Council in the International they were fighting with, could hardly be called "marxists" because none of them had read Capital, whereas all the "anarchists" had.

Although Bakunin never did produce that Russian translation, Carlo Cafiero (previously Marx's secretary in London, dispatched to convert the Italian bakuninists to marxism - they converted him) did produce the first Italian translation of Capital.

Cafiero's old school mate, Emilio Covelli had also come across Marx's ideas (while at university in Germany) before converting to anarchism - Covelli's manifesto of the Puglian Federation was the first written statement of libertarian communism (as opposed to the brief mention in the proceedings of the abortive 1876 Florence conference, which, couched as it was as a mere extension of the principles of collectivism, was not well understood at the time - see the Nuncio Pernicone book).

In fact, of the four central figures of the Italian International who crystallised libertarian communism*, two of them were ex-Marxists - Cafiero and Covelli and only Malatesta and Costa came directly from Mazzinian/Garibaldian insurrectionist republicanism, to anarchism.

In more recent times, since WW2 up to present day many, many people have come to anarchism from marxist backgrounds, such as trotskyism in particular, without necessarily rejecting their marxist analyses of capitalism. NEFAC's Wayne Price is one example off the top of my head, but there are many others. There are also many other anarchists (such as myself) who have never been anything but such, who have found much to mine from Marx directly without having had to have gone through the trauma of a leninist past and the legacy of the orthodox reading of Marx that tends to impart.

* leaving aside the role of Elisée Reclus and one or two of the other post-Commune French exiles (e.g. Paul Brousse) in Switzerland

piter

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by piter on August 5, 2011

You seem to be under the misapprehension that classical anarchism was based on a rejection of all of Marx's contributions to the critique of capitalism. Not so. Virtually all the classical anarchists welcomed the publication of Capital in the late 1860s.

Yes, I know that. anyway dealing with "isms" is always dealing with approximations...with all the problems that goes with it...

arminius

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by arminius on August 5, 2011

Entdinglichung

Joaquín Maurín, Herbert Wehner, Sepp Oerter (became later a Nazi), Alfred Rosmer, Daniel Rebull, Kostas Seirinidis, Pierre Monatte, Murray Bookchin, Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis, Daniel Guérin, Johann Most, Clara & Paul Thalmann ...

Actually, iirc, Nieuwenhuis and Most went the *other* way, i.e., marxist to anarchist.

Devrim

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on August 5, 2011

piter

but I didn't say Munis called himself a libertarian marxist but that he became "a kind" of libertarian marxist. and is it really so far from some "left communist"? can't we describe for ex. Anton Pannekoek as a kind of "left communist" and also as a kind of "libertarian marxist"?

Personally I think that the whole idea of 'libertarian Marxist' is little more than anarchist shorthand to say 'Marxists that we like'. It is something that very few people have used to charecterise themselves, and that most of the people that it is applied to would have rejected vehemently.

I don't think that it is wrong to draw on other tendencies politically, but to then try to imply, and I am not suggesting that you are doing this deliberately here at all, that they were something politically that they were not, comes across to me as a bit like political grave robbing.

An example the other way round would have been the 'Friends of Durutti' group. There are many Marxists who end up sort of saying "yes, but they weren't really anarchists, but really in a Marxist tradition" despite the fact that they were anarcho-syndicalists and would have been deeply opposed to being viewed as Marxists.

Devrim

plasmatelly

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by plasmatelly on August 5, 2011

Noa wrote:

Anarchists who became Marxists
or vice versa.

I'm curious what stirred you into starting this thread... anyone's change of mind is inherently interesting but most the people listed where living in more interesting times, where Marxism wasn't so absolutely discredited and many - not all - of it's adherents prone to at least supporting authoritarian forms of organisation.

I wonder who was the last notable anarchist who changed camps - and how unlikely is it to happen today.

Noa Rodman

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on August 5, 2011

I did it to talk about Grossman, the title is the excuse. Grossman is the clearest case of someone knowing, understanding and practicing anarchism, but consciously turning to Marxism. I venture to say that's harder to do in 'interesting times' when these currents were sometimes literally fighting with each other. Nowadays changing from Marxism to anarchism (but this also goes partly for "left" communism) is opportune, in the sense that it avoids taking responsibility for the past.

Karetelnik

former anarcho-syndicalists Ablonsky and Yarchuk

Grossman would have known Yarchuk from way back (member of black banner).

nastyned

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by nastyned on August 5, 2011

Devrim

Personally I think that the whole idea of 'libertarian Marxist' is little more than anarchist shorthand to say 'Marxists that we like'. It is something that very few people have used to charecterise themselves, and that most of the people that it is applied to would have rejected vehemently.

I also think the term 'libertarian Marxist' is mostly used about people who would never have describe themselves as such, so is mostly bollocks.

But on the other hand people often describe the council communists as 'left communists' despite the fact they'd clearly rejected that term, compared to left communists who clearly hadn't.

plasmatelly

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by plasmatelly on August 5, 2011

Noa wrote:

Nowadays changing from Marxism to anarchism (but this also goes partly for "left" communism) is opportune, in the sense that it avoids taking responsibility for the past.

yeah maybe opportune if you happen to 130 years old and expect to go on living. I get your general point, but wonder just how deeply immersed in a Marxist bubble one would have to be to be unaware of the historical baggage that it carries.

Noa Rodman

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on August 5, 2011

nastyned

But on the other hand people often describe the council communists as 'left communists' despite the fact they'd clearly rejected that term, compared to left communists who clearly hadn't.

Bilan rejected the label because it would imply ordinary-normal communism (i.e. Stalinism et al.) is still communism. They were the only communists left (NO PUN INTENDED) upholding Marxism, so it'd make no sense to refer to themselves as "left" communists.

Jared

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jared on August 6, 2011

Lucy Parsons.

Lucy Parsons worked with Communists late in her life but never actually joined or became one. Worth having a look at this text, which argues this against her first biographer: http://www.zinelibrary.info/fury-justice-lucy-parsons-and-revolutionary-anarchist-movement-chicago

Serge Forward

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Serge Forward on August 6, 2011

Jared

Lucy Parsons.

Lucy Parsons worked with Communists late in her life but never actually joined or became one. Worth having a look at this text, which argues this against her first biographer: http://www.zinelibrary.info/fury-justice-lucy-parsons-and-revolutionary-anarchist-movement-chicago

I'm so glad to hear that :)

nastyned

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by nastyned on August 7, 2011

Noa Rodman

nastyned

But on the other hand people often describe the council communists as 'left communists' despite the fact they'd clearly rejected that term, compared to left communists who clearly hadn't.

Bilan rejected the label because it would imply ordinary-normal communism (i.e. Stalinism et al.) is still communism. They were the only communists left (NO PUN INTENDED) upholding Marxism, so it'd make no sense to refer to themselves as "left" communists.

That's interesting. Have you told the ICC this?

bastarx

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bastarx on August 8, 2011

Noa Rodman

nastyned

But on the other hand people often describe the council communists as 'left communists' despite the fact they'd clearly rejected that term, compared to left communists who clearly hadn't.

Bilan rejected the label because it would imply ordinary-normal communism (i.e. Stalinism et al.) is still communism. They were the only communists left (NO PUN INTENDED) upholding Marxism, so it'd make no sense to refer to themselves as "left" communists.

This is why I've never described myself as a left-communist even though I can quite reasonably be pigeon holed into the left-commie camp. "Left-communist" made some sense in 1917 but certainly by the 1930s it was redundant.

Cleishbotham

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Cleishbotham on August 16, 2011

I would have thought Victor Serge might have had a mention on this thread?

Just to be pedantic there is a difference between "left communists" and the "communist left" but today from a revolutionary point of view the issue should be a bit redundant as Peter says. The only problem of course being that the Stalinists (or post-stalinists now praising capitalist democracy) and Trots still usurp the term "communist" when they refer to their state capitalist agenda so we have to differentiate ourselves somehow. It's all we have got left (pun intended).

Android

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Android on August 16, 2011

Cleishbotham

I would have thought Victor Serge might have had a mention on this thread?

I could be wrong. But i suspect the reason why some Anarchists don't reference Serge maybe due to the fact that he came from an Individualist-Anarchist background originally IIRC.

piter

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by piter on August 17, 2011

sorry, Victor Serge had been mentionned in the 3rd post of this thread...

Cleishbotham

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Cleishbotham on August 17, 2011

Thanks. I missed it but as it was posted by Ajjohnstone (SPGB) and then me (ICT) perhaps Android has a point? Or is it that Serge's subsequent Trotskyism (and his ambiguity over Kronstadt) both make him a bit suspect. No doubt this was discussed long ago on libcom but I missed it.

Noa Rodman

12 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on August 23, 2011

Some further articles by Grossman-Roshchin:

Sly slave in the mantle of the apostle of freedom: M.O. Gershenzon (The Destinies of the Jewish People). [Article] / / Red Virgin Soil. 1923. N 5. S.400-404

Mr. Lossky on communism, materialism, and the kingdom of God. [Article] / / Red Virgin Soil. 1923. N 6. S.369-371

Jean-Marie Guyau. Morality without obligation and without sanction. Moscow. Without the year. [Review] / / Red Virgin Soil. 1923. N 7. S.301-304

A critique of the fundamental teachings of P.A. Kropotkin. [Article] / / Red Virgin Soil. 1924. N 2. P.139-154

Dialectical movement or sophistic "acrobratics"? (On Meyerhold). [Article] / / Red Virgin Soil. 1924. N 5. S.301-308

Social conception of Futurism. [Article] / / LEF. 1923. N 4. P.109-124

Preobrazhensky. On morality and class norms. 1923. [Review] / / LEF. 1923. N 4. S.196-198

On the nature of effective speech. [Article] / / LEF. 1924. N 2. P.89-100

Ye.A. Preobrazhensky. V.I. Lenin: Sociological study. Moscow. [Review] / / Star. 1924. N 5. S.280-282

On proletarian literature and class ideology: Speech, delivered at the reception of proletarian writers, hosted by the Literary Arts Institute named after V.Y. Bryusov. [Article] / / October. 1925. N 1. P.133-140

Alexander Bogdanov as a moral lawgiver. [Article] / / October. 1925. N 3 / 4. S.214-225

Stabilization of the intellectuals' spirit and the problems of literature. [Article] / / October. 1925. N 7. P.119-130

N.S. Leskov. Selected stories. Moscow, Leningrad. 1926. (Russian and world classics); L. Andreev, Selected Stories. (Russian and world classics.) [Review] / / October. 1926. N 7 / 8. S.220-222

D. Stonov. Stories. Moscow. [Review] / / October. 1926. N 11/12. S.240-242

Letters on Art: First letter. [Article] / / October. 1929. N 1. S.201-211. Start. The end: N 4

Letters on Art: Third Letter: (How Gogol's "Overcoat" Is Made, Eichenbaum). [Article] / / October. 1929. N 4. P.184-196. The end. Start: N 1

A. Pushkin. [Article] / / Banner of Labor. 1918. N 2. P.18-21

Reply: Open Letter to Comrade. N. Aseev. [Article] / / October. 1927. N 1. P.155-162

Fantasy of dead souls: (Analysis of Meyerhold's staging of "Inspector"). [Article] / / October. 1927. N 2. P.152-162

Juri Libedinski. Education, creativity and self-criticism. [Review] / / October. 1927. N 6. P.168-172

Monologue about passéism. [Article] / / October. 1926. N 1. P.125-131

On the border of two worlds: The characterization of creativity of Saltykov-Shchedrin. [Article] / / October. 1926. N 9. P.113-128

I. Molchanov. Fire: Poems. [Review] / / October. 1927. N 5. S.204-205

A.S. Griboyedov. Woe from Wit. Moscow, Leningrad. 1927. (Russian world classics). [Review] / / October. 1927. N 7. P.174-175

Letters on Art: Second Letter: Biology or sociology? [Article] / / October. 1929. N 3. P.158-170. Continued. Start: N 1. Deadline: N 4

Open letter-message to Cornelius Zelinsky. [Article] / / October. 1929. N 6. P.188-194

A few comments! .. [Article] / / October. 1929. N 9. P.138-142

(source)

There's a plan to translate his critique of Kropotkin, stay tuned!

RossWolfe

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by RossWolfe on September 11, 2011

Yeah, Serge has been mentioned several times, but he can't be mentioned enough. Very interesting figure.

nastyned

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by nastyned on September 11, 2011

As far as I know before he went Bolshevik Serge's 'anarchist' phase was as a crappy individualist, so not someone I ever had much in common with politically.

Battlescarred

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Battlescarred on September 12, 2011

I'm amazed Domela Niewenhuis is on the list - as far as I am aware he moved from social democracy TOWARDS anarchism and remained an anarchist for the rest of his life!!
Agree with Ned on Serge, quite an easy turn from individualism with its contempt for the working class to Bolshevism with its....

Noa Rodman

12 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on September 12, 2011

Hey battlescarred I put underneath 'or vice versa'. Btw, would you feel like putting together a biography of Grossman-Roshchin (I hope he does fit your definition of a real anarchist)?

Also, is it accepted here as a common knowledge that Arshinov renounced anarchism?

krdel

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by krdel on October 21, 2011

Interesting thread...

I have read about this Grossman-Roščin in a text from preety unknown yugoslav marxist Putnik Dajić. In the part about "Černoe znamja" (don't know the correct translation, something like black banner) he writes:

Their leader was a known anarchist I. S. Grossman-Roščin. Group was formed around newspaper Černoe znamja (therefore the name of the group) and around newspaper "Buntar". Movement emerged as a reaction on anarchism of Bakunin and its kropotkins variation. It was theoreticaly unformed, but its basic motifs can be viewed. They went to upgrade Kropotkin's learning, which was, for them, infected by bug of prekapitalistic democratism. Grossman-Roščin explained, that this direction fights on two fronts: against social-democracy, which has, with class frazeology, covered the real point of neccesary tactics and ideology, against kropotkinism, which has, together with "rebellionism" and maximalism, represented actually masked petty bourgeois federalism and minimalism. "Strggle agains democratism - this is the center, the soul of blackbannery." Democracy is inevitable fact, but just therefore anarchists must work, showing all weakness of democratic ilusions. It is necessary that anrchism not only guards, but widens and sharpens the class tactics und inconciliation, that ejects from theory last abstract-humanistic tendencies. Among instructions for action, those stand out: among peasantry parole: land and worktools. In the army: rejection of war service. More often acceptance of economic terror, the main and unreplaceble means of accumulation of revolutionary tradition, as means to dig a deep dam beetween proletariat and bourgeoisie. Each member of bourgeoisie is decent to die. Only violent revolutionary tactic can insure the win of anarchism. Communism must be realised straightaway, by violent and direct action.

Nothing special, also sorry for my bad english translation, but i would like to read more about Grossman-Roščin or Black banner group, possibly in german, or if nothing else, english, because my russian is terrible.

Noa Rodman

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on October 22, 2011

Yes, they were anti-Kropotkin anarchists already before the war (and explicitly making the connection between Kropotkin's ideology and his support for the war). Does that translation say they were also anti-Bakuninist?

i would like to read more about Grossman-Roščin or Black banner group,

Seconded. I look in Karetelnik or Battlescarred's direction .

Karetelnik

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Karetelnik on October 22, 2011

How many books have been written about the Red Brigades? There must be dozens, in various languages. Black Banner and kindred groups in pre-revolutionary Russia were arguably of greater historical significance but I can think of only one book written about them: Anarchist-terrorists in Odessa 1903 – 1913 by Victor Savchenko (2005). This little book had a press run of about 300 and was soon out of print. Soviet historians never studied this movement for obvious reasons, and the dominant historiographies of current Ukraine have no place for revolutionaries with an internationalist perspective.

Before he re-invented himself as a Soviet literary-ideologue, Iuda Roshchin had a very turbulent life indeed. He and his brother Alexander preached the methods of terrorism and expropriation and put them into practice. Iuda was one of the few survivors of this movement; his brother shot himself in 1908 to avoid arrest.

krdel

12 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by krdel on October 26, 2011

Noa Rodman

Yes, they were anti-Kropotkin anarchists already before the war (and explicitly making the connection between Kropotkin's ideology and his support for the war). Does that translation say they were also anti-Bakuninist?

Well, it says what it says. :D I understand that they were some kind of response on the bakuninist anarchism, that was present in Russia at the time.

Noa Rodman

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on November 10, 2011

He himself is probably the best source on the black banner movement:

Grossman-Roščin. Thoughts on the Past: Georgij Gogelia (Orgeiani): [Obituary] / / Past. - 1925. N2 (30). - p. 230 - 233.

Grossman-Roščin. Thoughts on the Past: From the history of Bialystok's anarchist "black banner" movement / / Past. 1924. -N27-28.-p. 172-182
.
Grossman-Roščin. October revolution and the tactics of the anarchosyndicalists / / Voice of Labor. - Moscow; Petrgrad, 1919. - N1, December.-p. 2 - A

----------
Гроссман И.С. (Гроссман-Рощин). Думы о былом: Георгий Гогелиа (Оргеиани): [Некролог] // Былое. - 1925. N2 (30). - С. 230 - 233.

112. Гроссман И.С. (Гроссман-Рощин). Думы о былом: Из истории белостоцкого анархического "чернознаменного" движения // Былое. 1924. -N27-28.-С. 172-182.

113. Гроссман И.С. (Гроссман-Рощин). Октябрьская революция и тактика анархосиндикалистов // Голос труда. - М.; Пг., 1919. - N1, де­кабрь.-С. 2- П.

source

Copy-past the link to the biography on Gogelia in google-translate, if you want to read a sad story. Along with the article on black banner, Grossman's obituary to this forgotten Georgian anarchist should be recovered.

Entdinglichung

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on November 16, 2011

Hans Pfeiffer (1895-1968) MP and minor leading figure of the KPD during the 1920ies left 1914 the SPD in protest against their support for the war and became an anarchist, than joined the USPD in 1917 and the KPD when it was founded, inside the 1920ies KPD, he was regarded as a pedantic expert in organisational matters and acquired the nickname "Kartothekowitsch" (card-filing system + russian ending)

Karetelnik

12 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Karetelnik on November 18, 2011

Grossman-Roshchin, often arrested under the tsarist regime, was first arrested by the Bolsheviks in 1919, even though he was already calling himself an “anarcho-Bolshevik”. His occupation was listed as lecturer at the Socialist Academy (founded 1918; renamed the Communist Academy in 1924), a revolutionary counterpart to the long-established Academy of Sciences. Because of this arrest Grossman-Roshchin has been officially classified as a “victim of Soviet terror”. He was rehabilitated in 2003 on the grounds his arrest was “politically motivated”.

Lemert

12 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Lemert on November 28, 2011

I'm thinking about it (becoming a sort of Marxist). Marxists should also think about becoming anarchists.

krdel

12 years 7 months ago

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Submitted by krdel on December 14, 2011

About gogelia, I allready came across him, again in Dajić's text:

Judged by his contemporaries, "shining polemicist, dangerous dialecticist" has been defeating his enemies on the tournaments of politic retorics, leaving behind series of works, especially on the field of anarcho-sindicalism, which are considered as gems, classic of polemic genre.

So, this "series of works" exist? In the (google translated) text above I understand nothing was published from Gogelia's work?

and, btw, is there any coherent biography of Grossman-Roščin allready made?

Karetelnik

12 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Karetelnik on December 15, 2011

and, btw, is there any coherent biography of Grossman-Roščin allready made?

A renegade from Anarchism, spurned by the Bolsheviks, G-R has yet to find a biographer although he would certainly make an interesting subject. His cause of death is obscure but he may have committed suicide. Here is the entry for G-R in a biographical dictionary of the Russian left published in 1996:

GROSSMAN, Iuda Solomonovich (Iuda Solomonov Shloymov) (pseud.: Grossman-Roshchin, I.) (7.2.1883, village of Novoukrainka, Elisavetgrad county, Kherson province – 6.6.1934, Moscow). From a merchant family. Brother of A. S. Grossman. In the revolutionary movement from 1897, favoured the social-democrats. In 1897 belonged to the Elisavetgrad study group of the “South Russian Workers’ Union”. In 1898 he was arrested by the Kherson provincial police for working as an organizer. On 9.6.1899 he was banished to Novoukrainka on probation for three years. In the summer of 1902 he went abroad (Germany, Switzerland), made contact with representatives of the Russian emigration, at first expressing a preference for the social-democrats, but then (in 1903) switching to the Anarchists. He worked with the leaders of the Geneva group of Anarcho-communists “Khleb i volya” [Bread and freedom], including G. I. Gogelia, L. V. Ikonnikova, and M. G. Tsereteli, to put out their publication “Anarkhiya” [Anarchy] (1904, Paris & Geneva). Starting in 1903 he began lecturing and writing essays on the theory and history of Anarchism. He showed himself to be a principled exponent of terror and expropriation. Early in 1905 he returned to Russia and joined the Białystok group “Khleb i volya”, precursor of the “Chernoye Znamya” [Black Banner] tendency in Russian Anarchism. He organized the first “Chernoye Znamya” groups in Odessa and Yekaterinoslav. In the autumm of 1905 he moved to Vilna where he promoted the ideas of the Anarcho-chernoznamentsi; then he chaired the first conference of chernoznametsi of Northwest and South Russia in Białystok. In January 1906 he helped organize a congress of “bezmotivny” (motiveless) Anarchists in Kishinev. In April – May, 1906, he undertook a journey through some cities of South Russia (Kiev, Odessa, Yekaterinoslav), rendering theoretical and practical support to his supporters and writing position papers. In Odessa he helped the members of the Chernoye Znamya group plan terrorist actions and the blowing up of the stock exchange. From the beginning of 1907 he directed the Chernoye Znamya group in Kiev and was elected a delegate to the International Anarchist Congress in Amsterdam. On 14.6.1907 he was arrested at the border at Aleksandrov Station and held for trial before the Kiev provincial police board. He was remanded to the Lukyanovsky Prison and on 11.10.1907 was banished on probation for three years to Tyumen, Tobolsk province. In early August, 1908, he fled from exile and emigrated. An Anarcho-syndicalist, and fanatical exponent of violent action, Grossman in emigration advocated for the unification of Russian Anarchist groups into a single association committed to Anarcho-syndicalism. In 1912 – 1913 he became attracted to the ideas of the French idealist philosopher A. Bergson. Starting in 1914 he wrote for the newspaper “Rabochiy mir” [Workers’ world] (organ of the Zurich group of Anarcho-communists), and in 1915 – 1917 he was on the editorial board of “Rabocheye znamya” [Workers’ banner] an Anarcho-communist organ published in Lausanne and Geneva. Back in Russia in 1917, he participated in legal Anarchist publishing (Moscow, Petrograd), mainly the journal “Golos truda” [Voice of labour], and lectured on the history of Anarchism. He welcomed the victory of the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution. In June 1918 he joined the Moscow Confederation of Anarchists. In 1919 he spent some time at the headquarters of N. I. Makhno, occupying himself with the propaganda of Anarchist ideas and calling himself an “Anarcho-Bolshevik”. In the 1920’s he published a number of works of a literary or journalistic character, and worked as a literary critic for the journals “Biloye” [Bygone times], “Oktyabr” [October], and “Na literaturnom postu” [On literary guard]; he also lectured at the MGU [Moscow State University] and VKhUTEMAS [Higher Art and Technical Studios]. The 14.2.1926 edition of “Pravda” published a letter in which he declared himself an adherent of Bolshevism.

krdel

12 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by krdel on December 16, 2011

Great, thanks. It will be enough.

He should really get a wiki article.

krdel

12 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by krdel on December 25, 2011

Noa Rodman

Also, is it accepted here as a common knowledge that Arshinov renounced anarchism?

About that, i searched for his pamplets Anarchism and the dictatorship
of the proletariat (1931) and Anarchism in our age (1933) and found nothing actually, not even russian texts. Were thay transleted, can they be obtained anywhere on the net?

Noa Rodman

12 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on December 26, 2011

No, but there's also another text of his after his break called 'Eléments neufs et anciens de l’anarchisme' (1933) (don't know how it's in Russian).

According to this, there was a theory that he was a GPU agent already after the civil war (so his Platformism becomes then sabotage or what).

It seems Max Nettlau does give some quotes from 'Anarchism and DoP', here (because Arshinov picked out Nettlau as proof of a convergence between reformism and anarchism).

_______________________________________________________
Now, some other works which Karetelnik has found by G-R:

“Bakunin and Bergson” // Zabety [Behests] – St. Petersburg, 1914. – No. 5, May. – Section II. – pp. 47-62.

“Bakunin on the state, patriotism and war // Golos Truda [Voice of Labour]: organ of the Association of anarcho-sydicalists “Golos Truda”. – Moscow, 1919. – No. 1, Dec. – pp. 34-39.

“Notes about the views of Bakunin” // Rabochiy mir [Workers’ world]: organ of the Federation of Russian anarcho-communists groups abroad. – London ; Paris, 1914. – No. 4A – 21 May. – (Ser. II. Year II)/100 Year Anniversary from the Birth of Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin : 1814—1876—1914 – pp. 6-8.

Art to change the world : (collection of articles on the theory and history of literature). – Moscow.: 1930 – 352 pp.

“Personality, necessity, reality: (About “The German Ideology” – Marx and Engels about Feuerbach. Archive of K. Marx and F. Engels) // Pod znamenem marksizma [Under the banner of marxism] : Monthly philosophical and socio-economic journal. – Moscow, 1924. – No. 12, Dec. – pp. 134-142.

“Thoughts about the creative work of P. A. Kropotkin” // Petr Kropotkin : collection of articles devoted to the memory of P. A. Kropotkin / edited by A. Borovoi, N. Lebedev. – Petrograd. ; Moscow. : Golos truda, 1922, 1922. – pp. 12-29.

“On old themes : Notes” // Rabochiy mir : Organ of the federation of groups of Russian anarcho-communists abroad. – Paris, 1914. – No. 1, Feb. – (Ser. II. Year II). – pp. 7-9.

“Concerning the transition stage” // Golos truda : Organ of the Association of anarcho-syndicalists “Golos truda”. – Moscow., 1919. – No. 1, Dec. – pp. 31-33.

“A Speech, delivered by I. Grossman-Roshchin at Kropotkin’s grave” // Piotr Kropotkin : collection of articles devoted to the memory of P. A. Kropotkin / edited by A. Borovoi, N. Lebedev. – Petrograd. ; Moscow. : Golos truda, 1922. – pp. 158-160.

Review of B. I. Gorev, M. A. Bakunin. His life, activity and teachings. Moscow. : 1919. in Golos truda. – Moscow., 1919. – No. 1, Dec. – pp. 49-50.

Review of P. L. Lavrov, The Paris Commune. Moscow :1919. in Golos truda. – Moscow., 1919. – No. 1, Dec. – p. 46.

“Twilight of a great spirit” : (M. A. Bakunin. “Confession”) // Pechat’ i revoliutsiia [The Press and revolution]. – Moscow, 1921. – Bk. 3. – pp. 44-58.

“Towards a characterization of the creative work of P. A. Kropotkin” in the philosophy & culture section of Zhizn’ dlya vsekh [Life for everyone]. – Petrograd, 1918. – No. 4/6, Apr.-June. – pp. 365-386. – Contents: 1). Psychological premises. – pp. 365-376 ; 2). Dualism in the value system of P. A. Kropotkin : (Lessons of war). – pp. 376-386 ; also, under the title : “Characterization of the creative work of P. A. Kropotkin” : (speech delivered at a meeting held by the Chita group of anarcho-syndicalists). – Petrograd. ; Moscow. : Golos truda, 1921. – 31 pp.

The Artist and the Epoch. – Moscow. ; Leningrad., 1928. – 257 pp.

Karetelnik

12 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Karetelnik on December 27, 2011

krdel wrote:
About that, i searched for his pamplets Anarchism and the dictatorship of the proletariat (1931) and Anarchism in our age (1933) and found nothing actually, not even russian texts. Were thay transleted, can they be obtained anywhere on the net?

"Anarchism and the dictatorship of the proletariat", a 16-page pamphlet, is a rarity indeed and not available on the net.

"Anarchism in our age" sounds like a reprint of Arshinov's pamphlet on The Platform published (I think) originally in pamphlet form in 1929.

Arshinov's repudiation of anarchism entitled "The Downfall of Anarchism", published in Izvestiya in 1935, has been published, although not currently available on the net.

Karetelnik

12 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Karetelnik on December 27, 2011

This already mentioned article by Iu. Grossman-Roshchin:

“Twilight of a great spirit” : (M. A. Bakunin. “Confession”) // Pechat’ i revoliutsiia [The Press and revolution]. – Moscow, 1921. – Bk. 3. – pp. 44-58

is available online at http://ia600408.us.archive.org/1/items/g1pechatirevoliu03mosk/g1pechatirevoliu03mosk.pdf

Bakunin was the subject of many studies in the early Soviet state. The 50th anniversary of his death in 1926 was the occasion for special events and exhibits put on by both the Soviet government and the anarchists. The discovery in the tsarist archives of his "Confession" caused consternation to both the Bolsheviks and anarchists!

Noa Rodman

12 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on January 17, 2012

Now that Grossman-Roščin's Critique of Kropotkin’s Fundamental Teachings was translated and put into the library, as well the obituary on the important Georgian anarchist Georgi Gogelia
pictured standing in the middle:

and even a text From the history of the anarchist “Black Banner” movement in Białystok, I for one, would like to read even more from him.

For example, his assessment of the tactics of the anarchosyndicalists with regard to the October revolution, and his review of P. L. Lavrov's The Paris Commune or about M.O. Gershenzon's Fate of the Jewish People.

In other news, I found a reference to a piece by Kautsky in Der Kampf, called:
Ein Verfechter der Einheitsfront. [Über Bakunin]. S. 446-52. 1928

Perhaps Kautsky became more appreciative of Bakunin.

It was also published in The New Leader (New York). I would like to know a way to access its archive.

Karetelnik

8 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Karetelnik on March 17, 2016

The Russian-American historian Yury Felshtinsky has cited an Okhrana document from the Hoover Institute which indicates that during WWI the Germans tried without success to recruit Russian anarchists, Iuda Grossman-Roshchin in particular, to destabilize the Russian government. (Lenin, Trotsky, Germany and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, 2012, p. 307, fn.25). The Bolsheviks, of course, were not so scrupulous. . .

freemind

8 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by freemind on March 18, 2016

Gregarious Jover,leader of Anarchist militia column in the Spanish Revolution joined the "Communists" while exiled in Mexico after the defeat.

freemind

8 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by freemind on March 18, 2016

Gregorio Jover lol

Anarcho

8 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Anarcho on March 21, 2016

While Lucy Parsons may not have joined the Communist Party, she certainly sided with the Bolsheviks over Kronstadt -- see my review Lucy Parsons: American Anarchist of the terrible book by Carolyn Ashbaugh.

As for Victor Serge, he went from an elitist individual to an elitist Bolshevik before becoming to the conclusion (20 years too late!) that Bolshevism had flaws -- see my Victor Serge: The Worst of the Anarchists.

Peter Arshinov went from being a Bolshevik to being an anarchist to returning to Stalinist Russia -- and then was shot, if I remember correctly, for trying to reintroduce anarchism into the USSR. Shame as his book on the Makhnovist movement was excellent and explained the flaws in Bolshevism extremely well.

Karetelnik

8 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Karetelnik on July 8, 2016

“Thoughts about the creative work of P. A. Kropotkin” // Petr Kropotkin : collection of articles devoted to the memory of P. A. Kropotkin / edited by A. Borovoi, N. Lebedev. – Petrograd. ; Moscow. : Golos truda, 1922. – pp. 12-29.

“A Speech, delivered by I. Grossman-Roshchin at Kropotkin’s grave”, ibid. – pp. 158-160.

These articles, mentioned above, can be found here, or here. They were published by the anarcho-syndicalist publishing house Golos Truda in the USSR, legally, but still having to pass the censor.

Battlescarred

7 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Battlescarred on September 1, 2016

Hmmm, Excuse me for being a cynic but I feel that Grossman-Roshchin's conversion to Leninism from anarchism had more to do with an astute career move than anything else with a nice cushy job as the regime's pet cultural critic and praisesinger for Lenin.

Noa Rodman

7 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Noa Rodman on September 1, 2016

Our previous discussion and my translation of his critique of the soviet modernist architecture current: https://libcom.org/library/notes-layman-iuda-grossman-roshchin

Golos Truda 1919 (courtesy of Karetelnik), which includes his article on 'October revolution and the tactics of the anarchosyndicalists': http://www.mediafire.com/download/j1djrzdl20fddvv/%D0%93%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%BE%D1%81-%D1%82%D1%80%D1%83%D0%B4%D0%B0-1-%D0%B4%D0%B5%D0%BA%D0%B0%D0%B1%D1%80%D1%8C-1919%283%29.pdf

(basic point that the state apparatus came to dominate due to civil war conditions, not (or less) the particular character of Bolshevik ideology)

Grossman's thoughts on Lenin in this 1927 article (Russian, but OCR'd): http://www.mediafire.com/download/9aw41ljlzkazbbd/Mysli_o_Lenine._J._Grossman-Roshchin._Vestnik_1927_No19.pdf

Reminder that his article in PZM is online: “Personality, necessity, reality: (About “The German Ideology” – Marx and Engels about Feuerbach. Archive of K. Marx and F. Engels), 1924. – No. 12, Dec. – pp. 134-142.

altemark

7 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by altemark on September 1, 2016

Another interesting case is that of Hinke Bergen.

Hinke in 1906

Henrik 'Hinke' Bergegren, early member of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, who for a while vied Hjalmar Branting for the leadership of the party, espousing a peculiarly Swedish type of libertarian socialism known as "Youth Socialism". He was a well-known agitator, both as editor of various important movement newspapers, and for traveling all across the land. He was jailed numerous times for his opposition against militarism, and also for his advocacy of free love, as can be understood by the fact that 1910 law stipulating a ban against information about contraceptive methods was named "Lex Hinke".

Hinke, often portrayed by his enemies as either scatter-brained and violent or an immoral devil, using Brand to chase away reformists, militarists and the bourgeoise

In 1908 the Branting faction was eventually successful in attempting to expel Bergegren, consequently causing the party to also lose its own youth organization. Even though Hinke opened up the pages of the youth socialist magazine Brand (still being published today, now as Tidningen Brand) to various shades of libertarian thought, most noteworthy the initial reflections on revolutionary syndicalism, he never joined the SAC when the anarcho-syndicalist union was founded in 1910 by disgruntled LO workers and radical youth socialists, often expressing views of skepticism towards it.

Members of the Lund Youth Socialist Party local - "death to militarism"

In 1921 he broke with the Youth Socialist Party (despite the "Party" in its name, this is the form in which the social democrat youth league continued to agitate for anarchism and social revolution), joining the Communist Party of Sweden (SKP), and when the SKP suffered a split in 1929, he threw his lot with the splinter group the Socialist Party, of which he was a member until his death in 1936. (The party itself followed an interesting line of going from authoritarian to totalitarian when, following the Moscow trials in 1938 it begun a process which led it to restyl itself a 'national socialist party' under the leadership of Nils Flyg.)

Hinke agitating for anarchism in 1908

Karetelnik

7 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Karetelnik on September 3, 2016

Grossman-Roshchin’s 1919 article The October Revolution and the Tactics of the Anarcho-Syndicalists was recently reprinted in the anthology Anarchism: Pro and Contra, ed. P. I. Talerova, (SPb: RKhGA, 2015), pp. 592-603. This is an extended defense of “Soviet anarchism” under the prevailing conditions of War Communism. The same collection includes a reply to G-R: An Open Letter to I. Grossman-Roshchin by the anarcho-syndicalist Boris Stoyanov (ibid., pp. 694-618) originally published in Istina (Petrograd, 1920). Stoyanov scornfully notes that the Bolsheviks’ War Communism is not a transitional stage on the road to an anarchist society of free labour, but a new, more absolute, form of capitalist wage slavery – state capitalism.