Makhnovists

87 posts / 0 new
Last post
Bubbles's picture
Bubbles
Offline
Joined: 4-12-06
Jan 20 2007 10:30

I would like to see what people have to say about the "facts" in this article about the "glorious" october revolution, Makhno and Kronstadt. Please dont bash me I'm not a trot or lenny.

boozemonarchy's picture
boozemonarchy
Offline
Joined: 28-12-06
Jan 20 2007 21:48
x357997 wrote:
I would like to see what people have to say about the "facts" in this article about the "glorious" october revolution, Makhno and Kronstadt. Please dont bash me I'm not a trot or lenny.

what article are you talking about?

Bubbles's picture
Bubbles
Offline
Joined: 4-12-06
Jan 20 2007 23:23

damn. sorry. hold on.

Bubbles's picture
Bubbles
Offline
Joined: 4-12-06
Jan 20 2007 23:31

here:

http://www.marxist.com/makhno-anarchists-kronstadt-russia.htm

boozemonarchy's picture
boozemonarchy
Offline
Joined: 28-12-06
Jan 21 2007 01:09

thanks x357997. i don't have the time to read through it all right now, but i found this section of a paragraph to be revealling of the nature of this article.

Quote:
Lenin and his comrades understood that both organizing the working-class and defending its interests were to be matters of the highest priority for the Bolshevik Party. But by no means were the Bolsheviks blind towards the needs of the peasants

i don't really think "working class interests" included some armed bandits with sickle/hammer insignia showing up and talking the harvest from them? And secondly, did the working-class need to be "organized" by the lenin and his comrades? It seems they were learning very quickly how to control there own lives. The smothering and eventual crushing of the rank and file revolution in russia was indeed a sad affair. sad sad

boozemonarchy's picture
boozemonarchy
Offline
Joined: 28-12-06
Jan 21 2007 01:11

spelling error,

"showing up and talking the harvest from them" is actually "showing up and taking the harvest from them"

Bubbles's picture
Bubbles
Offline
Joined: 4-12-06
Jan 21 2007 01:21

I know the very nature of the article. I was wondering if people here could de-bunk this articles "facts" about makhno etc.

AndrewF's picture
AndrewF
Offline
Joined: 28-02-05
Jan 21 2007 01:40

The last line says all you need to know The true legacy of the October Revolution will be clear to everyone.

Bubbles's picture
Bubbles
Offline
Joined: 4-12-06
Jan 21 2007 01:52

Comrades. I get it. Its Leninist. I'm not a Leninist. I'm not asking for people to laugh at its dogmatic rambles. Just because it was writen by leninists doesnt mean that they have everything 100% wrong and /maby/ they have discovered some information that dis-proves some things that some of us here used to hold true. If their article is 100% wrong about everything then I think we would all have a good laugh at their stupidity but not intil that is proven.

boozemonarchy's picture
boozemonarchy
Offline
Joined: 28-12-06
Jan 21 2007 01:53
x357997 wrote:
I know the very nature of the article. I was wondering if people here could de-bunk this articles "facts" about makhno etc.

opps, sorry about that wink
i see where you going with it now. I'm no historian or anything so i'll probably be of no use anyhow. sad

AndrewF's picture
AndrewF
Offline
Joined: 28-02-05
Jan 21 2007 01:57

The point is this article is so bad (as in funny bad) that no one would bother taking it apart. As above the last line says it all - if you want more than that get the books down and do some reading.

Bubbles's picture
Bubbles
Offline
Joined: 4-12-06
Jan 21 2007 02:01
JoeBlack2 wrote:
get the books down and do some reading.

Thats what I've been doing and continuing to. It just makes life easyer when I can get some of the comrades at libcom to do all the work for me wink

boozemonarchy's picture
boozemonarchy
Offline
Joined: 28-12-06
Jan 21 2007 02:03
x357997 wrote:
Comrades. I get it. Its Leninist. I'm not a Leninist. .

i hope you didn't think I was accusing you of the shadowy practice of leninism. It was not my intention comrade. smile

Quote:
I'm not asking for people to laugh at its dogmatic rambles.

even if your not asking us to, its kinda tough not to. Nothing more funny than the authoratarian lefts' apology for the mess that was the USSR wink

AndrewF's picture
AndrewF
Offline
Joined: 28-02-05
Jan 21 2007 02:13
x357997 wrote:
Thats what I've been doing and continuing to. It just makes life easyer when I can get some of the comrades at libcom to do all the work for me ;)

err yeah but in this case give a man a fish feed him for a day, teach a man to fish feed him for life

Bubbles's picture
Bubbles
Offline
Joined: 4-12-06
Jan 21 2007 02:14
bozemananarchy wrote:
x357997 wrote:
Comrades. I get it. Its Leninist. I'm not a Leninist. .

i hope you didn't think I was accusing you of the shadowy practice of leninism. It was not my intention comrade. smile

Quote:
I'm not asking for people to laugh at its dogmatic rambles.

even if your not asking us to, its kinda tough not to. Nothing more funny than the authoratarian lefts' apology for the mess that was the USSR :wink:

Yea, I had a few laughs reading this myself. The last lane is one of my favorites.

Feighnt
Offline
Joined: 20-07-06
Jan 21 2007 11:09

reading through this piece right now... some of the things they say in this are absoultely ridiculous. and some things, just disgusting. i mean, look at this quote, which comes at the end of a paragraph which attemps to show the supposedly "conservative" turn the peasantry took:

Quote:
This grossly unbalanced outlook was similar to those of later peasant movements in the “Third World”, for example that of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

my god! surprised and they're justifying the crack-down! they do a typical case of putting the cart before the horse (or however that saying goes), by claiming that the bolsheviks cracked down on the peasantry only *after* the peasants became hostile to the meddling and chauvinism of the bolshevik party. really, makes me want to go up to these people and start pounding on them... when they start to defend themselves, i'll use that as justification for why i attacked!

Quote:
Some of these groups were extremely sectarian and anti-Bolshevik, one example being that of the notorious “Nabat” group. This particular group was responsible for organizing bloody terrorist actions against the Bolshevik Party Centre in Moscow in 1919.

can anyone name any actual terrorist actions they took against the Bolsheviks? i dont know of any. i recall reading about a case (think it was in Anarchy's Cossack, perhaps - definitely from Skirda, though) where someone actually approached Voline and the gang there with a plan to overthrow the Bolsheviks, back when it could've been successful. and they actually refused!

Quote:
During the civil war, the petty-bourgeoisie (the peasantry) (...)

hahaha! tongue cant even keep their slander straight - since when were peasants and artisans the same thing?

Quote:
Of all the peasant movements which sought to play the middle-ground, the most famous was that led by Makhno in the Ukraine from 1918 to 1921. This military force was a typical peasant army, unchanged from the old Medieval-era structure – possessing both the strengths and weaknesses of that form.

... the Makhnovists were an old Medieval-era organization? it's true that the concept of the Batko went back a long way, but precisely what was medieval about them? this quote just makes little sense, as far as i can tell. it's followed up by this:

Quote:
Makhno’s militia began as a guerrilla force formed when Germany occupied the Ukraine in 1918. These guerrillas excelled in their own sphere of action, but couldn’t stand firm against an extended clash with a regular army. While these guerrillas operated in their home areas, they could expect help from locals. But, when fighting away from their home villages, they lived by banditry and as a result lost support from most people.

so perhaps they mean they were like a "medieval-era organization" in that they were guerillas? or the accusation that they resorted to banditry? precisely how many guerillas were around in the medieval ages? i'd thought the term originally came about to describe the spanish fighters who opposed Napoleon, but i could be wrong. if i'm correct, that's quite far out of medieval times. as for the banditry claim, i've yet to hear of any actual confirmed cases of banditry - theft and the like was rather strictly punished. furthermore, if they "lost support from most people," precisely how did they survive? if they had no support from the locals, they would not have been able to have recruited more volunteers (and it was a full volunteer force), would not have been able to have gained logistical information from local peasants... one thing i know for sure is this: the bolshevik press constantly called them bandits in their official papers (along with other "pleasant" titles) with little concern for truth. i'm thinking the idealistic fellow who wrote this paper has taken at face value party propaganda.

Quote:
Makhno led a peasant movement, and so never had a strong base of support in any of the cities.

i'm unsure of how popular they were in other cities, but this simply cannot be the case in their home city of Gulyai-Polye.

Quote:
The following examples illustrate the attitude that Makhno had towards the working class. When railway and telegraph workers from the Ekaterinoslav-Sinelnikovo line were still suffering after a long period of starvation under Denikin’s occupation, they asked Makhno to pay them for their work. He responded with, “We are not like the Bolsheviks to feed you, we don’t need the railways; if you need money, take the bread from those who need your railways and telegraphs.” In a separate incident, he told the workers of Briansk, “Because the workers do not want to support Makhno’s movement and demand pay for the repairs of the armoured car, I will take this armoured car for free and pay nothing.”

this is more interesting, and i'm unsure if it's true or not. i could see it as being true, but dont know one way or another. the Makhnovists did have something of an "anti-charity" attitude - from what i've read, this wasnt due to a lack of sympathy for the people, but, rather, because they wanted people to take matters in their own hands more often. he didnt want people to rely on his force as if it was some governing body. the second quote doesnt deal with matters of "charity" or the like, of course. i think it's possible enough he could've done this - i'd like it if there was more context given by the authors of the article about this situation. the article they cite underneath these quotes wont open for me, and i get the impression that it would be in russian anyway, which i cannot read. it's very easy to invent quotes, to modify, or to spin things. was that done? cant say.

Quote:
The cities in Makhno’s territories were not ruled by Soviets. Instead, they were ruled by mayors drawn from Makhno’s military forces.

first i've heard of it. never heard of a Makhnovist mayor. something i'd read some time before stated that, when the Makhnovists left a city, they left only one figure who represented the insurrectionary army, but this fellow had no real powers over how the city acted.

following this, is a quote dealing with the Makhnovists being highly centralized, and that they formed a brutal secret police. i have no doubt there was some amount of centralization amongst them, but they still had the election of officers, and thusly could hardly be considered quite so centralized, it seems to me. i think someone in here mentioned the Makhnovists forming an intelligence agency, which i know little-to-nothing about. was it also a secret police? no idea.

Quote:
In September of 1920, Ivanov V. (representative of the Southern Front Revolutionary Soviet) visited Makhno. He later wrote this description of Makhno’s camp: “The regime is brutal, the discipline is hard as steel, rebels are beaten on the face for any small breach, no elections to the general command staff, all commanders up to company commander are appointed by Makhno and the Anarchist Revolutionary War Council, Revolutionary Military Soviet (Revvoensovet) became an irreplaceable, uncontrollable and non-elected institution. Under the revolutionary military council there is a ‘special section’ that deals with disobediences secretly and without mercy.” (2) Jakovlev J. op. cit.

in the post i made about Antonov-Ovseenko, which included a considerable amount of quotations which were direct observations from Antonov-Ovseenko himself. he had essentially nothing bad to say about the Makhnovists... this was, i believe, during the first alliance with the Bolsheviks, 1919. the alliance broke later that year, and the second alliance came late the following year, 1920. could the Makhnovist force have changed from the relative civility towards what Ivanov described within a matter of months? perhaps, but how likely is that? even during the second alliance, the Bolsheviks had already decided they would not tolerate the Makhnovists, and still quite intended on finishing them off after they finished the whites - i find Ivanov's attitude to be very convenient, and suspect that whomever was sent over to the Makhnovists would've tarnished their reputation however was thought necessary, in order to keep with the party line. i think it's also suspect that Ivanov makes the sort of *criticisms* of the Makhnovists, which, he must have known, truthfully applied doubly-so to the bolshevik forces (of course, perhaps he was in denial?). but, considering the heavy-handed discipline and extreme centralization and authoritarianism of the bolshevik forces, how is it that Ivanov thought to point this out for the Makhnovists as being faults? should he not have used it to praise their supposed professionalism? while i cant say anything definitive, it seems quite fishy.

Quote:
n order to get food, Makhno’s forces robbed not only villages under their control but also Red Army convoys. This caused many conflicts. Finally, in 1921, actions like these played a part in the decisive split between Makhno and the Soviet State.

they claim that the final split came due to, essentially, banditry of the Makhnovists. they claim this, despite that, again, in the Antonov-Ovseenko quotes i made in that other thread, it is spelled out clearly even during the FIRST alliance that the Bolsheviks did not trust the Makhnovists and planned on ending them. hmm.

the rest of the article deals with Kronstadt, and isnt of such relevance - i find it interesting, and, indeed, actually *heartening* that they not only point out that the early Kronstadt sailors were Anarchists, but that the later sailors of Kronstadt came heavily from "southern Russia and the Ukraine, areas strongly influenced by Makhno." and, thusly, they blame Kronstadt, indirectly, on Makhnovists too. however, if this were true, i certainly cant feel bad about it grin interesting point of contradiction to note here, though: they claim that southern Russia and the Ukraine were strongly influenced by Makhno, yet, earlier, the author also claimed that the Makhnovists lost massive popularity within their area of action due to their supposedly tyrannical and heartless treatment of the locals.

the rest of the article goes on and says odd things, like claiming that the Kronstadters only used revolutionary slogans and made revolutionary claims for tactical reasons, not really believing in them. not like the wonderful Bolshevik party, which showed how committed they were to their own revolutionary slogans in practice, huh?

the author of this piece draws... seemingly exclusively from Bolshevik sources, and this should make things suspect enough. one source cited a few times was Jakovlev/Yakovlev, who was not simply a Soviet historian - he was a party official. as was the afore-quoted Ivanov. i *do* admit, and readily point out, much of what i've said here has been from Skirda! however, Skirda, himself, cited various sources in his accounts of the Makhnovists, including Anarchists both in and out of the Makhnovist force, Bolsheviks, Whites, and some non-aligned people beside (this includes people like Yakovlev, btw). seems a more reliable bit of research to me.

Feighnt
Offline
Joined: 20-07-06
Jan 21 2007 11:51

this got me all wanting to do some further research - this is all i'll do for this night, though, but i highly recommend checking out these three links, which are part of the Anarchist FAQ:

http://www.nestormakhno.info/english/makfaq/h_6_5.htm

http://www.nestormakhno.info/english/makfaq/h_6_7.htm

http://www.nestormakhno.info/english/makfaq/h_6_10.htm

the first is about military organization, the second about how they attempted to apply Anarchism in practice, the third tackling the question of whether the Makhnovists hated city workers and how they acted towards them. the Anarchist FAQ, naturally, is very well argued and well researched.

Commodity
Offline
Joined: 19-12-06
Feb 6 2007 18:33
bozemananarchy wrote:
Quote:
now, in regard to what you said at the end, if Makhno was an authoritarian or not... i think that's a fairly difficult thing to say. one way or another,

totally, i mean he his dead afterall, and unavailable for an interview.

any book/web resource suggestions for further info on Mahkno, my personal library is pretty limited on him, and I love revolutionary russias' history

I have a Makhno internet archive on my home PC (I'm at school) so I'll link it to you when I get a chance.

slothjabber
Offline
Joined: 1-08-06
Feb 23 2007 16:10

With regard to the title 'batko', doesn't it in fact mean 'little father'? And IIRC it was also used as a nickname for the Tsar.

As regards the Italian rifles, does anyone have any info on where they came from? My guess (it's only a guess) is that they were provided to the Russian government before October to fight the Austrians, as Italy's main aim in WWI was taking over the area round Trieste from the Austo-Hungarian Empire. Only speculation, though.

Also, is there any reliable information on the relationship between Makhno and the Nabat Confederation? Most of what I can find about Makhno is about the military aspects of the movement, and I'd like some info on the more political sides of things...

Cheers for any info!

slothjabber
Offline
Joined: 1-08-06
Feb 23 2007 16:11

sorry, bizarre double-post thing going on.