Manifesto Cultural-Educational Section of the Insurgent Army (Makhnovist)

1. WHO ARE THE MAKHNOVISTS AND WHAT ARE THEY FIGHTING FOR?

The Makhnovists are peasants and workers who rose as early as 1918 against the coercion of the German-Magyar, Austrian and Hetman bourgeois authority in the Ukraine. The Makhnovists are those working people who raised the battle standard against the Denikinists and any kind of oppression, violence and lies, wherever they originated. The Makhnovists are the very workers by whose labour the bourgeoisie in general and now the Soviet bourgeoisie in particular rules and grows rich and fat.

2. WHY DO WE CALL OURSELVES MAKHNOVISTS?

Because, first, in the terrible days of reaction in the Ukraine, we saw in our ranks an unfailing friend and leader, Makhno, whose voice of protest against any kind of coercion of the working people rang out in all the Ukraine, calling for a battle against all oppressors, pillagers and political charlatans who betray us; and who [Makhno] is now marching together with us in our common ranks unwaveringly toward the final goal: liberation of the working people from any kind of oppression.

3. WHAT DO WE SEE AS THE BASIS OF LIBERATION?

The overthrow of the monarchist, coalition, republican and social-democratic Communist-Bolshevik Party governments. In their place must be substituted the free and completely independent soviet system of working people without authorities and their arbitrary laws. The soviet system is not the power of the social-democratic Communist-Bolsheviks who now call themselves a soviet power; rather it is the supreme form of non-authoritarian, anti-state socialism, which expresses itself in the organization of a free, happy and independent system of social life for the working people; in which each worker taken , separately, and society as a whole, will be able to build td without assistance his own happiness and well-being according to the principles of solidarity, friendship and equality.

4. HOW DO THE MAKHNOVISTS UNDERSTAND THE SOVIET SYSTEM?

The working people themselves must freely choose their own Soviets, which will carry out the will and desires of the working people themselves, that is to say, administrative, not ruling, Soviets.

The land, the factories, the workshops, the mines, the railroads and the other wealth of the people must belong to the working people themselves, to those who work in them, that is to say, they must be socialized.

5. WHAT ROAD LEADS TO THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE MAKHNOVIST GOALS?

An implacable revolution and consistent struggle against all lies, arbitrariness and coercion, wherever they come from, a struggle to the death, a struggle for free speech, for the righteous cause, a struggle with weapons in hand. Only through the abolition of all rulers, through the destruction of the whole foundation of their lies, in state affairs as well as in political and economic affairs. And only through the destruction of the state by means of a social revolution can the genuine Worker-Peasant soviet system be realized and can we arrive at Socialism.

Cultural-Educational Section of the Insurgent Army (Makhnovist)

27 April 1920

Alternate Version

1. Who are the "makhnovitsi" and for which cause do they fight?

The makhnovitsi are peasants and workers who rose up as long ago as 1918 against the brutality of the bourgeois, German, Hungarian and Austrian authorities and against that of the hetman of the Ukraine.

The makhnovitsi are toilers who have unfurled the banner of struggle against Denikin and against any form of oppression, violence and falsehood, whatever its provenance.

The makhnovitsi are those same toilers who, through their life-long labours, have enriched and fattened the bourgeoisie in general and, today, the soviets in particular.

2. Why are they called "makhnovitsi"?

Because, during the darkest and gravest moments of the reaction in the Ukraine, our ranks included our indefatigable friend and condottiere, Makhno, whose voice rang out across the whole of the Ukraine, in protest at every act of violence against the toilers, summoning them all to the struggle against the oppressors, robbers, usurpers and political charlatans who deceive the toilers. To this very day that voice rings out among us, within our ranks, unchanging in its exhortation to struggle for the ultimate goal of the libertarian and emancipation of toilers from each and every oppression.

3. How do you intend to bring that liberation about?

By overthrowing the monarchist coalition government, the republican, social democratic government, the Bolshevik-Communist government. In their place, through free elections, toilers' councils must be elected and these will not constitute a government, complete with written, arbitrary laws. For the soviet arrangement is not authoritarian (unlike the Social Democrats and Bolshevik Communists who purport to be the soviet authorities today). It is the purest form of anti-authoritarian, anti-State socialism, articulated through free organization of the social life of toilers, independent of authorities: a life where happiness and his own complete well-being, in accordance with the precepts of solidarity, amity and equality.

4. What is the "makhnovitsi" view of the soviet regime?

The toilers themselves must choose their own councils (soviets) which are to carry out the wishes and instructions of those same toilers: so they are to be executive councils, not authoritative councils. The land, factories, forms, mines, transport, etc., should belong to the toilers who toil, so they must be socialized.

5. Which are the paths leading to the "makhnovitsi" final objective?

A consistent and implacable revolutionary struggle against all falsehoods, arbitrariness and violence, from wherever these may emanate, a struggle to the death: free speech, just deeds and struggle under arms.

Only through the abolition of each governor, every representative of authority, through radical destruction of every political, economic and statist falsehood, through destruction of the State by social revolution can a genuine system of worker and peasant soviets be achieved and progress towards socialism assured.

Drafted by the cultural and educational branch of the Makhnovist Insurgent Army.