Makhnovists

A Communist Left Critique of Platformism (Part II): The Platform and its Disciples

In Part I we examined the Free Territory, or Makhnovshchina, the revolutionary movement in Southern Ukraine 1918-21. It was neither a peasant counter-revolution as portrayed in Trotskyist and Stalinist propaganda, nor an anarchist utopia. Rather it was part and parcel of the bloody process of the rise and fall of the Russian Revolution, itself a part of the post-war revolutionary wave. In Part II we finally look at The Organisational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists or simply the Platform, and the Platformist tendency that it later inspired.

A Communist Left Critique of Platformism (Part I): The Makhnovshchina

Many over the years have pointed out the apparent similarities between Platformism and the Communist Left, and indeed some comrades whom today we count among our ranks first came to the politics of the Communist Left through Platformism. But while the need for revolutionaries to come together, in an organisation united around a common platform, is something both tendencies acknowledge, the differences go a bit further than whether one stands beneath a red or black banner. We often get asked what is our attitude towards Platformism and the following is a two-part attempt to grapple with the question.

Schwartzbard, Shalom (1886-1938)

Shalom Schwartzbard, 1886-1938.

Short biography of Jewish anarchist poet and participant in both 1905 and 1917 Russian revolutions Shalom Schwartzbard, who carried out a revenge assassination of a leading anti-Semitic pogromist in Paris.

The Makhnovist movement and the national question in the Ukraine, 1917-1921

Fedir Shchus, sitting centre with other Makhnovist troops

A detailed account and analysis of the Ukrainian revolutionary anarchist army, during the Russian revolution, written by Aleksandr Shubin.

Nestor Makhno: the man and the myth

Nestor Makhno

A short biography of Nestor Makhno by historian Paul Avrich.

Nestor Makhno: Anarchy's Cossack - Alexandre Skirda

Nestor Makhno.

The phenomenal life of Ukrainian peasant Nestor Makhno provides the framework for this breakneck account of the downfall of the Tsarist empire and the civil war that took place as Makhno's army fought both the remnants of the old regime and the new Bolshevik one.

Rybin, Peter, 1885-1921

Peter is second from left, pictured in November 1920

Historical information about Peter Rybin, a Russian anarcho-syndicalist who joined the revolutionary Ukrainian Makhnovist army and was also active in the US, gleaned largely from his Soviet secret police file and focusing on his final months before he was sadly executed.

The Makhno Movement and Opposition within the Party

An article from the 1960's journal Obsolete Communism, the Left-Wing Alternative, about the history of the Makhnovist movement and the attention it had received at the time.

An unsolved mystery: the "diary of Makhno's wife" - V.N. Litvinov

Makno's daughter Elena & wife Galina

V.N. Litvinov analyses and disputes the alleged diary of Makhno's wife and its allegations about the Makhnovist movement and its leader.

La Makhnovtchina

A Makhnovist song about their struggles in Ukraine during the Russian Revolution.