Free Territory

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.

Nestor Makhno in the Russian civil war

Early 1980s British perspective about Makhno and the Makhnovists, this is a sympathetic examination of their tactics and activity.

Makhno, Nestor, 1889-1934

Nestor Makhno pictured centre, in fur hat

A short biography of anarchist and guerrilla leader Nestor Makhno, who led the anarchist Insurrectionary Army of the Ukraine, known as the Makhnovist movement.