Russian revolution

Articles about the Russian revolution of 1917 and the degeneration of that revolution under Leninism from an anarchist perspective

The Russian Revolution: Four October Myths

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Here I am going to look at four myths, widly accepted by the left and right alike on the October revolution and its aftermath. In 1922 Emma Goldman complained Soviet Russia, had become "the modern socialist Lourdes, to which the blind and the lame, the deaf and the dumb were flocking for miraculous cures". And like most religious events that claim a historical valadity many of the myths of the October revolution rather then being historical accounts are written instead to create a blind faith in the leadership of the party.

The re-emergance of Russian Anarchism from the 1980's

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Although many classical anarchist theorists and figures came from Russia, the advent of the Soviet State effectively crushed the movement. Now anarchism is reborn in Russia. Laure Akai and Mikhail Tsovma write from Moscow to tell us a little about the trials and tribulations of the new Russian anarchist movement.

Leninism and the failure of the Russian revolution

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The Russian revolutions of 1917 demonstrate that a revolution is possible but they also warn against authoritarian methods of introducing socialism.

Factory committees in the Russian Revolution

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The factory committees appeared in Petrograd and Moscow around February/March of 1917, and quickly spread. Elected directly by the workers in each enterprise, they appear initially to have formed in a response to theatened closures, and to press for the 8-hour day, though the scope of their demands would soon extend.  But by 1918 they were being suppressed by the new Bolshevik government.

In Defence of the Truth: The Kronstadt Uprising against the Bolsheviks

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We have been insisting on the need for the far left to re-appraise the tradition of the Russian revolution and in particular the role the Bolsheviks played in destroying that revolution. One of the most detailed responses to the anarchists critique of Bolshevism was published in the winter issue of International Socialism the journal of the Socialist Workers Party (the largest Leninist group in England).

The Cheka during the Russian revolution - notes for a talk

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Was the Cheka integral to Lenin's doctrine or did it arrive by chance?

How Lenin led to Stalin

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FOR THE LENINIST far left the collapse of the USSR has thrown up more questions then it answered. If the Soviet Union really was a 'workers state' why were the workers unwilling to defend it? Why did they in fact welcome the changes?

What happened to Trotskys "political revolution or bloody counter revolution"? Those Leninist organisations which no longer see the Soviet Union as a workers state do not escape the contradictions either. If Stalin was the source of the problem why do so many Russian workers blame Lenin and the other Bolshevik leaders too.

An anarchist critique of Lenin

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THE COLLAPSE of the regimes in Eastern Europe has thrown up all sorts of questions about socialism. So let's go back to the beginning. The Russian revolution of 1917 was, initially, a shot in the arm for socialists everywhere. It was possible, it existed and now it only remained to imitate it everywhere else. But as time passed it became obvious that something had gone terribly wrong. Instead of being the inspiring picture of our future, Russia had turned into a squalid class-ridden dictatorship. As purge followed purge and the new rulers allocated themselves the best of everything, the socialist movement in the West floundered as it sought explanations for what had gone wrong.

The Russian Tragedy by Alexander Berkman (Phoenix Press )

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ALEXANDER BERKMAN was no mere theorist. All his life he was an active anarchist militant. Born in Russia, by the age of fifteen he had been expelled from school for membership of a group which met to read radical books. By the age of nineteen he was in America and active in a revolutionary anarchist group.

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