Restless Specters of the Anarchist Dead

  • Posted on: 1 November 2017
  • By: thecollective

From CrimethInc.
A Few Words from the Undead of 1917

This year is the centennial of two revolutions in Russia: one in which the people toppled the Tsar and another in which the Bolsheviks seized state power. Within twenty years, the Bolsheviks had executed or imprisoned most of those who carried out the revolution. Today, as the hashtag #1917live trends on twitter, we should remember the #1917undead, the anarchists who strove to warn humanity that statist paths towards social change will never bring us to freedom. Some of them, like Fanya and Aron Baron, were murdered in cold blood by authoritarian communists in the Soviet Union. Others managed to survive, betrayed by their supposed comrades, to witness the totalitarian results of the Bolshevik coup. Their voices cry out to us today from the grave. Let’s listen.

Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin had sought total centralized power in the name of the proletariat, promising that this was a step towards the “withering away” of the state. From this historical vantage point, their cynical efforts to blot out any model for social change besides the tyranny of state capitalism are clear enough; if it is still difficult to envision what anarchist revolution might look like on a massive scale, we can blame those who systematically exterminated anarchists in the name of socialism. Being the foremost opponents of tyranny, the anarchists were among the first victims of Soviet prisons and firing squads. Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, and many others tried to warn the world of the horrors of Lenin and Stalin, but most people only learned about the gulag archipelago much later from Aleksandr Solzenhitsyn.

Mikhail Bakunin

Although Bakunin passed away more than 40 years before the Russian Revolution, he predicted exactly what would come of Marx’s authoritarian prescriptions for socialism. Those who attempt to excuse Marx, suggesting that Lenin failed to apply his instructions correctly, should take note that Bakunin saw the tragedies of 1917 coming a half century in advance.

Scrutinizing Marx’s conduct in the revolutionary struggles of the 19th century, rather than the books he wrote, we can see today what Bakunin saw then. Marx began his career in the 1840s by attempting to form revolutionary cabals, then purging everyone who did not toe his ideological line—especially working class thinkers like Wilhelm Weitling and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon who were more suspicious of the state than he was. Marx mocked Bakunin for attempting to foment an uprising in Lyons in 1870, though it was precisely the absence of other revolutionary footholds in France that doomed the Paris Commune in 1871. During the Paris Commune, Marx sent Elisabeth Dmitrieff, a twenty-year-old with no experience, to assume control of women’s organizing in Paris, intending to supplant organizers like Louise Michel who had been active for decades. (After the Commune, Dmitrieff disappeared from radical politics, a casualty of authoritarian burnout.) After the Commune fell, Marx took advantage of the fact that the participants—most of whom did not subscribe to his politics—were slaughtered or in hiding to speak on their behalf, announcing that the Commune confirmed all of his theories. In the First International, Marx passed unpopular resolutions in closed-door meetings while the opposition were imprisoned or in exile, rigged majorities at the congresses, and finally attempted to kill off the organization entirely by moving its headquarters to New York when it became clear he could not control it. (Although most historians pass over this, the International survived for several more years as a topless federation run on anarchist principles, whereas the Marxist splinter group became immediately moribund.) Afterwards, from the safety of his study in London, Marx continued to mock Bakunin and others who risked their lives in uprisings while emphasizing that workers should join political parties and subject themselves to party leadership. Marx was no enemy of state oppression.

With the 20th century behind us, Bakunin appears to us as the Cassandra of the 19th century, warning us against the butcheries, betrayals, and gulags to come. Whatever his own shortcomings, he remains a voice from the grave, urging us to beware of anyone who proposes that the state could render us equal or give us freedom.

“Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality.”

addressing the League of Peace and Freedom, September 1867

“I hate Communism because it is the negation of liberty and because humanity is for me unthinkable without liberty. I am not a Communist, because Communism concentrates and swallows up in itself for the benefit of the State all the forces of society, because it inevitably leads to the concentration of property in the hands of the State, whereas I want the abolition of the State, the final eradication of the principle of authority and the patronage proper to the State, which under the pretext of moralizing and civilizing men has hitherto only enslaved, persecuted, exploited and corrupted them. I want to see society and collective or social property organized from below upwards, by way of free association, not from above downwards, by means of any kind of authority whatsoever.”

— addressing the League of Peace and Freedom, September 1868

Mikhail Bakunin.

Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky himself deserves no tears from those who love freedom, egalitarianism, and human decency, as he personally oversaw the butchery of countless thousands of anarchists and other rebels in the course of the Bolshevik conquest of power. But early in his career, before he joined the Bolsheviks, he foresaw presciently exactly how Stalinism would arise from Lenin’s approach—how the party would substitute its own conquest of power for the proletariat, and a ruthless dictator then substitute himself for the party. The All-Russian Congress of Food Industry Workers later confirmed this in March 1920, on the basis of experience: “The so-called dictatorship of the proletariat is really the dictatorship over the proletariat by the party and even by individual persons.”

Despite this foresight, Trotsky still joined the Bolsheviks as a consequence of their apparent success in the revolution. When Stalin’s lackeys butchered Trotsky with an icepick, it was poetic justice. Trostsky died because he failed to heed his own insights, and above all because he broke solidarity with other foes of capitalism. He died because, like so many after him, he substituted pragmatism for principles, believing it would be more expedient to go rapidly in the wrong direction than to proceed slowly towards genuine liberation.

We can hardly remember him as a tragic figure, as millions suffered at his hands—but we can take his example as a cautionary tale.

“In the internal politics of the Party these methods lead, as we shall see, to the Party organization “substituting” itself for the Party, the Central Committee substituting itself for the Party organization, and finally the dictator substituting himself for the Central Committee.”

“Our Political Tasks,” 1904

Peter Kropotkin

Peter Kropotkin was an old man by the time of the 1917 revolution. Desiring to legitimize Bolshevik authority with the reputation of a universally respected anarchist, Lenin maintained cordial relations with Kropotkin; Bolshevik propagandists took advantage of this to publicize the lie that Kropotkin was more or less in favor of the Bolshevik program. In fact, Kropotkin opposed their authoritarian program, as he made clear in a series of statements and protests. Far from endorsing Lenin’s seizure of state power, Kropotkin is quoted as saying “Revolutionaries have had ideals. Lenin has none. He is a madman, an immolator, wishful of burning, and slaughter, and sacrificing.”

Kropotkin’s funeral, on February 13, 1921, was arguably the last anarchist demonstration in Russia until the fall of the Soviet Union. Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman and many other prominent anarchists participated. They managed to exert enough pressure on the Bolshevik authorities to compel them to release seven anarchist prisoners for the day; the Bolsheviks claimed they that would have released more but the others supposedly refused to leave prison. Victor Serge recounts how Aaron Baron, one of the anarchists who was temporarily released, addressed the mourners from Kropotkin’s graveside before vanishing forever into the jaws of the Soviet carceral system.

“Is there really no one around you to remind your comrades and to persuade them that such measures represent a return to the worst period of the Middle Ages and religious wars, and are undeserving of people who have taken it upon themselves to create a future society on communist principles? Whoever holds dear the future of communism cannot embark upon such measures.”

Letter to Lenin, December 21, 1920

Kropotkin’s funeral.

Nestor Makhno

After seven years in the Tsar’s prisons, Makhno was released from prison by the upheavals of 1917. He eventually became a leader in the anarchist forces that fought in turn against Ukrainian Nationalists, German and Austro-German occupiers, the reactionary Russian White Army, the Soviet Red Army, and various Ukrainian warlords in order to open a space in which anarchist collective experiments could take place. Makhno and his comrades repeatedly bore the brunt of the White Army attacks, while Trotsky alternated attacking them with the Red Army and signing treaties with them when the Soviets needed them to keep the Whites at bay. On November 26, 1920, a few days after Makhno had helped to definitively defeat the White Army, the Red Army summoned him and his comrades to a conference. Makhno did not go; everyone who did was summarily killed.

Authoritarian socialists have expended rivers of ink attempting to discredit Makhno and those who fought at his side in order to excuse this cold-blooded betrayal and murder. They accuse Makhno of authoritarianism in hopes of justifying a far more authoritarian state. They suggest that his struggle contributed nothing to the liberation of the proletariat, when in fact he was struggling against those who ruined and discredited the notion of revolution while ensuring that Russian workers would remain in subjugation for at least a century more.

Makhno and his comrades surely were not perfect; Emma Goldman records that some Russian anarchists questioned the anarchist credentials of the Ukrainian uprising. But history is written by the victors: there is so little information about Makhno’s achievements precisely because the Bolsheviks and other reactionaries sought to erase them from the historical record (just as a few Ukrainian nationalists have recently sought to appropriate and distort them). Fortunately, we can still read statements from the Makhnovist rebels in their own words describing their values and goals, and historical accounts from participants such as Peter Arshinov.

“State-socialists of all denominations, including Bolsheviks, are busy swapping the names of bourgeois rule with those of their own invention, while leaving its structure essentially unchanged. They are therefore trying to salvage the Master/Slave relationship with all its contradictions…

“While a bourgeois government strings a revolutionary up on the gallows, socialist or bolshevik-communist governments will creep up and strangle him in his sleep or kill him by trickery. Both acts are depraved. But the socialists are more depraved because of their methods.

“Government power will never let workers tread the road to freedom; it is the instrument of the lazy who want to dominate others, and it does not matter if the power is in the hand of the bourgeois, the socialists or the Bolsheviks, it is degrading. There is no government without teeth, teeth to tear any man who longs for a free and just life.”

The Anarchist Revolution

Nestor Makhno.

Lev Chernyi

After serving a decade in prison under the Tsar, Lev Chernyi was released in 1917 and participated passionately in anarchist organizing. On March 5, 1918, foreseeing the wave of attacks the Bolsheviks were about to launch against anarchist organizing in Moscow, Chernyi denounced the Bolshevik government, arguing that it was essential to paralyze the mechanisms of government itself. In April 1918, the Soviet secret police raided anarchist social centers around Moscow, gunning down at least forty people and arresting many more. The Bolsheviks claimed that the anarchists were engaged in “banditry” on account of their efforts to redistribute wealth and set up social centers around the city—accusing them of precisely the same activities that the Soviet government was carrying out on a much larger scale.

Chernyi was later captured and charged with counterfeiting in order to discredit him and take him off the streets. In August 1921, an official report announced that Chernyi and nine other “anarchist bandits” had been shot without hearing or trial. The authorities refused to release his body, leading many to conclude that Chernyi had actually been tortured to death.

Lev Chernyi.

Fanya Baron

After seven years in exile from Tsarist Russia, Fanya Baron returned to her homeland in 1917 to organize alongside other anarchists for social liberation. Within four years, she had been imprisoned and murdered by the Soviet secret police.

“This big-hearted woman, who had served the Social Revolution all her life, was done to, death by the people who pretended to be the advance guard of revolution. Not content with the crime of killing Fanya Baron, the Soviet Government put the stigma of banditism on the memory of their dead victim.”

— Emma Goldman, My Further Disillusionment in Russia

Kropotkin dying of hunger,
Berkman by his own hand,
Fanny Baron biting her executioners,
Mahkno in the odor of calumny,
Trotsky, too, I suppose, passionately, after his fashion.
Do you remember?
What is it all for, this poetry,
This bundle of accomplishment
Put together with so much pain?

— Kenneth Rexroth, “August 22, 1939,” written on the anniversary of the murder of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti.

Aron Baron

A Jewish exile from the Ukraine, Aron Baron organized with the Industrial Workers of the World and worked with Lucy Parsons in the United States before returning to revolutionary Russia. He fought alongside Nestor Makhno and edited the anarchist paper Nabat. After two decades of harassment, arrests, imprisonment, and internal exile, he was shot on August 12, 1937 in Tobolsk along with many other anarchists, including Prokop Evdokimovich Budakov, Zinaida Alekseevna Budakova, Avram Venetsky, Ivan Golovchanskii, Vsevolod Grigorievich Denisov, Nikolai Desyatkov, Ivan Dudarin, Andrei Zolotarev, Andrei Pavlovich Kislitsin, Alexander Pastukhov, Anna Aronovna Sangorodetskaya, Mikhail G. Tvelnev, Vladimir Khudolei-Gradin, Yuri I. Hometovsky-Izgodin, and Nahum Aaronovch Eppelbaum.

Fanya and Aron Baron and friends.

The Kronstadt Rebels

In February 1921, in response to Soviet crackdowns on labor organizing and peasants’ autonomy, the crews of two Russian battleships stationed at the island naval fortress of Kronstadt held an emergency meeting. Many of these were the same sailors who had been on the front lines of the revolution of 1917. They agreed on fifteen demands, and Kronstadt rose in revolt against the Soviet authorities.

The Bolsheviks attempted to portray the rising as the work of foreign reactionaries. Read their demands for yourself and decide whether this was the work of counter-revolutionary capitalists:

  1. Immediate new elections to the Soviets; the present Soviets no longer express the wishes of the workers and peasants. The new elections should be held by secret ballot, and should be preceded by free electoral propaganda for all workers and peasants before the elections.

  2. Freedom of speech and of the press for workers and peasants, for the Anarchists, and for the Left Socialist parties.

  3. The right of assembly, and freedom for trade union and peasant associations.

  4. The organization, at the latest on March 10, 1921, of a Conference of non-Party workers, soldiers, and sailors of Petrograd, Kronstadt, and the Petrograd District.

  5. The liberation of all political prisoners of the Socialist parties, and of all imprisoned workers and peasants, soldiers and sailors belonging to working class and peasant organizations.

  6. The election of a commission to look into the dossiers of all those detained in prisons and concentration camps.

  7. The abolition of all political sections in the armed forces; no political party should have privileges for the propagation of its ideas, or receive State subsidies to this end. In place of the political section, various cultural groups should be set up, deriving resources from the State.

  8. The immediate abolition of the militia detachments set up between towns and countryside.

  9. The equalization of rations for all workers, except those engaged in dangerous or unhealthy jobs.

  10. The abolition of Party combat detachments in all military groups; the abolition of Party guards in factories and enterprises. If guards are required, they should be nominated, taking into account the views of the workers.

  11. The granting to the peasants of freedom of action on their own soil, and of the right to own cattle, provided they look after them themselves and do not employ hired labor.

  12. We request that all military units and officer trainee groups associate themselves with this resolution.

  13. We demand that the Press give proper publicity to this resolution.

  14. We demand the institution of mobile workers’ control groups.

  15. We demand that handicraft production be authorized, provided it does not utilize wage labor.

Two weeks later, on the 50-year anniversary of the Paris Commune, 60,000 Red Army troops captured Kronstadt, killing and imprisoning thousands. Just as the bourgeois republic that came to power in France in 1870 stabilized its reign by slaughtering the rebels of the Paris Commune, the Bolsheviks stabilized their reactionary seizure of the Russian revolution with the bloodbath at Kronstadt.

Apologists for the Bolsheviks have argued that it was necessary to slaughter the Kronstadt rebels to consolidate power for the Soviet state; perhaps so, but that is no argument for any state! If it was admirable and appropriate for the Kronstadt sailors to rise against the Tsar, it was equally admirable and appropriate for them to rise against the new tyrants.

The failure of the Kronstadt uprising is above all a lesson in solidarity: if the Kronstadt rebels had risen up in April 1918 when the Bolsheviks were carrying out their first attacks against anarchists in Moscow, the Bolsheviks might not have had a firm enough grip on state power to defeat them. What is done to the least of us will be done to all of us. This is why solidarity is such an important value to anarchists.

Alexander Berkman

Alexander Berkman, an anarchist who served 14 years in prison in the US for an act of vengeance against the union-busting industrialist Henry Clay Frick, set out enthusiastically for Russia after the Bolshevik revolution, only to discover that the state was just as authoritarian under Lenin as it had been under the Tsar. He was fortunate to escape alive. He summarized his experiences in The Bolshevik Myth, and also assisted with Letters from Russian Prisons, documenting Bolshevik oppression.

“Grey are the passing days. One by one the embers of hope have died out. Terror and despotism have crushed the life born in October. The slogans of the Revolution are forsworn, its ideals stifled in the blood of the people. The breath of yesterday is dooming millions to death; the shadow of today hangs like a black pall over the country. Dictatorship is trampling the masses under foot. The Revolution is dead; its spirit cries in the wilderness… I have decided to leave Russia.”

— Berkman’s diary, 1922

Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman shared Alexander Berkman’s enthusiasm for the initial apparent triumph of the October Revolution1 and his dismay at its dismal results. She traveled with him to Russia, witnessed the first years of the revolution firsthand, and afterwards shared his conviction that Bolshevik authoritarianism was responsible for the results.

“Lenin had very little concern in the Revolution… Communism to him was a very remote thing. The centralized political State was Lenin’s deity, to which everything else was to be sacrificed. Someone said that Lenin would sacrifice the Revolution to save Russia. Lenin’s policies, however, have proven that he was willing to sacrifice both the Revolution and the country, or at least part of the latter, in order to realize his political scheme with what was left of Russia.”

— Afterword, My Disillusionment in Russia

Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman.

Errico Malatesta

Malatesta began his career as a revolutionary in Italy in the 1870s, working with Bakunin within the famously insurrectionist Italian section of the First International—arguably the first properly anarchist movement on record. From the start, he opposed statist models for social change, having seen how republican nationalism had only brought a new regime to power in Italy and reinforced existing social inequalities. He went to jail and prison again and again in the course of his efforts to open the way to freedom.

In the 1880s, when Malatesta’s former comrade Andrea Costa renounced anarchism, entered the Italian Parliament, and set out to convince the movement that electoral politics were the best way to seek social change, Malatesta sneaked back into Italy, despite facing a variety of unresolved charges in his homeland, and challenged Costa to a public debate. Costa attempted to weasel his way out of it, but was ultimately compelled to meet with Malatesta, then fled the city after being trounced in the discussion. Having won the argument, Malatesta went directly to jail.

Later, after escaping Italy concealed in a box of sewing machines, surviving an assassination attempt in New Jersey, and organizing one clandestine newspaper and uprising after another, Malatesta witnessed the 1917 revolution and the mass defection of anarchists to the Communist Party when the state communist model suddenly appeared more “effective” and “pragmatic.” If not for these wrongheaded conversions, there might still have been hope for emancipatory revolutions in the 20th century.

“It seems unbelievable that even today, after everything that has happened & is happening in Russia, there are people who still imagine that the difference between socialists & anarchists is only that of wanting revolution gradually or quickly.”

— Errico Malatesta, Umanita Nova, September 3, 1921

Malatesta celebrating May Day 1920.

Victor Serge

Victor Serge started adulthood as an anarchist. However, after the Bolshevik seizure of power, he joined the Party and served them as a journalist, dutifully excusing the imprisonment of honest anarchists, the butchery of the Kronstadt rebels, and many other steps in the Bolshevik counterrevolution. In this regard, he is an example of the millions of rebels and common laborers shifted their allegiance from anarchists to statists after the apparent victory of the Bolsheviks in Russia.

How did it work out for Serge? A few years later, he was expelled from the Communist Party, thrown in jail, sentenced to internal exile, and in the end barely managed to escape the Soviet Union with his life. Had he remained faithful to his anarchist politics, he might have saved himself a lot of grief—and above all, he would not have been complicit in setting the stage for the slaughter and imprisonment of millions.

Peter Arshinov

Peter Arshinov participated in the anarchist uprising in the Ukraine alongside Nestor Makhno between 1919 and 1921, at which point he narrowly escaped the Bolshevik counterrevolution with his life. Fleeing west into Germany, he authored the History of the Makhnovist Movement (1918–1921). He also co-authored the “Organizational Platform of the Libertarian Communists.” Eventually, he renounced anarchism and returned to the Soviet Union to join the Communist Party, only to be purged and executed. If not even the original Bolsheviks were safe from Stalin’s Terror, it was foolish to imagine a former anarchist might be.

Fedor Mochanovsky

Once the Bolshevik Terror was underway, it became increasingly difficult to get information about what was happening to anarchists and other rebels behind the borders of the Soviet Union. Fedor Mochanovsky was one of countless anarchists who vanished in the course of this repression. By 1928, the Soviet authorities had moved Mochanovsky from the Butyrka prison in order to cut off international support, effectively disappearing him. He almost certainly died in the hands of the Stalinist state.

“In 1918 the Bolshevists organized an anti-anarchist front to seek the destruction of the anarchists in Russia. Throughout the land and in every sphere of life across the territory of the soviet republic, they took up arms against the anarchists. They shut down their presses and their literature. They shut down anarchist clubs and bookshops. They resorted to all sorts of means in order to undo the organization of their congresses and they arrested the anarchists. And when the opportunity presented itself, they shot them down on one pretext or another.”

Speech of the anarchist Fedor Mochanovsky before the Petrograd Revolutionary Court on December 13, 1922

Max Nettlau

Near the end of his life, Max Nettlau, one of the greatest historians of the classical anarchist movement, having witnessed the Bolshevik victory and the subsequent nightmares of Leninism and Stalinism, summarized the essence of Marx’s political incoherence in a letter to a friend. This little-known excerpt casts considerable light on the contradictions within Marx’s thought, which have been the cause of so much misfortune:

I call Marx “triple-faced,” because with his particularly grasping spirit he laid a claim on exactly three tactics and his originality no doubt resides in these pan-grasping gests. He encouraged electoral socialism, the conquest of parliaments, social democracy and, though he often sneered at it, the People’s State and State Socialism. He encouraged revolutionary dictatorship. He encouraged simple confidence and abiding, letting “evolution” do the work, self-reduction, almost self-evaporation of the capitalists until the pyramid tumbled over by mathematical laws of his own growth, as if triangular bodies automatically turned somersaults. He copied the first tactics from Louis Blanc, the second from Blanqui, whilst the third correspond to his feeling of being somehow the economic dictator of the universe, as Hegel had been its spiritual dictator. His grasping went further. He hated instinctively libertarian thought and tried to destroy the free thinkers wherever he met them, from Feuerbach and Max Stirner to Proudhon, Bakunin and others. But he wished to add the essence of their teaching as spoils to his other borrowed feathers, and so he relegated at the end of days, after all dictatorship, the prospect of a Stateless, an Anarchist world. The Economic Cagliostro hunted thus with all hounds and ran with all hares, and imposed thus—and his followers after him—an incredible confusion on socialism which, almost a century after 1844, has not yet ended. The social-democrats pray by him; the dictatorial socialist swear by him; the evolutionary socialists sit still and listen to hear evolution evolve, as others listen to the growing of the grass; and some very frugal people drink weak tea and are glad, that at the end of days by Marx’s ipse dixit Anarchy will at last be permitted to unfold. Marx has been like a blight that creeps in and kills everything it touches to European socialism, an immense power for evil, numbing self-thought, insinuating false confidence, stirring up animosity, hatred, absolute intolerance, beginning with his own arrogant literary squabbles and leading to inter-murdering socialism as in Russia, since 1917, which has so very soon permitted reaction to galvanize the undeveloped strata and to cultivate the “Reinkulturen” of such authoritarianism, the Fascists and their followers. There was, in spite of their personal enmity, some monstrous “inter-breeding” between the two most fatal men of the 19th century, Marx and Mazzini, and their issue are Mussolini and all the others who disgrace this poor 20th century.

correspondence with a comrade, c. 1936

Max Nettlau.

Luigi Camillo Berneri

The tragedies brought about by the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917 did not end in Russia. Once there was a state that supposedly represented the revolutionary socialist agenda, revolutions and revolutionaries all around the world were sacrificed in cold blood to advance the imperatives that drive all states. As his temporary pact with Hitler illustrates, “Stalinism” was not a coherent ideology but a mishmash of all the things Stalin had to do to continuously pursue power for himself and the Soviet Union.

Not wishing any revolutionary movements to triumph elsewhere in the world that did not answer to his Comintern, Stalin made sure to undermine the anarchist and republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. The Stalinist faction within the struggle against Franco was small, but because they controlled access to resources from outside Spain and did not shrink from open betrayal, they were able to centralize control of the defense in their hands. In the end, many Spanish anarchists were murdered by Stalinists rather than by the fascists they were supposedly fighting together.

An associate of Malatesta and fierce critic of Trotsky as well as Stalin, Luigi Berneri was a well-known Italian anarchist organizer who traveled to Spain to fight in the Spanish Civil War. He was offered a position in the Council of the Economy, but refused to participate in the government.

When clashes between anarchists and the Stalin-controlled Communist Party broke out in Republican Spain, the house Berneri shared with several other anarchists was attacked. He and his comrades were labeled “counter-revolutionaries,” disarmed, deprived of their papers, and forbidden to go out into the street. On May 5, 1937, Stalinists murdered Berneri along with another Italian anarchist, Francisco Barbieri.

“What evil the Communists are doing here too! It is almost 2 o’clock and I am going to bed. The house is on its guard tonight. I offered to stay awake to let the others go to sleep, and everyone laughed, saying that I would not even hear the cannon! But afterwards, one by one, they fell asleep, and I am watchful over all of them, while working for those who are to come. It is the only completely beautiful thing.”

Berneri’s last letter to his family, May 3-4, 1937; translation published in The Cienfuegos Press Anarchist Review #4, 1978

Luigi Berneri.

Park Yeol

The Soviet model for seizing power and repressing dissidents of all stripes spread far outside Stalin’s sphere of influence, sealing the fates of anarchists and millions upon millions of other people.

Park Yeol, the anarchist whose high-profile trial and imprisonment was dramatized this year in the South Korean movie Anarchist from the Colony, fought long and hard against capitalism and imperialism only to be disappeared by a state communist regime. After 22 years in prison, Park was released at the end of the Second World War, only to be captured by the North Korean army. He subsequently vanished.

Alberto Miguel Linsuain

The pattern that began in Russia in 1917 and then spread to Spain, China, and Korea repeated in Cuba and elsewhere around Latin America, too.

Alberto Linsuain was the son of a well-known revolutionary who participated in the Spanish Civil War. Linsuain fought against the Batista dictatorship and joined the rebel forces under the command of Castro’s brother, Raúl Castro. He became a lieutenant in the Rebel Army on account of his bravery in battle. After the armed struggle, he dedicated himself to union organizing. His fellow workers elected him General Secretary of the Federation of Food, Hotel, and Restaurant Workers of the Province of Oriente. When the communists began to take over the organized labor movement, Linsuain fought back. They threw him in jail without trial, along with many other anarchists who had participated in the revolution.

Within a year, he had died at their hands.

In Conclusion

When proponents of state socialism accuse anarchists of being sectarian for not desiring to work together for common ends, we have to ask: do we share the same goals, really? What can we have in common with those who believe that guillotines, courts, judges, prisons, gulags, and firing squads can do the work of liberation?

If history is any guide, partisans of the state will not hesitate to use those against us and anyone else that hinders their pursuit of centralized power. Tens of millions murdered by the state cry out to us from the 20th century, urging us to heed their warnings, so their deaths might not be in vain.

Further Reading

Bakunin’s “Critique of State Socialism,” available in our archives as a charming comic book reviewing how the history of authoritarian communism throughout the 20th century bore out Bakunin’s analysis.

Bloodstained: One Hundred Years of Leninist Counterrevolution

The Unknown Revolution, Voline

The Guillotine at Work, Gregory Petrovich Maximoff, especially volume 2, which details the repression Bolsheviks carried out against anarchists after the 1917 revolution

Jan Valtin’s Out of the Night, a novelized account of one man’s nightmarish experiences as a foot soldier for the Comintern

Anarchists in the Gulag (and Prison and Exile)

  1. The Bolshevik seizure of power was known as the October Revolution even though it transpired in November according to the Western European calendar. At the time, Russia was so backwards that its calendar was literally two weeks behind.



"What can we have in common with those who believe that guillotines, courts, judges, prisons, gulags, and firing squads can do the work of liberation?"

It's much more insidious than this, CrimethInc. The totalitarian and repressive politics of today's socialists do not really require those things. They are relational terror, they are community-driven and based purges of individuals, and their ostracization, and demonization. Today's socialists are similar to the catholic Devouts, who installed and spread their party throughout society, changed it at the surface level and installed a heavier layer of social control, one which was mostly horizontal and aggressively entryist. They were the Invisible Party of the post Reformation catholic society. And all they created was more and more control, and repressive, moralist dynamics.

Stop looking at what the Statist socialists were 100 years back, and rather look at the "sociocracy" they're now aggressively enforcing at many levels in society, as if their revolution only needs a broad paint job of our behavior and the social environment, down to the minute details. The "State" is neither the same notion than in the early 20th century. Both the capitalists and the Soviets changed it since the '50s. It is totalitarianism, more than just authoritarianism.

This is where being anarchist no longer means much in the face of this order.

Resisting authority? Okay, people still do that. But what when this authority is well-respected in the Community... will you be next on the list to be slandered and excluded? More importantly, what solidarity campaign can you set up in response?

Peer pressure and "positive contamination' are principles well understood since the '90s... the State has been increasingly being enforced through these lately.

What’s missing from Crimethinc’s Anarchist Gallery is the nondualist anarchy strain of Tolstoy.

“God is that infinite All of which man knows himself to be a finite part.”

This is also the view of Schroedinger from physics which Schroedinger expresses in the symmetry of Advaita Vedanta; Atman = Brahman (the personal self equals the omnipresent all-comprehending eternal self).

Tolstoy saw ordinary patriotism as a basic problem that goes like this;

1. Patriotism is the source of disunity and war.

2. Fear of being attacked by other nations urges people to construct a government with a standing army to protect the people of the nation.

3. Anarchy will only be instituted by removing people’s dependency on the state for protection;

"Anarchy will be instituted." But it will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require protection from governmental power, and by there being more and more people who will be ashamed of applying this power.” – Leo Tolstoy

4. Supporting mutual aid that ignores national governments and national boundaries is the approach seen by Tolstoy. [Organizing against the state is a waste of energy but defending against the state while organizing in a manner that ignores the state is what is needed].

“I know that my unity with all people cannot be destroyed by national boundaries and government orders” -- Tolstoy

“The Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order, and in the assertion that, without authority, there could not be worse violence than that of authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by a revolution. “ – Tolstoy

You say;

“Resisting authority? Okay, people still do that. But what when this authority is well-respected in the Community... will you be next on the list to be slandered and excluded? More importantly, what solidarity campaign can you set up in response?”

Tolstoy’s idea is not to focus on ‘resisting authority’ but to focus on cultivating natural relations in a ‘doctors without borders’ manner that makes sense and ignores patriotism. One can see traces of this de-patriotizing in the actions of NFL players in not standing for the anthem which is not a rebuke of ‘the people’ and ‘the land’ but refusal to give fealty to an authoritarian system that is the source of many problems, that protects the property-monopolists’ extortion of slave-labour and the stone-walling and straitjacketing of those whose lives are marginalized by legislated and enforced governmental systems.

As a Christian, but unlike most Christians Tolstoy’s, concept of justice was not retributive; i.e. like Christ’s, it was restorative.

This ‘shift’ advocated by Tolstoy, to act transverse to patriotism seems something like the shift instigated by the Global Financial Crisis that has encouraged a Global Justice Movement;

The emergence of this new trend is associated with a broader structural change that can be theorized under the title of “ideological transversalization.” As previously defined in this section, transversalization is about dynamic interplays and negotiations between multiple sources of attachment, engagement, belonging, suffering, and identification in the course of collective/networked actions. It is a proactive pluralism in function ‘attuned to the realities of human co-existence’ that needs to be experienced and explored. Transcendental cosmopolitanism is based on interdependence, and while the counter-cosmopolitanism of localist agendas is oriented towards communal autonomy, tranversalism adopts a non-dualistic logic of autonomy and interdependence. For instance, in the case of the Zuccotti encampment, the hybridity of a ‘privately’ owned ‘public space’ symbolizes the transversality of the movement.” -- James Goodman & Jonathan Paul Marshall, ‘Crisis, Movement and Management in Contemporary Globalisations’

While the popular orientation of anarchists in this forum, and perhaps also in Crimethinc is dualist, ... Tolstoy’s nondualist anarchism seems to offer an orientation other than banging our head against a brick wall.


I'm so sick of their red flags and red stars. "Anarcho-communism" is a cancerous oxymoron.

You have to understand that the peasants political immaturity and the hardships they endure allow for the proliferation of utopianist ideologies,,,,,no different to the serfdom of the Papal era, until the masses are brought up to the awareness of their own potential creative brilliance, the society will always be enslaved and kept under the control of authority,,,,,The pendulum swings from the deceptive smugness of an apparent democratic liberalism to its other extreme, the totalitarian dictatorship, the only difference being the clothing and temper of the institutions mannerisms and gestures,,,,,

In 1917 yes, maybe. You can make a pretty convincing argument that the masses never really awaken, it's just a percentage of them and the world in 2017 is likely close in some places to that enlightened mass having more of an anti authoritarian ideal than not.

The statiticians will have a hard time, and the psychologists still persist in blaming the individual,,,,not so hard to imagine an enlightened mass being pulled out of a global hat like a rabbit, but where is the magician with the magic Stirnerian vision , is uniqueness a rare genetic flaw, like Taurette's, will they always be shunned, and have to dumb-down to be accepted,,,?

Seriously ... The only way you're going to argue that IdPol thought-policing is worse than guillotines and firing squads is if you've led a very sheltered life.

Go cry about "cultural Marxism" somewhere else shithead.

You didn't get my comment... it is not "worse". This is no value judgement, but an assessment of power dynamics.

Nowhere I wrote that, if you look closer. It is a new layer of social control, aimed at policing what the actual police and the rest of the more violent State apparatus can't be policing. Soft control is still control, and not in any way contradictory to the hard control.

Alright, I misjudged you. But to your evidently nuanced position, which I frequently encounter amongst intelligent radicals, I say this:

You and yours should be much too ferocious to be prey for "soft control". I say this not to be condescending but only to emphasize that we should simply ignore whiny petty tyrants with their passive aggressive bullshit and focus on our real enemies as anarchists.

All the rest is just noise.

Soft control-- The threat of being made homeless and one's children being taken away, and other psychological horrors,,,,,,the sensitivities of relational values have deeper and more poignant aftermaths than the simple beheading or firing squad,,,,,

Yeah, soft control isn't just idpols being idiots as usual. It's the system trying to control things people need to survive, and cutting them off (or threatening to cut them off) if people are “noncompliant” or have the wrong “profile”. This precedes idpols and has been part of neoliberal control (e.g. credit ratings, COMPSTAT, employability, risk-management) from the beginning (Deleuze's “Society of Control” and Virilio's stuff from the 80s is already talking about it), but it's intensified after 9/11 and is probably at its low-point now. At limit-point, it's life-or-death – in the UK, the phenomena of refugee destitution and people dying from benefit sanctions are the most obvious cases. The end-point can also be physically killing someone, but at the point of their desperation – e.g. homeless black guy, resists cops, gets shot. A lot of the mass incarceration system is actually designed to warehouse people who've broken the law because it's the only way to avoid poverty (or one of several ways, but the others have limited places) – most people will turn to drug dealing, sex work or stealing before they starve, at which point the “hard” power comes into play and they're jailed. So instead of “we'll jail you for being poor” or “we'll shoot you for stepping out of line”, it's “we'll cut you off from all resources for stepping out of line and then jail/kill you for trying to survive”. There's also a kind of “living death” through forced isolation which reaches its apogee in things like SAMs/SHUs/CMUs.

The idpols are piggybacking on this shit with their own agenda, based on the Third Way/post-Washington Consensus “mainstreaming” of idpol issues as part of control society (though perversely also, at the same time, attacking the racial/class/gender consequences of the control regime). Their quick, arbitrary use of ostracism shows how their ideal society would be run. Someone declared “an abuser” would likely be sacked, refused benefits, refused healthcare, refused housing, banned from begging, and basically left to starve – on the basis that providing them with anything constitutes “enabling”. The British version of asset-freezing actually looks very like this – if someone's designated on the UN terrorist list, a designation with no due process or appeal BTW, they can't work, can't claim benefits, and it's illegal to provide “material support” i.e. give them anything so much as a cup of coffee... however, under European Court rules they can't be denied an income entirely and so receive a minimum stipend every penny of which must be pre-cleared and spent on basic needs.

And of course, part of this is that the average Joe Public whatever their class and “positionality” is 1) co-opted in horizontal policing of the rest of Joe Public and its enemies, and 2) terrified NOT to take part in case they fall foul of it.

This is all making it harder to keep running the anarchist script. Historical anarchism is designed for regimes which rely on hard power, and it's main response is “fuck you, I won't do what you tell me”, combined with affinity/solidarity with the poor and oppressed, an insistence on defiantly doing whatever you've been told not to do, and creation of/reliance on networks outside state control. This is relatively effective against hard power. So for instance, if a European anarchist gets jailed, they resist prison authority, organise prisoners, write inspiring letters, mobilise outside support if they get put in solitary or suchlike. If an anarchist gets killed, they're memorialised, there's revenge protests and so on – it's a PR disaster for the state. I'm not sure this works in totalitarian states, but it works well enough against brutal authoritarian regimes – it happens in Iran, in Turkey, in pre-revolutionary Russia, in Latin America and so on, and it works to some degree. But the shift to soft power has fucked this up. First off, the networks outside state control have been suppressed, criminalised, recuperated or otherwise undermined (e.g. squatting, Travellers, disappearing off-grid, organising in football fan culture or unsurveilled working-class neighbourhoods or free party spaces or punk gigs). People are more and more dependent on the state and capital and NGOs, and the moment someone tries to organise, they're up against the full weight of the state, in a way they aren't even in authoritarian regimes. Second, it isn't just the state we're up against, it's most of the population, who are now enmeshed in the state and see us as the enemy. This not only leads to a crisis of identity for anarchists – it also makes solidarity harder. Thirdly, what we're facing as a response to action is not only direct violence and imprisonment, but a whole array of smaller soft-power and punishment-by-process moves which are paralysing, traumatising and disruptive, and don't trigger the same kind of outrage and response.

How do we respond for instance, if an anarchist shoplifter gets banned from all the town's stores, or an anarchist gets banned from protesting, from associating with other anarchists, from entering an area where there's a lot of anarchist activity? What do we do if a weekly picket gets banned under a restraining order? This kind of thing is becoming more and more common, under injunctions, under ASBO's/CBO's, under bail terms and parole terms, or using non-state forms of power such as bans by private companies. And fourthly, if it comes to the point of imprisonment in countries like US and UK, it's hard to keep doing the old prison-resistance stuff because the internal prison regime is so graded, and the most resistant prisoners get isolated from their support networks. With a strong enough movement and counter-narrative, I think we could respond to soft-power repression the same way as hard-power repression – defy, and back it up with solidarity. We could target the low-intensity repression through campaigns directed at the agencies involved – boycott the stores, dox the magistrates, go after people on social media and so on. But it's hard to do this when we're still looking mainly for hard power, and when leftist-community politics and idpol are subtly complicit in the very regimes we're trying to smash. And there's recomposition to be done. The old kinds of dropping-out and the old ways of reaching people are harder now, but new ways are emerging. Could we create remote unlocatable hacker communes funded through licit or illicit online activity, which also act as hubs of attack? Can we develop new counter-technologies like Molotovs once were – ways to disrupt fingerprinting, to take out cameras and so on? What about anarcho-drones, even autonomous anarcho-robots as virtual treespikers and autonomous zone defenders? Could off-grid sites be designed in a way which defeats satellite surveillance? What's the potential of EMPs, or of 3D printing? And can we reach alienated young people through underground anonymous use of social media, imageboards and game chat, the way Islamists and the far right do?

You summed it up nicely dude, but the only way I can see to defeat soft control is by compulsory hard laughter workshops, I wanna see the workers of the world rolling on the ground laughing their hearts out and industry slowing down to accomodate this new mentality. Sorry, but I just don't have your,,,,,naive idealism, I'm more the cynical satirist, not the slapstick slip on the banana peel activist,,,,,,,:)

First off: don't be Emile.

To your verbose but correct points, my original response stands. I'm a working-class person, I've been homeless and generally deprived relative to living in a "developed" country, I'm familiar with lots of "soft control", you should probably assume more anarchists are and save your fingertips from strain.

I won't respond to all your ramblings but in the case of the grocery store that band shoplifters, anarchists in European have been mass-looting grocery stores (in masks) since the 90s.

This is also a great example of the tactical value of using something approximating "leftism" to form larger militant formations that can do things whiny individuals can't. Expand on this concept and apply it to the rest of your text wall.

They're nice as a sort of analogous adrenaline rush, but they are not the sustained way to undermine and undue power apparatuses. In the long run "whiny individuals" with a plan and a way of being an belonging are what get the job done.

Ziggy ... As always, nobody was talking to you and your obsession with insisting that nobody should do anything but beak off online is bullshit at best and HIGHLY suspicious at worst.

You're currently arguing that groups of people cooperating isn't effective for ... doing things.

This is so mindbogglingly stupid that your internet access should be revoked for an entire year.

Not group action in and of itself, duh. Militancy has nothing directly to do with anarchy or insurrection.

Yeah, you always confuse those two things. Standard false-dichotomy logic fallacy. Militancy IS group action dumbass.

Group action can mean all kinds of things that are not militant. It does not entail constituted struggle or antagonism for instance.

That's patently obvious. Just stop. I know you really want to separate "militancy" in to some special category but in reality, you can't. It's just a slightly more specific word for people working together in conflict and preparing for it in advance. All the associations with "leftism" or antagonism or whatever are your biases and they don't interest me. Not as if you're an expert ...

Sorry, I thought you were responding to me, the terraced cascading system of comment lising always confuses me, why? I don't know, and I admit to being a boor,,,,,,,,

You mean your dumb crowd of punk rockers and hipsters actually DO with all these resources they got!? Scenesterism and slander politics in between photo ops are the antifa actions?

Aside from this, all of the problems described in the "text wall" above you very real and left mostly unadressed in the US snd Canada.

As a shoplifter you basically need to get shot or beaten to death by the pigs in order to, maybe, have a collective response to violent repression over a stolen candy bar. I know about anarchist shoplifting in France and Greece, but ever heard of that stuff they call "context"?

And yes, when you'll be faced with arguing at the supermarket with a dumb fascist cashier lady over unpaid 5 cents plastic bags, that should make you realize the extent of how the holy proles are being made into cold-blooded accomplices for the regime, in a way that ain't too different from the identity politicians I'm struggling with. The War on Terror has had effects that Dubya probably didn't dream of... but now we know why Bin Laden declared that Al Qaeda has achieved what they wanted. They (whoever that really is) pushed the West down the slippery slope of a totalitarian state of Terror.

If you're familiar with it, then when do I have to explain the basics? You don't argue with anyone, you just take. You counter standard loss prevention measures with speed and numbers. Maybe you and yours just aren't ready to take the risks required? Is that the "context" you're referring to?

If you're in the "developing world" then you have no fucking idea how this soft-control shit works. Because in the "developing world", nobody obeys the fucking law. Everyone looks after themselves and their own. Half the economy (at least) is informal sector - gray or black economy. The crime rate is higher but the prison rate is lower. The police are corrupt and incompetent, they pose just as much threat if you break the law or if you don't. So everyone hates the pigs, no-one snitches, and soft power just doesn't work. It's very, very different in the overdeveloped countries, especially the ones with big prison-industrial complexes. Everything's illegal, the pigs are efficient, there's surveillance everywhere. The "community" are pro-pig and will snitch at the drop of a hat. There's hardly any gray economy and no corruption regular people can use (the elite are hella corrupt amongst themselves of course). Hardly anyone fends for themselves, so you're reliant on the state services and the big companies. Don't believe me? Read stuff about refugees in the UK or US, the impact of immigration detention for example. These are people who have fled some of the most brutal regimes in the world and the worst situations of poverty, but they're still collapsing under the psychological strain of bureaucratic harassment, detention without trial, destitution and drip-drip harassment. That's how effective it is. In these situations, your macho shit just won't cut it. Half the time it's so impersonal, there's not even a "man" to "stick it to". The average squat in Britain lasts three months. Most of the "developing world" has decades-old shanty-towns. That's the fucking difference.

What the hell are you even talking about? You're just rambling in sweeping generalities … you're also lecturing someone who's actively participated in black and grey markets in an "overdeveloped" country for most of their life to survive. You're still just wall-texting and I'll remind you again that it's weird that you feel the need to lecture anarchists about something as obvious as refugee-status being unpleasant.

I meant to praise this post.

Piss poor analysis -- typical, and thanks, Crimethinc. Bakunin hated communism because the old dolt was in favor of self-management of capitalist social relations.

And his attitude towards Jews wasn't real cool, either. Speaking of which, I see Proudhon isn't anywhere on this playlist.

Kropotkin supported the ruling exploiter class of France in the first world war.

And Malatesta was indifferent as to whether money would be used after the revolution.

It's not as if communists can do any better(and usually do far worse). THEY still desire an economy also and there has never been a modern economy without some type of exchange value capital. Malatesta is quite correct in his adjectiveless agnostic to exchange predisposition IF you support some type of economic system. The reason communism always leads to something WAY worse then any anarchist system is because of their pie in the sky idea that you can have a general scaled use value economy WITHOUT exchange value. They don't understand that wants complexify beyond any corporeal calculation.

At least people like Bob Black(along with myself) are consistent in that if you want a world without exchange value you need a more ludic simplified world where the materiality of wealth is not emphasized and defaulted towards(as opposed to the spirituality of wealth). An agnosticism towards exchange value makes perfect sense IF you want to maintain a modern economic system with whatever carrot and stick scheme that entails. How I feel about that is besides the point. The communists want a carrot and stick system with use value alone. There's a reason all communists schemes lead to hell.

Proudhon did get honourable mention, you skim-reader! True about Bakunin's anti semitism though... I certainly get why they emphasized the other aspects of his conflicts with Marx though, it's a more useful portrayal since it's also true that Marx's solutions suck due to a lack of antiauthoritarian analysis.

Only his critique of capitalism is worth a damn.

^this is a reply to the anon pooping on crimethInc, not ziggy, who's full of poop in general.

Marx critiqued capitalism for all the wrong reasons generally speaking being the materialist monster that he was.

... Thought I was clear that I wasn't talking to you BUT since you've previously claimed to be a low-wage worker, that should be the only reason you need.

Everyone who doesn't have millions of dollars and doesn't hate capitalism is a fucking idiot, Marx's explanation of why is as good as any.

(Plus don't take this as encouragement to ramble on about your anti-red bullshit)

It's just Marx and other red flag fools appealing to the proletarian belly to hate the successful game players and not the game along with the belief and behavior that drives it.

Also, I talk to the greater point beyond the posting person.

Arrogant as usual, talking like you're the only clever duck who sees the big picture.

"Only his critique of capitalism is worth a damn."

Da-eeeeeee! Haw-haw, dat's rich! And I was hoping that running my own small business was the solution to things!

The historically fatal dilemma for anarchism is this:

Anarchism spearheaded the most advanced social revolution of all time in Spain from July '36 to May '37, and gave up every step of the way without a credible fight to the capitalist state, the bourgeoisie and Stalinism -- from a position of overwhelming strength, under the most optimal conditions for bringing about a post-capitalist social revolution that have ever existed.

So, why was anarchism so manifestly inadequate to the task at hand?

Can't disagree but anarchism isn't really supposed to solve the world's problems for everyone and anyone who claims they can, always seems to end up mass-murdering instead, thusly vindicating the anarchist position ;)

Not unlike railing against your favorite strawman/effigy online?

Fill in the (_________) isn't really supposed to solve the world's problems for everyone and anyone who claims they can, always seems to end up mass-murdering instead...

This is U.S. of Aye shit, and it is a big problem for people who claim to have some kind of affinity for something that is currently getting called anarchism.

You're projecting so much on to so little ... AND I already told you I'm not from the US. Are you fucking dense or what?

The last word in my country is the firing squad hombre

The Crimethinc dumbbells should have Proudhon on there. This savant:

1. Supported the plantation south in the U.S. Civil War,

2. Thought that the Jews should be driven out of Europe or massacred,

3. Thought that women should be the chattels of males, and, last but not least,

4. His "socialism" was a market economy based on petty commodity production and wage slavery without wages.

Long live anarchy!

He IS in there, just not featured, same as Tolstoy. You and emilebot seem way more interested in axe grinding than reading, hey?

That axe got used on the heads of vast numbers of sincere people who went into significant revolutionary struggles hobbled by a poor understanding of what they were up against. A similar poor level of understanding is on display here. Crimethinc are the Bourbon Kings of U.S. contemporary version anarchism.

OR you're just a big grump. Why assume about the intentions behind the writing?

My understanding is this was a response to another social media campaign that deliberately misled all the kids about the history of the revolution in much worse ways.

Note that I'm not disagreeing with you, only pointing out that you're changing the topic, not correcting the authors.

In that case, as in all cases, context is everything. I see this as applying exegesis to what's presented here.

I'm not blissfully happy that the Russian and Spanish revolutions went south. And it makes me very, very unhappy to see that I appear to be the only person who understands that a huge opportunity along these lines is being prepared by the malignant malefactors of the despicable United States, and no one is doing jack right now to prepare for one of the most wonderful opportunities in human history.

"I appear to be the only person who understands -"

You don't and are not.

"No one is doing jack right now -"

That you know of.

But when you compare all these "radicals" of the past, except for the individualists, with the Post-Modernists, they really were just a lot of Neanderthalic Philistines who dragged their knuckles all the way to "The Man's" factory waving their fists at heavens along the way,,,,,,,,

PS, You know, I spent alot of my time giving advice and sensitive considerate comment to the pendulus tendency of modern politics, and still the majority of 21st Century youth are stick in or returning to the 19th Century methodology, without any comprehension of the Thermadorian reflex counter-revolutionary side to all revs in the history of the world!! Why is that,,,,sooo saaad!?

It's definitely sad how you spend your time!

Wrong. Most of the people on this Crimethinc thing were in fact real enemies of the social order, and not into politically worthless garbage like individualism. A partial exception was Bakunin. He was for the most part no good. Individualism appeals to U.S. of Aye types, for sickeningly obvious reasons.

Well I don't see how individualists can be fanatical herd activists to tell you the truth,,,,,,,

They aren't that, if only because they aren't anything. They are just Americans and nothing more.

That sounds like a flat hung-over Trump comment,,,oh the irony,,,,
They are just great Muhricans and nothing more,,,,,inspiring meaningless rhetoric,,,,,

Individualism is You-Ess-of-Aye worthless shit. It's strictly for self-involved a-political slobs who have nothing to offer to others. It stinks.

Who are all these folks that think that individualism is some solely USA thing? Have you never heard of the (French) Bonnot Gang? Or, I don't know, the German author MAX STIRNER?

or the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, the Italian Individualist anarchists Renzo Novatore, Severino Di Giovanni, Bruno Filippi, Enzo Martucci the french individualist anarchists Zo d'Axa and Émile Armand, Scottish/German Individualist anarchists John Henry Mackay, among others.

Bonnot Gang: six dead, others imprisoned for long stretches.

Pigs: Three dead.

This is the example you are proposing to emulate?

That's what matters. If you are going by crude success in itself you can always look at the likes of Lenin.

who said anything about emulating? you insisted that so-called individualism was an exclusively American phenomenon. others have shown you to be a fool or an ignoramus — and typically, you change the subject...
also, virtually the entire Francophone anarchist press was supported by the “Bonnot Gang”; its pathetic that you would immediately invoke the prison sentences and relative death toll. more deflection

Are those who deny individualism and individuation(hint the corporeal kind not the abstract market kind hint) and it's primary position within anarchy.

US life is made of intensive and profound commodification and submission to labor and the money god. Nothing "individualist" in here, you socialist dolt. It is rather very collectivistic. And shall I add that individuation and it mirror compartmentalization neither have anything to do with individualism. Unlike the latter, both are socially produced and enforced on a mass scale.

As can be seen in abundance here, what gets called anarchism in the late 20th and early 21st century US is for the most part for cosseted and overindulged consumer society adolescents. Case closed.

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