A hundred years to the day that the Winter Palace fell in Petrograd—October 25 in the Julian calendar, November 7 in the Gregorian—we present an anarchist perspective on the Russian Revolution, which began in February 1917 with a mass-mobilization and mutiny that deposed Tsar Nicholas II. Though the Revolution contained an awesome amount of liberatory potential, as reflected in workers’ self-management and peasant land-seizures, it was fatally deviated by the authoritarian Bolshevik Party, which took power a hundred years ago today. Now, Russia has gone a century without a revolution. The world awaits a new one!
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.
Anarchist and revolutionary must be ready for revolution to happen in every moment, especially now, when social and political protest all around the world are arising more and more often. Moreover, the possibility of global catastrophes and cataclysms is always present, and saving ourselves along with continuing our struggle in that case should always be in our agenda.
From The A News Podcast
Welcome to the anews podcast. This is episode 23 for August 4. This podcast covers anarchist activity, ideas, and conversations from the previous week.
Editorial: Capitalism and Anarchism, example: IGD
TOTW - Chasing Politics
A101 question: What do anarchists think of the word "revolution"?
STRAIGHT TO THE POINT:
Our civilization is in collapse.
This collapse is well-documented: philosophers, scientists, politicians, military strategists, economists, and even NASA have begun sounding the alarm for ecological catastrophe, the technological singularity, and the general collapse of life as we know it. The news anchors appear no less panicked than the environmental and survivalist fringe of the past: the Arctic is melting, Japanese teenagers refuse to have sex, a private company wants to build a colony on Mars, Europe is being looted by hooded protestors, and humans may be extinct by the end of the century.
The following discussion seeks to reflect the current situation of Syrian individuals who are trying as hard as they can to free themselves from patterns of collective hypocrisy and over-optimistic thinking. Our experiment was still just newly born when it developed the problem of being unable to clearly distinguish the latent authoritarian power in society and in the state, to draw back the curtains that have concealed it. At the start of the revolution, in small gatherings of friends, we predicted that if the struggle lasted longer than a month, then the country would descend into civil war – this wasn't just an intellectual exercise, as it's our current reality.
Translator's Introduction to The Formation of Local Councils by Omar Aziz
Omar Aziz, revolutionary anarchist born in Damascus, was a friend and comrade to many and is fondly remembered and deeply missed. His text, The Formation of Local Councils, remains one of the core strategic proposals of the social revolution in Syria. He first published it in late 2011, and then released an expanded and revised version in February 2012 with a new introduction. This present translation offers the introductions to both versions and the full text of the second version. It doesn’t seem that Omar’s intention was to produce a static, finished text -- with his emphasis on adapting to local context and changing conditions, it’s likely he would have continued to revise and change his proposals.