What is Communist Anarchism? Ch31!

in #communism9 months ago

This is the 33rd, and final, installment of Alexander Berkman's book, What is Communist Anarchism, it can be found in the Anarchists' Library.


Chapter 31: Defense of the Revolution

“Suppose your system is tried, would you have any means of defending the revolution?” you ask.


“Even by armed force?”

Yes, if necessary.

“But armed force is organized violence.
Didn’t you say Anarchism was against it?”

Anarchism is opposed to any interference with your liberty, be it by force and violence or by any other means.
It is against all invasion and compulsion.
But if any one attacks you, then it is he who is invading you, he who is employing violence against you.
You have a right to defend yourself.
More than that, it is your duty, as an Anarchist, to protect your liberty, to resist coercion and compulsion.
Otherwise you are a slave, not a free man.
In other words, the social revolution will attack no one, but it will defend itself against invasion from any quarter.

Besides, you must not confuse the social revolution with Anarchy.
Revolution, in some of its stages, is a violent upheaval;
Anarchy is a social condition of freedom and peace.
The revolution is the means of bringing Anarchy about but it is not Anarchy itself.
It is to pave the road for Anarchy, to establish conditions which will make a life of liberty possible.

But to achieve its purpose the revolution must be imbued with and directed by the Anarchist spirit and ideas.
The end shapes the means, just as the tool you use must be fit to do the work you want to accomplish.
That is to say, the social revolution must be Anarchistic in method as in aim.

Revolutionary defense must be in consonance with this spirit.
Self-defense excludes all acts of coercion, of persecution or revenge.
It is concerned only with repelling attack and depriving the enemy of opportunity to invade you.

“How would you repel foreign invasion?”

By the strength of the revolution.
In what does that strength consist?
First and foremost, in the support of the people, in the devotion of the industrial and agricultural masses.
If they feel that they themselves are making the revolution, that they have become the masters of their lives, that they have gained freedom and are building up their welfare, then in that very sentiment you have the greatest strength of the revolution.
The masses fight to-day for king, capitalist, or president because they believe them worth fighting for.
Let them believe in the revolution, and they will defend it to the death.

They will fight for the revolution with heart and soul, as the half-starved working men, women, and even children of Petrograd defended their city, almost with bare hands, against the White army of General Yudenitch.
Take that faith away, deprive the people of power by setting up some authority over them, be it a political party or military organization, and you have dealt a fatal blow to the revolution.
You will have robbed it of its main source of strength, the masses.
You will have made it defenseless.

The armed workers and peasants are the only effective defense of the revolution.
By means of their unions and syndicates they must always be on guard against counter-revolutionary attack.
The worker in factory and mill, in mine and field, is the soldier of the revolution.
He is at his bench and plow or on the battlefield, according to need.
But in his factory as in his regiment he is the soul of the revolution, and it is his will that decides its fate.
In industry the shop committees, in the barracks the soldiers’ committees — these are the fountain-head of all revolutionary strength and activity.

It was the volunteer Red Guard, made up of toilers, that successfully defended the Russian Revolution in its most critical initial stages.
Later on it was again volunteer peasant regiments who defeated the White armies.
The regular Red army, organized later, was powerless without the volunteer workers’ and peasants’ divisions.
Siberia was freed from Kolchak and his hordes by such peasant volunteers.
In the north of Russia it was also workers’ and peasants detachments that drove out the foreign armies which came to impose the yoke of native reactionaries upon the people.[24]
In the Ukraine the volunteer peasant armies — known as povstantsi — saved the Revolution from numerous counter-revolutionary generals and particularly from Denikin when the latter was already at the very gates of Moscow.
It was the revolutionary povstantsi who freed southern Russia from the invading armies of Germany, France, Italy, and Greece and subsequently also routed the White forces of General Wrangel.

The military defense of the revolution may demand a supreme command, coordination of activities, discipline, and obedience to orders.
But these must proceed from the devotion of the workers and peasants, and must be based on their voluntary coöperation through their own local, regional, and federal organizations.
In the matter of defense against foreign attack, as in all other problems of the social revolution, the active interest of the masses, their autonomy and self-determination are the best guarantee of success.

Understand well that the only really effective defense of the revolution lies in the attitude of the people.
Popular discontent is the worst enemy of the revolution and its greatest danger.
We must always bear in mind that the strength of the social revolution is organic, not mechanistic: not in mechanical, military measures lies its might, but industry, in its ability to reconstruct life, to establish liberty and justice.
Let the people feel that it is indeed their own cause which is at stake, and the last man of them will fight like a lion in its behalf.

The same applies to internal as to external defense.
What chance would any White general or counter-revolutionist have if he could not exploit oppression and injustice to incite the people against the revolution?
Counter-revolution can feed only on popular discontent.
Where the masses are conscious that the revolution and all its activities are in their own hands, that they themselves are managing things and are free to change their methods when they consider it necessary, counter-revolution can find no support and is harmless.

“But would you let counter-revolutionists incite the people if they tried to?”

By all means.
Let them talk all they like.
To restrain them would serve only to create a persecuted class and thereby enlist popular sympathy for them and their cause.
To suppress speech and press is not only a theoretic offense against liberty:
it is a direct blow at the very foundations of the revolution.
It would, first of all, raise problems where none had existed before.
It would introduce methods which must lead to discontent and opposition, to bitterness and strife, to prison, Tcheka, and civil war.
It would generate fear and distrust, would hatch conspiracies, and culminate in a reign of terror which has always killed revolutions in the past.

The social revolution must from the very start be based on entirely different principles, on a new conception and attitude.
Full freedom is the very breath of its existence; and be it never forgotten that the cure for evil and disorder is more liberty, not suppression.
Suppression leads only to violence and destruction.

“Will you not defend the revolution then?” your friend demands.

Certainly we will.
But not against mere talk, not against an expression of opinion.
The revolution must be big enough to welcome even the severest criticism, and profit by it if it is justified.
The revolution will defend itself most determinedly against real counter-revolution, against all active enemies, against any attempt to defeat or sabotage it by forcible invasion or violence.
That is the right of the revolution and its duty.
But it will not persecute the conquered foe, nor wreak vengeance upon an entire social class because of the fault of individual members of it.
The sins of the fathers shall not be visited upon their children.

"What will you do with counter-revolutionists?”

Actual combat and armed resistance involve human sacrifices, and the counter-revolutionists who lose their lives under such circumstances suffer the unavoidable consequences of their deeds.
But the revolutionary people are not savages.
The wounded are not slaughtered nor those taken prisoners executed.
Neither is practiced the barbarous system of shooting hostages, as the Bolsheviki did.

“How will you treat counter-revolutionists taken prisoners during an engagement?”

The revolution must find new ways, some sensible method of dealing with them.
The old method is to imprison them, support them in idleness, and employ numerous men to guard and punish them.
And while the culprit remains in prison, incarceration and brutal treatment still further embitter him against the revolution, strengthen his opposition, and nurse thoughts of vengeance and new conspiracies.
The revolution will regard such methods as stupid and detrimental to its best interests.
It will try instead by humane treatment to convince the defeated enemy of the error and uselessness of his resistance.
It will apply liberty instead of revenge.
It will take into consideration that most of the counter-revolutionists are dupes rather than enemies, deluded victims of some individuals seeking power and authority.
It will know that they need enlightenment rather than punishment, and that the former will accomplish more than the latter.
Even to-day this perception is gaining ground.
The Bolsheviki defeated the Allied armies in Russia more effectively by revolutionary propaganda among the enemy soldiers than by the strength of their artillery.
These new methods have been recognized as practical even by the United States Government which is making use of them now in its Nicaraguan campaign.
American aëroplanes scatter proclamations and appeals to the Nicaraguan people to persuade them to desert Sandino and his cause, and the American army chiefs expect the best results from these tactics.
But the Sandino patriots are fighting for home and country against a foreign invader, while counter-revolutionists wage war against their own people.
The work of their enlightenment is much simpler and promises better results.

“Do you think that would really be the best way to deal with counter-revolution?”

By all means. Humane treatment and kindness are more effective than cruelty and vengeance.
The new attitude in this regard would suggest also a number of other methods of similar character.
Various modes of dealing with conspirators and active enemies of the revolution would develop as soon as you begin to practice the new policy.
The plan might be adopted, for instance, of scattering them, individually or in small groups, over districts removed from their counter-revolutionary influences, among communities of revolutionary spirit and consciousness.
Consider also that counter-revolutionists must eat; which means that they would find themselves in a situation that would claim their thoughts and time for other things than the hatching of conspiracies.
The defeated counter-revolutionist, left at liberty instead of being imprisoned, would have to seek means of existence.
He would not be denied his livelihood, of course, since the revolution would be generous enough to feed even its enemies.
But the man in question would have to join some community, secure lodgings, and so forth, in order to enjoy the hospitality of the distributing center.
In other words, the counter-revolutionary “prisoners in freedom” would depend on the community and the good will of its members for their means of existence.
They would live in its atmosphere and be influenced by its revolutionary environment.
Surely they will be safer and more contented than in prison, and presently they would cease to be a danger to the revolution.
We have repeatedly seen such examples in Russia, in cases where counter-revolutionists had escaped the Tcheka and settled down in some village or city, where as a result of considerate and decent treatment they became useful members of the community, often more zealous in behalf of the public welfare than the average citizen, while hundreds of their fellow-conspirators, who had not been lucky enough to avoid arrest, were busy in prison with thoughts of revenge and new plots.

Various plans of treating such “prisoners in freedom” will no doubt be tried by the revolutionary people.
But whatever the methods, they will be more satisfactory than the present system of revenge and punishment, the complete failure of which has been demonstrated throughout human experience.
Among the new ways might also be tried that of free colonization.
The revolution will offer its enemies an opportunity to settle in some part of the country and there establish the form of social life that will suit them best.
It is no vain speculation to foresee that it would not be long before most of them would prefer the brotherhood and liberty of the revolutionary community to the reactionary régime of their colony.
But even if they did not, nothing would be lost.
On the contrary, the revolution would itself be the greatest gainer, spiritually, by forsaking methods of revenge and persecution and practicing humanity and magnanimity.
Revolutionary self-defense, inspired by such methods, will be the more effective because of the very freedom it will guarantee even to its enemies.
Its appeal to the masses and to the world at large will thereby be the more irresistible and universal.
In its justice and humanity lies the invincible strength of the social revolution.

No revolution has yet tried the true way of liberty.
None has had sufficient faith in it.
Force and suppression, persecution, revenge, and terror have characterized all revolutions in the past and have thereby defeated their original aims.
The time has come to try new methods, new ways.
The social revolution is to achieve the emancipation of man through liberty, but if we have no faith in the latter, revolution becomes a denial and betrayal of itself.
Let us then have the courage of freedom: let it replace suppression and terror.
Let liberty become our faith and our deed and we shall grow strong therein.

Only liberty can make the social revolution effective and wholesome.
It alone can pave the way to greater heights and prepare a society where well-being and joy shall be the heritage of all.
The day will dawn when man shall for the first time have full opportunity to grow and expand in the free and generous sunshine of Anarchy.


Alex was deported for speaking these words.
He wrote about that here.

If you don't care what has been done to us all in the past, it won't matter what is done to you in the future, you will not see it coming.

It will hit you from out of the blue.



You see, according to the text itself, there is again the truth, but there are also errors. The social revolution does not in any way negate the achievements of science. Moreover, to build communism, it must rely on the achievements of science.
There is also a military science. For example, I personally trained as a junior commander. Banal platoon recruits, when he passed the primary training will be more effective than even a company of militia.
Junior commanders will use tactical solutions like focus fire on a specific firing point. Suppress this point. At the same time, using machine guns and sniper rifles correctly, you can force a larger enemy unit to lie down with a smaller number of people in this area of the battle.
There are areas of activity where social justice is impossible. There is a medical consultation of surgeons, the opinion of a professor of medicine is more valuable than 10 or even 100 interns.
A trained military commander on the battlefield should not engage in disputes. His will and command are more important than the opinions of the people.
Another thing is after a battle in a peaceful environment. People are equal there. By the way, this kind of thing persists in some form in the Federation Army.
Let's say on vacation in the smoking room, when the soldiers smoke. Even if the marshal comes in. They are not required to stand up or give a military salute.
Knowing your craving for anarchism... Father
Makhno did not allow bickering during the battle. Insubordination to the commander execution on the spot. Another thing is that in a peaceful environment, all citizens and all are equal.
There is military science. You can get a degree in the military academy after finishing your education. You can learn in real battles, but it will cost a lot of blood and lives of soldiers.
Don't use science. to deny science. This is not the path of social revolution. It should be based on science!

Hard to argue with that.
Трудно с этим спорить.

Lol, the translator corrected my grammar.
Лол, переводчик поправил мою грамматику.

Difficulties of electronic translation. I am sure that some of my expressions are also very hard-edged by the translator. Therefore, I write in Russian and attach a translation. To be able to try to translate the incomprehensible by another translator. Understand the meaning of the phrase.

Трудности электронного перевода. Уверен, что некоторые мои выражения тоже переводчик очень жестко правит. Потому пишу на русском и прилагаю перевод. Чтобы была возможность, непонятное попытаться перевести другим переводчиком. Понять смысл фразы.


Понимаете по самому тексту тут снова есть и правда, но имеются и ошибки. Социальная революция никак не отрицает достижения науки. Более того для построения коммунизма она обязана опираться на достижения науки.
Существует и военная наука. Для примера я лично проходил подготовку, как младший командир. Банально взвод новобранцев, когда он прошел первичное обучение будет эффективнее даже роты ополченцев.
Младшие командиры будут использовать тактические решения по типу сосредоточить огонь на конкретной огневой точке. Подавить эту точку. Одновременно используя грамотно пулеметы и снайперские винтовки можно при меньшем числе людей на данном участке боя заставить залечь более многочисленное вражеское подразделение.
Есть сферы деятельности, где невозможна социальная справедливость. Идет врачебный консилиум хирургов, мнение профессора от медицины более ценное, чем 10 или даже 100 интернов.
Обученный военный командир на поле боя не должен вступать в споры. Его воля и приказ важнее мнения людей.
Другое дело после боя в мирной обстановке. Там люди равны. Кстати, подобное в некоторой форме сохраняется в армии Федерации.
Допустим на отдыхе в курилке, когда солдаты курят. Даже если зайдет маршал. Они не обязаны вставать или отдавать воинское приветствие.
Зная вашу тягу именно к анархизму...
Батька Махно не допускал пререканий во время боя. Неподчинение командиру расстрел на месте. Другое дело в мирной обстановке все граждане и все равны.
Есть военная наука. Можно получить закончив образование в военной академии. Можно научиться в реальных боях, но будет стоить много крови и жизней солдат.
Не использовать науку. отрицать науку. Это не путь социальной революции. Она как раз и должна базироваться на науке!

Тебе действительно стоит прочитать книгу, которую я сериализую, в ней рассматривались все эти вопросы в 1887 году.

Оглядываясь назад от Эда Беллами.

Отсюда, под игом власти, мы должны как можно быстрее перейти к мирному сотрудничеству.
Если это потребует использования дезинформационных средств древности, я сделаю это.

You really should read the book I'm serializing, it dealt with all these issues in 1887.

Looking Backwards by Ed Bellamy.

From here, under the yoke of power, we must move as quickly as possible to peaceful cooperation.
If it requires the use of the disinformation tools of antiquity, I will do so.

Простите использовать цитаты Солженицына, как серьезный источник информации? Могу напомнить, что его отправили в тюрьму абсолютно законно. Преступления Солженицына очевидны и за них он получил бы срок в любой цивилизованной стране мира. Будучи офицером РККА он собирал литературу нацистов Третьего Рейха. Писал письма своим друзьям, где всячески восхвалял Гитлера и призывал к установлению нацизма. Более того, такие письма можно считать провокацией. Понятно, что письма с фронта проходят особую цензуру. В посылке может быть подобная литература. Можно выслать патроны, гранату, оружие. Однако, посылать подобные письма друзьям, подставлять их под уголовное дело.
Думаете даже в 2021 году, если вы будете активно выступать за нацизм, вам не предъявят обвинение? Сейчас в 2021 году и в вашей стране?
Далее по тексту вообще бред! Как можно говорить о трети Ленинграда, который якобы посадили в тюрьму. Население Ленинграда до блокады и голода который устроили нацисты в 1941 году 3 200 000 человек! Треть населения это 1 000 000 заключенных!!!
На 1 января 1941 года заключенных во всем СССР с его населением 195 000 000 человек было 2 400 422 человека. Много это или мало?
Это только чуть более 1% населения. Нужно понимать в любом обществе есть криминальный элемент: убийцы, воры, грабители, насильники, казнокрады.
Для примера в СССР был такой гениальный ученый Королев. Он многое сделал для освоения космоса. Однако будучи молодым ученым и получая гранты на исследование ракет, часть денег растратил на рестораны, женщин и покупку дорогой одежды. За такое поведение получил тюремный срок. После завершения наказания, был принят на работу. Совершал открытия. Имел множество премий и очень высокую зарплату.
К сожалению, даже если человек гений! Он может быть слаб к золоту.
Возьмем Махно. При нем не раз и не два расстреливали людей за мародерство. Тех, кто грабил простых селян. Людей из армии Батьки Махно. Иногда даже убеждения слабее, чем жажда наживы.
Кому должны были сопротивляться граждане СССР? Своей воле и своей власти? Зачем? Это их воля их свобода и их интересы.
Далее писанина Солженицына вызывает лишь презрение. Почитайте Архипелаг-ГУЛАГ, где он в первой главе пишет, что был стукачем. Именно он подставлял людей которые ему доверяли и сдавал оперативникам. По его собственным словам в его собственной книге. Заключенные даже из уголовником, как и в любой стране мира имеют свой кодекс чести. Им считалось не правильным общаться с Солженицыным. Потому все его рассказы по его собственным словам в книге - это лагерные байки.
Подобные бывают даже в детских лагерях отдыха. Якобы пошел мальчик, а тут приведение. Просто у Александра более черные истории, учитывая менталитет уголовников.
Причем они никак не связаны с правдой. С ним не желали общаться. Потому ничего кроме баек он слышать не мог. Никто не давал ему какой-то серьезной информации. Для заключенных он был враг.
Да и его призывы к властям США, ударить ядерным оружием по СССР...
Призывать к геноциду своего народа. Это даже без комментариев.

Я читал архипелаг ГУЛАГа, и ты прав, он был стукачом.
Предположу, что и другие твои слова тоже верны.

Но сегодня эта мема является эффективной пропагандой, потому что люди, которых она будет мотивировать, не знают разницы, и, наверное, не могут беспокоиться.

Скоро наступит время "умри здесь, в своей квартире или спускайся вниз".
Я нацеливаюсь на тех, кто скорее получит пулю, чем подчинится "власти".
Чтобы дать им понять, что они не одиноки, то, что происходит, не является свободой.

Хотя их, скорее всего, волнует, что их мотивация исходит от крысы, вряд ли они когда-нибудь узнают об этом, и даже тогда его способность внушать сопротивление тирании перевешивает моральные аргументы, которые могут быть подняты просто для того, чтобы смягчить воздействие его слов.

Я не пытаюсь быть последним примером, этого парня всегда убивают.

I'm sorry to use Solzhenitsyn's quotes as a serious source of information? I can remind you that he was sent to prison absolutely legally. Solzhenitsyn's crimes are obvious and for them he would have received a sentence in any civilized country in the world. As an officer of the Red Army, he collected the literature of the Nazis of the Third Reich. He wrote letters to his friends, where he praised Hitler in every possible way and called for the establishment of Nazism. Moreover, such letters can be considered a provocation. It is clear that letters from the front are subject to special censorship. The package may contain similar literature. You can send ammunition, grenades, weapons. However, to send such letters to friends, to expose them to a criminal case.
Do you think that even in 2021, if you actively advocate for Nazism, you will not be charged? Now in 2021 and in your country?
Further in the text in general nonsense! How can we talk about a third of Leningrad, which was allegedly put in prison? The population of Leningrad before the siege and famine that the Nazis staged in 1941 3,200,000 people! A third of the population is 1,000,000 prisoners!!!
On January 1, 1941, there were 2,400,422 prisoners in the entire USSR with its population of 195,000,000 people. Is it too much or too little?
This is only just over 1% of the population. You need to understand that in any society there is a criminal element: murderers, thieves, robbers, rapists, embezzlers.
For example, in the USSR there was such a brilliant scientist Korolev. He did a lot for space exploration. However, as a young scientist and receiving grants for rocket research, some of the money was spent on restaurants, women and buying expensive clothes. For this behavior, he received a prison sentence. After completing the punishment, he was hired. Have made discoveries. He had many bonuses and a very high salary.
Unfortunately, even if the person is a genius! He may be weak to gold.
Take Makhno. During his time, people were shot more than once for looting. Those who robbed ordinary villagers. People from the army of Father Makhno. Sometimes even beliefs are weaker than greed.
Who were the citizens of the USSR supposed to resist? Your will and your power? What for? It is their will, their freedom, and their interests.
Further, Solzhenitsyn's writings arouse only contempt. Read the Gulag Archipelago, where he writes in the first chapter that he was a snitch. It was he who framed people who trusted him and turned them in to the operatives. In his own words, in his own book. Prisoners, even from a criminal, as in any country in the world, have their own code of honor. It was considered wrong for them to communicate with Solzhenitsyn. Therefore, all his stories in his own words in the book are camp stories.
Such things happen even in children's recreation camps. Allegedly, a boy went, and then a ghost. It's just that Alexander has more black stories, given the criminal mentality.
And they have nothing to do with the truth. They didn't want to talk to him. Therefore, he could hear nothing but stories. No one gave him any serious information. To the prisoners, he was the enemy.
And his calls to the US authorities to strike the USSR with nuclear weapons ... to
call for the genocide of his people. It's not even a comment.

I'm not sacrificing the message due to the messenger,...just sayin'.
That dude painted a picture, true, but others used it as a guide.

Sorry, I've fallen behind in my duties, I will catch up, at some point.

Про посланца и послание, поговорку понял. Хотя лучше не использовать образные выражения. У нас в русском языке тоже есть различные местные идиомы. Если их писать, то переводчик может не справиться пример непереводимого выражения.
Ну да, конечно. Двойное согласие, означающие отрицание.

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