Anarchists in the Gulag (and prison and exile)

Bolshevik repression of anarchists after 1917

A Grand Cause: The hunger strike and the deportation of Anarchists from Soviet Russia (Review)

with 3 comments

Anybody who still has any lingering doubts that communism and anarchism are one and the same thing, needs to read this excellent Kate Sharpley Library pamphlet. “The Russian anarchist movement did not disappear in a puff of logic once the Bolshevik dictatorship over the proletariat arrived.” The Russian revolution, a largely libertarian revolt from below which created autonomous free Soviets, soon ended in the formation of a party dictatorship controlled by the Bolsheviks. The anarchists rapidly became the disposable elements of this failed libertarian revolution. They were rounded up, imprisoned, shot and sent into exile into the newly created gulags. The Bolsheviks understood that their dictatorship would not last if libertarian socialist revolutionaries got the upper hand.

This pamphlet catalogues one tiny portion of that titanic struggle between libertarian socialism and an inherently authoritarian group like the Bolsheviks who used the rhetoric of communism to impose their will on the Russian people. This pamphlet brings to life people who have been forgotten for over ninety years. It is a meticulously researched pamphlet. The footnotes give a detailed account of what happened to many activists who have been written out of the pages of Russian history. A Grand Cause is the beginning of a much more ambitious project to bring the Russian anarchists’ sacrifices back into the public arena.

You can obtain a copy of this fascinating pamphlet from Kate Sharpley Library
If you want further information about the Anarchists in the Gulag, Prison and Exile Project, try or the Memorial Society of Moscow A good contact at this web site is Anatoly Dubovik from the anarchist section.

A Grand Cause: The hunger strike and the deportation of Anarchists from Soviet Russia
G. P. Maximoff with a biographical essay by Anatoly Dubovik, translated by Szarapow.
Kate Sharpley Library – Anarchists in the Gulag Prison and Exile Project 2008
ISBN 9781873605745 Anarchist Library No. 20

– Text from The Anarchist Age Weekly Review, number 810, 27th October to 2nd November 2008.

Written by gulaganarchists

8, November 2008 at 4:20 pm

Posted in Texts

3 Responses

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  1. Doesn’t seem like much of review, truth be told, more like a press release…


    30, November 2008 at 3:21 pm

  2. Well, we’re always happy to see more reviews if you’ve read any others.


    1, December 2008 at 10:37 am

  3. Defo. Not sure if I’m qualified to write one, since I worked on this pamphlet…


    1, December 2008 at 12:43 pm

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