Emma Goldman: “A shrewd Asiatic, this Lenin…”

[Setzen wir doch unsere Zitirerei fort. Sie ist u.A. eine Art Ablage, und wird noch in woanders – wenn sich dafür Zeit und Kraft fänden – verwurstet. Solange aber sind das hier nur ein paar Auszüge aus einer der frühesten und eindrucksvollsten Bolschewismus-Kritiken, die jemals geschrieben wurden. Das hier nimmt einem oder einer die Beschäftigung mit dem Buch nicht ab, genauso wenig befreit es von der Auseinandersetzung mit Volins “Unbekannte Revolution”, mit Bettelheims “Die Klassenkämpfe in der UdSSR, Bd. 3-4”, mit Ciligas “Im land der verwirrenden Lüge”, mit Berkmanns, Makhnos, Serges und Arschinows Erinnerungen, mit Panekoeks, Weils und Rühles Kritiken und selbstverständlich auch nicht mit Lenin und Trotzky selbst und allen Märchen, welche sich Trotz-Kisten und andere Autoritären immer noch über die Revolution in Russland erzählen. – liberadio]

Excerpts from Emma Goldman’s, “My Desillusionment in Russia”, The C. W. Daniel Company, London 1925

(S. xii) By a strange coincidence a volume of letters written during the French Revolution, and compiled by the able German anarchist publicist, Gustav Landauer, came into my hands during the most critical period of my Russian experience. I was actually reading them while hearing the Bolshevik artillery begin the bombardment of the Kronstadt rebels. Those letters gave me a most vivid insight into the events of the French Revolution. As never before they brought home to me the realization that the Bolshevik regime in Russia was, on the whole, a significant replica of what had happened in France more than a century before.

(S. xv) The Russian Revolution is a miracle in more than one respect. Among other extraordinary paradoxes it presents the phenomenon of the Marxian Social Democrats, Lenin and Trotsky, adopting Anarchist revolutionary tactics, while the Anarchists Kropotkin, Tcherkessov, Tchaikovsky are denying these tactics and falling into Marxian reasoning, which they had all their lives repudiated as “German metaphysics”. The Bolsheviki of 1903, though revolutionists, adhered to the Marxian doctrine concerning the industrialization of Russia and the historic mission of the bourgeoisie as a necessary evolutionary process before the Russian masses could come into their own. The Bolsheviki of 1917 no longer believe in the predestined function of the bourgeoisie. They have been swept forward on the waves of the Revolution to the point of view held by the Anarchists since Bakunin; namely, that once the masses become conscious of their economic power, they make their own history and need not be bound by traditions and processes of a dead past which, like secret treaties, are made at a round table and are not dictated by the life itself.

(S. xxiv) My critic further charged me with believing that “had the Russians made the Revolution a la Bakunin instead of a la Marx” the result would have been different and more satisfactory. I plead guilty to the charge. In truth, I not only believe so; I am certain of it. The Russian Revolution – more correctly, Bolshevik methods – conclusively demonstrated how a revolution should not be made. The Russian experiment has proven the fatality of a political party usurping the functions of the revolutionary people, of an omnipotent State seeking to impose its will upon the country, of a dictatorship attempting to “organize” the new life.

(S. 12f) At last we reached the Anarchist quarters, in a dilapidated house in a filthy backyard. I was ushered into a small room crowded with men and women. The sight recalled pictures of thirty years ago when, persecuted and hunted from place to place, the Anarchists in America were compelled to meet in a dingy hall on Orchard Street, New York, or in the dark rear room of a saloon. That was in capitalistic America. But this is revolutionary Russia, which the Anarchists had helped to free. Why should they have to gather in secret and in such a place?

That evening and the following day I listened to a recital of the betrayal of the Revolution by the Bolsheviki. Workers from the Baltic factories spoke of their enslavement, Kronstadt sailors voiced their bitterness and indignation against the people they had helped to power and who had become their masters. One of the speakers had been condemned to death by the Bolsheviki for his Anarchist ideas, but had escaped and was now living illegally. He related how the sailors had been robbed of the freedom of their Soviets, how every breath of life was being censored. Others spoke of the Red Terror and repression in Moscow, which resulted in the throwing of a bomb into the gathering of the Moscow section of the Communists Party in September, 1919. They told me of the over-filled prisons, of the violence practiced on the workers and peasants. I listened rather impatiently, for everything in me cried out against this indictment. It sounded impossible; it could not be. Someone was surely at fault, but probably it was they, my comrades, I thought. They were unreasonable, impatient for immediate results. Was not violence inevitable in a revolution, and was it not imposed upon the Bolsheviki by the interventionists?

(S. 34) A shrewd Asiatic, this Lenin. He knows how to play on the weak sides of men by flattery, rewards, medals. I felt concieved that his approach to people was purely utilitarian, for the use he could get out of them for his scheme. And his scheme – was it the Revolution?

(S. 55) The great flour mill of Petrograd, visited next, looked as if it were in a state of siege, with armed soldiers everywhere, even inside the workrooms. The explanation given was that large quantities of precious flour had been vanishing. The soldiers watched the millmen as if they were galley slaves, and the workers naturally resented such humiliating treatment. They hardly dared to speak. One young chap, a fine-looking fellow, complained to me of this conditions. “We are here virtual prisoners”, he said; “we cannot make a step without permission. We are kept hard at work eight hours with only ten minutes for our kipyatok (boiled water) and we are searched on leaving the mill”. “Is not the theft of flour the cause of the strict surveillance?” I asked. “Not at all”, replied the boy; “the Commissars of the mill and the soldiers know quite well where the flour goes to”. I suggested that the workers might protest against such a state of affairs, “Protest, to whom?” the boy exclaimed; “we’d be called speculators and counter-revolutionists and we’d be arrested”. “Has the Revolution given you nothing?” I asked. “Ah, the Revolution! But that is no more. Finished”, he said bitterly.

(S. 93ff) The enormity of her (Maria Spiridonova) accusations challenged credence. After all, the Bolsheviki were revolutionists. How could they be guilty of the terrible things charged against them? Perhaps they were not responsible for the situation as it had developed; they had the whole world against them. There was the Brest peace, for instance. When the news of it first reached America I happened to be in prison. I reflected long and carefully whether Soviet Russia was justified in negotiating with German imperialism. But I could see no way out of the situation. I was in favour of the Brest peace. Since I came to Russia I heard conflicting versions of it. Nearly everyone, excepting the Communists, considered the Brest agreement as much a betrayal of the Revolution as the role of the German Socialists in the war–a betrayal of the spirit of internationalism. The Communists, on the other hand, were unanimous in defending the peace and denouncing as counter-revolutionist everybody who questioned the wisdom and the revolutionary justification of that agreement. “We could do nothing else,” argued the Communists. “Germany had a mighty army, while we had none. Had we refused to sign the Brest treaty we should have sealed the fate of the Revolution. We realized that Brest meant a compromise, but we knew that the workers of Russia and the rest of the world would understand that we had been forced to it. Our compromise was similar to that of workers when they are forced to accept the conditions of their masters after an unsuccessful strike.”

But Spiridonova was not convinced. “There is not one word of truth in the argument advanced by the Bolsheviki,” she said. It is true that Russia had no disciplined army to meet the German advance, but it had something infinitely more effective: it had a conscious revolutionary people who would have fought back the invaders to the last drop of blood. As a matter of fact, it was the people who had checked all the counter-revolutionary military attempts against Russia. Who else but the people, the peasants and the workers, made it impossible for the German and Austrian army to remain in the Ukraine? Who defeated Denikin and the other counter-revolutionary generals? Who triumphed over Koltchak and Yudenitch? Lenin and Trotsky claim that it was the Red Army. But the historic truth was that the voluntary military units of the workers and peasants – the povstantsi – in Siberia as well as in the south of Russia–had borne the brunt of the fighting on every front, the Red Army usually only completing the victories of the former. Trotsky would have it now that the Brest treaty had to be accepted, but he himself had at one time refused to sign the treaty and Radek, Joffe, and other leading Communists had also been opposed to it. It is claimed now that they submitted to the shameful terms because they realized the hopelessness of their expectation that the German workers would prevent the Junkers from marching against revolutionary Russia. But that was not the true reason. It was the whip of the party discipline which lashed Trotsky and others into submission.

“The trouble with the Bolsheviki,” continued Spiridonova, “is that they have no faith in the masses. They proclaimed themselves a proletarian party, but they refused to trust the workers.” It was this lack of faith, Maria emphasized, which made the Communists bow to German imperialism. And as concerns the Revolution itself, it was precisely the Brest peace which struck it a fatal blow. Aside from the betrayal of Finland, White Russia, Latvia and the Ukraine—which were turned over to the mercy of the German Junkers by the Brest peace by the peasants saw thousands of their brothers slain, and had to submit to being robbed and plundered. The simple peasant mind could not understand the complete reversal of the former Bolshevik slogans of “no indemnity and no annexations.” But even the simplest peasant could understand that his toil and his blood were to pay the indemnities imposed by the Brest conditions. The peasants grew bitter and antagonistic to the Soviet regime. Disheartened and discouraged they turned from the Revolution. As to the effect of the Brest peace upon the German workers, how could they continue in their faith in the Russian Revolution in view of the fact that the Bolsheviki negotiated and accepted the peace terms with the German masters over the heads of the German proletariat ? The historic fact remains that the Brest peace was the beginning of the end of the Russian Revolution. No doubt other factors contributed to the debacle, but Brest was the most fatal of them.

(S. 95) In the course of our conversation I suggested that the method of razverstka was probably forced upon the Bolsheviki by the refusal of the peasants to feed the city. In the beginning of the revolutionary period, Spiridonova explained, so long as the peasant Soviets existed, the peasants gave willingly and generously. But when the Bolshevik Government began to dissolve these Soviets and arrested 500 peasant delegates, the peasantry became antagonistic. Moreover, they daily witnessed the inefficiency of the Communist regime: they saw their products lying at side stations and rotting away, or in possession of speculators on the market. Naturally under such conditions they would not continue to give. The fact that the peasants had never refused to contribute supplies to the Red Army proved that other methods than those used by the Bolsheviki could have been employed. The razverstka served only to widen the breach between the village and the city. The Bolsheviki resorted to punitive expeditions which became the terror of the country. They left death and ruin wherever they came. The peasants, at last driven to desperation, began to rebel against the Communist regime. In various parts of Russia, in the south, on the Ural, and in Siberia, peasants’ insurrections have taken place, and everywhere they were being put down by force of arms and with an iron hand.

(S. 114f) The civil engineer had been sent by the Soviet Government to the Donetz Basin to build homes for the workers, and I was glad of the opportunity to learn from him about the conditions there. The Communist press was publishing glowing accounts about the intensive coal production of the Basin, and official calculations claimed that the country would be provided with sufficient coal for the approaching winter. In reality, the Donetz mines were in a most deplorable state, the engineer informed me. The miners were herded like cattle. They received abominable rations, were almost barefoot, and were forced to work standing in water up to their ankles. As a result of such conditions very little coal was being produced. “I was one of a committee ordered to investigate the situation and report our findings,” said the engineer. “Our report is far from favourable. We know that it is dangerous to relate the facts as we found them: it may land us in the Tcheka. But we decided that Moscow must face the facts. The system of political Commissars, general Bolshevik inefficiency, and the paralysing effect of the State machinery have made our constructive work in the Basin almost impossible. It was a dismal failure.”

Could such a condition of affairs be avoided in a revolutionary period and in a country so little developed industrially as Russia? I questioned. The Revolution was being attacked by the bourgeoisie within and without; there was compelling need of defence and no energies remained for constructive work. The engineer scorned my viewpoint. The Russian bourgeoisie was weak and could offer practically no resistance, he claimed. It was numerically insignificant and it suffered from a sick conscience. There was neither need nor justification for Bolshevik terrorism and it was mainly the latter that paralysed the constructive efforts. Middle-class intellectuals had been active for many years in the liberal and revolutionary movements of Russia, and thus the members of the bourgeoisie had become closer to the masses. When the great day arrived the bourgeoisie, caught unawares, preferred to give up rather than to put up a fight. It was stunned by the Revolution more than any other class in Russia. It was quite unprepared and has not gotten its bearings even to this day. It was not true, as the Bolsheviki claimed, that the Russian bourgeoisie was an active menace to the Revolution.

(S. 124) A peculiar people, these Russians, saint and devil in one, manifesting the highest as well as the most brutal impulses, capable of almost anything except sustained effort. I have often wondered whether this lack did not to some extent explain the disorganization of the country and the tragic condition of the Revolution.

(S. 129f) I had learned in Moscow, in connection with the arrest of the Zionists there, that the Bolsheviki were inclined to consider them counter-revolutionary. But I found the Poltava Zionists very simple orthodox Jews who certainly could not impress any one as conspirators or active enemies. They were passive, though bitter against the Bolshevik régime. It was claimed that the Bolsheviki made no pogroms and that they do not persecute the Jews, they said; but that was true only in a certain sense. There were two kinds of pogroms: the loud, violent ones, and the silent ones. Of the two the Zionists considered the former preferable. The violent pogrom might last a day or a week; the Jews are attacked and robbed, sometimes even murdered; and then it is over. But the silent pogroms continued all the time. They consisted of constant discrimination, persecution, and hounding. The Bolsheviki had closed the Jewish hospitals and now sick Jews were forced to eat treife in the Gentile hospitals. The same applied to the Jewish children in the Bolshevik feeding houses. If a Jew and a Gentile happened to be arrested on the same charge, it was certain that the Gentile would go free while the Jew would be sent to prison and sometimes even shot. They were all the time exposed to insult and indignities, not to mention the fact that they were doomed to slow starvation, since all trade had been suppressed. The Jews in the Ukraina were suffering a continuous silent pogrom.

I felt that the Zionist criticism of the Bolshevik régime was inspired by a narrow religious and nationalistic attitude. They were Orthodox Jews, mostly tradesmen whom the Revolution had deprived of their sphere of activity. Nevertheless, their problem was real–the problem of the Jew suffocating in the atmosphere of active anti-Semitism. In Poltava the leading Communist and Bolshevik officials were Gentiles. Their dislike of the Jews was frank and open. Anti-Semitism throughout the Ukraine was more virulent than even in pre-revolutionary days.

(S. 144f) The people had suffered so much from the various occupations and were so oppressed by every new régime that they rejoiced when the Bolsheviki entered Kiev. Everybody hoped that they would bring relief. But the Communists quickly destroyed all illusions. Within a few months they proved themselves entirely incapable of administering the affairs of the city; their methods antagonized the people, and the terrorism of the Tcheka turned even the friends of the Communists to bitter enmity. Nobody objected to the nationalization of industry and it was of course expected that the Bolsheviki would expropriate. But when the bourgeoisie had been relieved of its possessions it was found that only the raiders benefited. Neither the people at large nor even the proletarian class gained anything. Precious jewellery, silverware, furs, practically the whole wealth of Kiev seemed to disappear and was no more heard of. Later members of the Tcheka strutted about the streets with their women gowned in the finery of the bourgeoisie. When private business places were closed, the doors were locked and sealed and guards placed there. But within a few weeks the stores were found empty. This kind of “management” and the numerous slew laws and edicts, often mutually conflicting, served the Tcheka as a pretext to terrorize and mulct the citizens and aroused general hatred against the Bolsheviki. The people had turned against Petlura, Denikin, and the Poles. They welcomed the Bolsheviki with open arms. But the last disappointed them as the first.

(S. 150f) Makhno’s wife had been a country school teacher; she possessed considerable information and was intensely interested in all cultural problems. She plied me with questions about American women, whether they had really become emancipated and enjoyed equal rights. The young woman had been with Makhno and his army for several years, but she could not reconcile herself to the primitive attitude of her people in regard to woman. The Ukrainian woman she said, was considered an object of sex and motherhood only. Nestor himself was no exception in this matter. Was it different in America? Did the American woman believe in free motherhood and was she familiar with the subject of birth control?

It was astonishing to hear such questions from a peasant girl. I thought it most remarkable that a woman born and reared so far from the scene of woman’s struggle for emancipation should yet be so alive to its problems. I spoke to the girl of the activities of the advanced women of America, of their achievements and of the work yet to be done for woman’s emancipation. I mentioned some of the literature dealing with these subjects. She listened eagerly. “I must get hold of something to help our peasant women. They are just beasts of burden,” she said.

(S. 157f) One of the Doctor’s guests, who lived in the “Tcheka Street” told of the refinements of terrorism practised to awe the population. Almost daily he witnessed the same sights: early in the morning mounted Tchekists would dash by, shooting into the air-a warning that all windows must be closed. Then came motor trucks loaded with the doomed. They lay in rows, faces downward, their hands tied, soldiers standing over them with rifles. They were being carried to execution outside the city. A few hours later the trucks would return empty save for a few soldiers. Blood dripped from the wagons, leaving a crimson streak on the pavement all the way to the Tcheka headquarters.

It was not possible that Moscow did not know about these things, the Zionists asserted. The fear of the central power was too great to permit of the local Tcheka doing anything not approved by Moscow. But it was no wonder that the Bolsheviki had to resort to such methods. A small political party trying to control a population of 150,000,000 which bitterly hated the Communists, could not hope to maintain itself without such an institution as the Tcheka. The latter was characteristic of the basic principles of Bolshevik conception: the country must be forced to be saved by the Communist Party. The pretext that the Bolsheviki were defending the Revolution was a hollow mockery. As a matter of fact, they had entirely destroyed it.

(S. 159) It was the general sentiment of the Zionists that the continuation of the Bolsheviki in power meant the destruction of the Jews. The Russian Jews, as a rule, were not workers. From time immemorial they had engaged in trade; but business had been destroyed by the Communists, and before the Jew could be turned into a worker he would deteriorate, as a race, and become extinct. Specific Jewish culture, the most priceless thing to the Zionists, was frowned upon by the Bolsheviki. That phase of the situation seemed to affect them even more deeply than pogroms.

These intellectual Jews were not of the proletarian class. They were bourgeois without any revolutionary spirit. Their criticism of the Bolsheviki did not appeal to me for it was a criticism from the Right. If I had still believed in the Communists as the true champions of the Revolution I could have defended them against the Zionist complaints. But I myself had lost faith in the revolutionary integrity of the Bolsheviki.

(S. 169) The Expedition was to proceed to Petrograd the next day, but Louise begged me to remain for the funeral. Sunday, October 23rd, several friends rode with her to the Trade Union House where Reed’s body lay in state. I accompanied Louise when the procession started for the Red Square. There were speeches-much cold stereotyped declamation about the value of Jack Reed to the Revolution and to the Communist Party. It all sounded mechanical, far removed from the spirit of the dead man in the fresh grave. One speaker only dwelt on the real Jack Reed-Alexandra Kollontay. She had caught the artist’s soul, infinitely greater in its depth and beauty than any dogma. She used the occasion to admonish her comrades.”We call ourselves Communists,” she said, “but are we really that? Do we not rather draw the life essence from those who come to us, and when they are no longer of use, we let them fall by the wayside, neglected and forgotten? Our Communism and our comradeship are dead letters if we do not give out of ourselves to those who need us. Let us beware of such Communism. It slays the best in our ranks. Jack Reed was among the best.” The sincere words of Kollontay displeased the high Party members. Bukharin knitted his brows, Reinstein fidgeted about, others grumbled.

(S. 171f) More valuable still was the experience the members of the Expedition had been enriched with through personal contact with people of various shades of opinion, or of no opinion, and the impressions of the social panorama as it was being unrolled day by day. That was a treasure of far greater worth than any paper documents. But better insight into the situation intensified my inner struggle. I longed to close my eyes and ears-not to see the accusing hand which pointed to the blind errors and conscious crimes that were stifling the Revolution. I wanted not to hear the compelling voice of facts, which no personal attachments could silence any longer. I knew that the Revolution and the Bolsheviki, proclaimed as one and the same, were opposites, antagonistic in aim and purpose. The Revolution had its roots deep down in the life of the people. The Communist State was based on a scheme forcibly applied by a political party. In the contest the Revolution was being slain, but the slayer also was gasping for breath. I had known in America that the Interventionists, the blockade and the conspiracy of the Imperialists were wrecking the Revolution. But what I had not known then was the part the Bolsheviki were playing in the process. Now I realized that they were the grave-diggers.

I was oppressively conscious of the great debt I owed to the workers of Europe and America: I should tell them the truth about Russia. But how could I speak out when the country was still besieged on several fronts? It would mean working into the hands of Poland and Wrangel. For the first time in my life I refrained from exposing grave social evils. I felt as if I were betraying the trust of the masses, particularly of the American workers, whose faith I dearly cherished.

(S. 174) Several other Communists I knew in Petrograd were even more embittered. Whenever they called on me they would repeat their determination to get out of the Party. They were suffocating–they said–in the atmosphere of intrigue, blind hatred, and senseless persecution. But it requires considerable will power to leave the Party which absolutely controls the destiny of more than a hundred million people, and my Communist visitors lacked the strength. But that did not lessen their misery, which affected even their physical condition, although they received the best rations and they had their meals at the exclusive Smolny dining room. I remember my surprise on first finding that there were two separate restaurants in Smolny, one where wholesome and sufficient food was served to the important members of the Petrograd Soviet and of the Third International, while the other was for the ordinary employees of the Party. At one time there had even been three restaurants. Somehow the Kronstadt sailors learned of it. They came down in a body and closed two of the eating places. “We made the Revolution that all should share alike,” they said. Only one restaurant functioned for a time but later the second was opened. But even in the latter the meals were far superior to the Sovietsky dining rooms for the “common people.”

(S. 195f) On March 4th the Petrograd Soviet was to meet and it was generally felt that the fate of Kronstadt would be decided then. Trotsky was to address the gathering, and as I had not yet had an opportunity to hear him in Russia, I was anxious to attend. My attitude in the matter of Kronstadt was still undecided. I could not believe that the Bolsheviki would deliberately fabricate the story about General Kozlovsky as the leader of the sailors. The Soviet meeting, I expected, would clarify the matter.

Tauride Palace was crowded and a special body of kursanti surrounded the platform. The atmosphere was very tense. All waited for Trotsky. But when at 10 o’clock he had not arrived, Zinoviev opened the meeting. Before he had spoken fifteen minutes I was convinced that he himself did not believe in the story of Kozlovsky. “Of course Kozlovsky is old and can do nothing,” he said, “but the White officers are back of him and are misleading the sailors.” Yet for days the Soviet papers had heralded General Kozlovsky as the moving spirit in the “uprising.” Kalinin, whom the sailors had permitted to leave Kronstadt unmolested, raved like a fishmonger. He denounced the sailors as counter-revolutionists and called for their immediate subjugation. Several other Communists followed suit. When the meeting was opened for discussion, a workingman from the Petrograd Arsenal demanded to be heard. He spoke with deep emotion and, ignoring the constant interruptions, he fearlessly declared that the workers had been driven to strike because of the Government’s indifference to their complaints; the Kronstadt sailors, far from being counter-revolutionists, were devoted to the Revolution. Facing Zinoviev he reminded him that the Bolshevik authorities were now acting toward the workers and sailors just as the Kerensky Government had acted toward the Bolsheviki. “Then you were denounced as counter-revolutionists and German agents,” he said; “we, the workers and sailors, protected you and helped you to power. Now you denounce us and are ready to attack us with arms. Remember, you are playing with fire.”

Then a sailor spoke. He referred to the glorious revolutionary past of Kronstadt, appealed to the Communists not to engage in fratricide, and read the Kronstadt resolution to prove the peaceful attitude of the sailors. But the voice of these sons of the people fell on deaf ears. The Petro-Soviet, its passions roused by Bolshevik demagoguery, passed the Zinoviev resolution ordering Kronstadt to surrender on pain of extermination.

The Kronstadt sailors were ever the first to serve the Revolution. They had played an important part in the revolution of 1905; they were in the front ranks in 1917. Under Kerensky’s regime they proclaimed the Commune of Kronstadt and opposed the Constituent Assembly. They were the advance guard in the October Revolution. In the great struggle against Yudenitch the sailors offered the strongest defense of Petrograd, and Trotsky praised them as the “pride and glory of the Revolution.” Now, however, they had dared to raise their voice in protest against the new rulers of Russia. That was high treason from the Bolshevik viewpoint. The Kronstadt sailors were doomed.

(S. 215ff) The Bolsheviki know how to set the stage to produce an impression. In the staging of the two Congresses held in July, 1921, they outdid themselves. The background for the Congress of the Third International was the Kremlin. In the royal halls where once the all-powerful Romanovs had sat, the awed delegates hung with bated breath upon every word uttered by their pope, Lenin, and the other Grand Seigneurs of the Communist Church. On the eve of the Congress a great meeting was held in the big theatre to which only those whose passports had been approved by the All-Russian Tcheka were admitted. The streets leading to the theatre were turned into a veritable military camp.

Tchekists and soldiers on foot and on horseback created the proper atmosphere for the Communist conclave. At the meeting resolutions were passed extending fraternal greetings to “the revolutionists in capitalist prisons.” At that very moment every Russian prison was filled with revolutionists but no greetings were sent to them. So all-pervading was Moscow hypnotism that not a single voice was raised to point out the farce of Bolshevik sympathy for political prisoners.

The Red Trade Union Congress was set on a less pretentious scale in the House of the Trade Unions. But no details were overlooked to get the proper effects. “Delegates” from Palestine and Korea-men who had not been out of Russia for years-delegates from the great industrial centres of Bokhara, Turkestan, and Adzerbeydzhan, packed the Congress to swell the Communist vote and help carry every Communist proposition. They were there to teach the workers of Europe and America how to reconstruct their respective countries and to establish Communism after the world revolution.

The plan perfected by Moscow during the year 1920-21, and which was a complete reversal of Communist principles and tactics, was very skilfully and subtly unrolled-by slow degrees-before the credulous delegates. The Red Trade Union International was to embrace all revolutionary and syndicalist organizations of the world, with Moscow as its Mecca and the Third International as its Prophet. All minor revolutionary labour organizations were to be dissolved and Communist units formed instead within the existing conservative trade union bodies. The very people who a year ago had issued the famous Bull of twenty-one points, they who had excommunicated every heretic unwilling to submit to the orders of the Holy See-the Third International-and who had applied every invective to labour in the 2nd and the 2 1/2 Internationals, were now making overtures to the most reactionary labour organizations and “resoluting” against the best efforts of the revolutionary pioneers in the Trade Union movement of every country.

Here again the American delegates proved themselves worthy of their hire. Most of them had sprung from the Industrial Workers of the World; had indeed arisen to “fame and glory” on the shoulders of that militant American labour body. Some of the delegates had valiantly escaped to safety, unselfishly preferring the Hotel de Luxe to Leavenworth Penitentiary, leaving their comrades behind in American prisons and their friends to refund the bonds they had heroically forfeited. While Industrial Workers continued to suffer persecution in capitalistic America, the renegade I. W. W.’s living in comfort and safety in Moscow maligned and attacked their former comrades and schemed to destroy their organization. Together with the Bolsheviki they were going to carry out the job begun by the American Vigilantes and the Ku Klux Klan to exterminate the I. W. W. Les extrêmes ce touchent.

(S. 221) To the casual observer it may indeed appear that the Bolsheviki have accomplished wonders in this field. They have organized more schools than existed under the Tsar, and they have made them accessible to the masses. This is true of the larger cities. But in the provinces the existing schools met the opposition of the local Bolsheviki, who closed most of them on the alleged ground of counter-revolutionary activities, or because of lack of Communist teachers. While, then, in the large centres the percentage of children attending schools and the number of higher educational institutions is greater than in the past, the same does not apply to the rest of Russia. Still, so far as quantity is concerned,the Bolsheviki deserve credit for their educational work and the general diffusion of education.

(S. 222) In Russia, however, two revolutions had taken place. To be sure, the February Revolution was not far-reaching. Still, it brought about political changes without which there might not have been an October. It also released great cultural forces from the prisons and Siberia–a valuable element without which the educational work of the Bolsheviki could not have been undertaken.

It was the October Revolution which struck deepest into the vitals of Russia. It uprooted the old values and cleared the ground for new conceptions and forms of life. Inasmuch as the Bolsheviki became the sole medium of articulating and interpreting the promise of the Revolution, the earnest student will not be content merely with the increase of schools, the continuation of the ballet, or the good condition of the museums. He will want to know whether education, culture, and art in Bolshevik Russia symbolize the spirit of the Revolution, whether they serve to quicken the imagination and broaden the horizon; above all, whether they have released and helped to apply the latent qualities of the masses.

Critical inquiry in Russia is a dangerous thing. No wonder so many newcomers avoided looking beneath the surface. To them it was enough that the Montessori system, the educational ideas of Professor Dewey, and dancing by the Dalcroze method have been “adopted” by Russia. I do not contend against these innovations. But I insist that they have no bearing whatever on the Revolution; they do not prove that the Bolshevik educational experiment is superior to similar efforts in other countries, where they have been achieved without a revolution and the terrible price it involves.

State monopoly of thought is everywhere interpreting education to suit its own purpose. Similarly the Bolsheviki, to whom the State is supreme, use education to further their own ends. But while the monopoly of thought in other countries has not succeeded in entirely checking the spirit of free inquiry and critical analysis, the “proletarian dictatorship” has completely paralysed every attempt at independent investigation. The Communist criterion is dominant. The least divergence from official dogma and opinion on the part of teachers, educators, or pupils exposes them to the general charge of counter-revolution, resulting in discharge and expulsion, if nothing more drastic.

(S. 224) The Proletcult is the pet child of the Bolsheviki. Like most parents, they claim for their offspring extraordinary talents. They hold it up as the great genius who is destined to enrich the world with new values. Henceforth the masses shall no longer drink from the poisonous well of bourgeois culture. Out of their own creative impulse and through their own efforts the proletariat shall bring forth great treasures in literature, art, and music. But like most child prodigies, the Proletcult did not live up to its early promise. Before long it proved itself below the average, incapable of innovation, lacking originality, and without sustaining power. Already in 1920 I was told by two of the foremost foster-fathers of the Proletcult, Gorki and Lunacharsky, that it was a failure.

In Petrograd, Moscow, and throughout my travels I had occasion to study the efforts of the Proletcult. Whether expressed in printed form, on the stage, in clay or colour, they were barren of ideas or vision, and showed not a trace of the inner urge which impels creative art. They were hopelessly commonplace. I do not doubt that the masses will some day create a new culture, new art values, new forms of beauty. But these will come to life from the inner necessity of the people themselves, and not through an arbitrary will imposed upon them.

The mechanistic approach to art and culture and the idée fixe that nothing must express itself outside of the channels of the State have stultified the cultural and artistic expression of the Russian people. In poetry and literature, in drama, painting, and music not a single epic of the Revolution has been produced during five years. This is the more remarkable when one bears in mind how rich Russia was in works of art and how close her writers and poets were to the soul of the Russian people. Yet in the greatest upheaval in the world’s history no one has come forward with pen or brush or lyre to give artistic expression to the miracle or to set to music the storm that carried the Russian people forward. Works of art, like new-born man, come in pain and travail. Verily the five years of Revolution should have proved very rich spiritually and creatively. For in those years the soul of Russia has gone through a thousand crucifixions. Yet in this regard Russia was never before so poor and desolate.

(S. 225) I have said that nothing outstanding has been created in Russia. To be exact, I must except the great revolutionary poem, “Twelve,” by Alexander Blok. But even that gifted genius, deeply inspired by the Revolution, and imbued with the fire that had come to purify all life, soon ceased to create. His experience with the Tcheka (he was arrested in 1919), the terrorism all about him, the senseless waste of life and energy, the suffering and hopelessness of it all depressed his spirit and broke his health. Soon Alexander Blok was no more.

Even a Blok could not create with an iron band compressing his brain-the iron band of Bolshevik distrust, persecution, and censorship. How far-reaching the latter was I realized from a document the Museum Expedition had discovered in Vologda. It was a “very confidential, secret” order issued in 1920 and signed by Ulyanova, the sister of Lenin and chief of the Central Educational Department. It directed the libraries throughout Russia to “eliminate all non-Communist literature, except the Bible, the Koran, and the classics including even Communistic writings dealing with problems which were being “solved in a different way” by the existing régime. The condemned literature was to be sent to paper mills “because of the scarcity of paper.”

(S. 227) But even the Art Theatre showed no trace of the great revolutionary events Russia was living through. The repertoire which had made the Art Theatre famous a quarter of a century before still continued night after night. There were no new Ibsens, Tolstois, or Tchekovs to thunder their protest against the new evils, and if there had been no theatre could have staged them. It was safer to interpret the past than to voice the present. Yet, though the Art Theatre kept strictly within the past, Stanislavsky was often in difficulties with the authorities. He had suffered arrest and was once evicted from his studio. He had just moved into a new place when I visited him with Louise Bryant who had asked me to act as her interpreter. Stanislavsky looked forlorn and discouraged among his still unpacked boxes of stage property. I saw him also on several other occasions and found him almost hopeless about the future of the theatre in Russia. “The theatre can grow only through inspiration from new works of art,” he would say; “without it the interpretive artist must stagnate and the theatre deteriorate.” But Stanislavsky himself was too much the creative artist to stagnate. He sought other forms of interpretation. His newest venture was an attempt to bring singing and dramatic acting into coöperative harmony. I attended a dress rehearsal of such a performance and found it very impressive. The effect of the voice was greatly enhanced by the realistic finesse which Stanislavsky achieved in dramatic art. But these efforts were entirely the work of himself and his little circle of art students; they had nothing to do with the Bolsheviki of the Proletcult.

(S. 235) Except for the foreign organizations doing relief work in Russia, the Soviet Government could now stand before the world as the sole dispenser of support to the starving in the famine district. Kalinin, the marionette President of the Socialist Republic, equipped with much propaganda literature and surrounded by a large staff of Soviet officials and foreign correspondents, made his triumphal march through the stricken territory. It was widely heralded throughout the world, and the desired effect was achieved. But the real work in the famine region was carried on not so much by the official machine as by the great host of unknown men and women from the ranks of the proletariat and the intelligentsia. Most devotedly and with utter consecration they gave of their own depleted energies. Many of them perished from typhus, exposure, and exhaustion; some were slain by the power of darkness which now, even more than in Tolstoi’s time, holds many sections of Russia in its grip. Doctors, nurses, and relief workers were often killed by the unfortunates they had come to aid, as evil spirits who had willed the famine and the misfortunes of Russia. These were the real heroes and martyrs, unknown and unsung.

(S. 239) Life in Russia had become to me a constant torture; the need of breaking my two years’ silence was imperative. During all the summer I was in the throes of a bitter conflict between the necessity of leaving and my inability to tear myself away from what had been an ideal to me. It was like the tragic end of a great love to which one clings long after it is no more.

In the midst of my struggle there happened an event which further served to demonstrate the complete collapse of the Bolsheviki as revolutionists. It was the announcement of the return to Russia of the Tsarist General Slastchev, one of the most reactionary and brutal militarists of the old régime. He had fought against the Revolution from its very beginning and had led some of the Wrangel forces in the Crimea. He was guilty of fiendish barbarities to war prisoners and infamous as a maker of pogroms. Now Slastchev recanted and was returning to “his Fatherland.” This arch counter-revolutionist and Jew-baiter, together with several other Tsarist generals and White guardists, was received by the Bolsheviki with military honours. No doubt it was just retribution that the anti-Semite had to salute the Jew Trotsky, his military superior. But to the Revolution and the Russian people the triumphal return of the imperialists was an outrage.

(S. 241) To remain longer in Bolshevik Russia had become unbearable. I was compelled to speak out, and decided to leave the country. Friends were making arrangements to open a sub rosa passage abroad, but just as all preparations were completed we were informed of new developments. Berlin Anarchists had made a demand upon the Soviet Government that passports be issued for Alexander Berkman, A. Shapiro, and myself, to enable us to attend the International Anarchist Congress which was to convene in Berlin in December, 1921. Whether due to that demand or for other reasons, the Soviet Government finally issued the required papers and on December 1, 1921, I left Russia in the company of Alexander Berkman and A. Shapiro. It was just one year and eleven months since I had set foot on what I believed to be the promised land. My heart was heavy with the tragedy of Russia. One thought stood out in bold relief: I must raise my voice against the crimes committed in the name of the Revolution. I would be heard regardless of friend or foe.

(S. 242f) This orthodox Marxian view leaves an important factor out of consideration-a factor perhaps more vital to the possibility and success of a social revolution than-even the industrial element. That is the psychology of the masses at a given period. Why is there, for instance, no social revolution in the United States, France, or even in Germany? Surely these countries have reached the industrial development set by Marx as the culminating stage. The truth is that industrial development and sharp social contrasts are of themselves by no means sufficient to give birth to a new society or to call forth a social revolution. The necessary social consciousness, the required mass psychology is missing in such countries as the United States and the others mentioned. That explains why no social revolution has taken place there.

In this regard Russia had the advantage of other more industrialized and “civilized” lands. It is true that Russia was not as advanced industrially as her Western neighbours. But the Russian mass psychology, inspired and intensified by the February Revolution, was ripening at so fast a pace that within a few months the people were ready for such ultra-revolutionary slogans as “All power to the Soviets” and “The land to the peasants, the factories to the workers.”

The significance of these slogans should not be under-estimated. Expressing in a large degree the instinctive and semi-conscious will of the people, they yet signified the complete social, economic, and industrial reorganization of Russia. What country in Europe or America is prepared to interpret such revolutionary mottoes into life? Yet in Russia, in the months of June and July, 1917, these slogans became popular and were enthusiastically and actively taken up, in the form of direct action, by the bulk of the industrial and agrarian population of more than 150 millions. That was sufficient proof of the “ripeness” of the Russian people for the social revolution.

As to economic “preparedness” in the Marxian sense, it must not be forgotten that Russia is preëminently an agrarian country. Marx’s dictum presupposes the industrialization of the peasant and farmer population in every highly developed society, as a step toward social fitness for revolution. But events in Russia, in 1917, demonstrated that revolution does not await this process of industrialization and-what is more important-cannot be made to wait. The Russian peasants began to expropriate the landlords and the workers took possession of the factories without taking cognizance of Marxian dicta.

(S. 246ff) The trouble with the devout Communists was that they clung to the Immaculate Conception of the Communist State which by the aid of the Revolution was to redeem the world. But most of the leading Communists never entertained such a delusion. Least of all Lenin.

During my first interview I received the impression that he was a shrewd politician who knew exactly what he was about and that he would stop at nothing to achieve his ends. After hearing him speak on several occasions and reading his works I became convinced that Lenin had very little concern in the Revolution and that 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.

Lenin was the most pliable politician in history. He could be an ultra-revolutionary, a compromiser and conservative at the same time. When like a mighty wave the cry swept over Russia, “All power to the Soviets!” Lenin swam with the tide. When the peasants took possession of the land and the workers of the factories, Lenin not only approved of those direct methods but went further. He issued the famous motto, “Rob the robbers,” a slogan which served to confuse the minds of the people and caused untold injury to revolutionary idealism. Never before did any real revolutionist interpret social expropriation as the transfer of wealth from one set of individuals to another. Yet that was exactly what Lenin’s slogan meant. The indiscriminate and irresponsible raids, the accumulation of the wealth of the former bourgeoisie by the new Soviet bureaucracy, the chicanery practised toward those whose only crime was their former status, were all the results of Lenin’s “Rob the robbers” policy. The whole subsequent history of the Revolution is a kaleidoscope of Lenin’s compromises and betrayal of his own slogans.

Bolshevik acts and methods since the October days may seem to contradict the new economic policy. But in reality they are links in the chain which was to forge the all-powerful, centralized Government with State Capitalism as its economic expression. Lenin possessed clarity of vision and an iron will. He knew how to make his comrades in Russia and outside of it believe that his scheme was true Socialism and his methods the revolution. No wonder that Lenin felt such contempt for his flock, which he never hesitated to fling into their faces. “Only fools can believe that Communism is possible in Russia now,” was Lenin’s reply to the opponents of the new economic policy.

As a matter of fact, Lenin was right. True Communism was never attempted in Russia, unless one considers thirty-three categories of pay, different food rations, privileges to some and indifference to the great mass as Communism.

(S. 248f) The Soviets first manifested themselves in the revolution of 1905. They played an important part during that brief but significant period. Though the revolution was crushed, the Soviet idea remained rooted in the minds and hearts of the Russian masses. At the first dawn which illuminated Russia in February, 1917, the Soviets revived again and came into bloom in a very short time. To the people the Soviets by no means represented a curtailment of the spirit of the Revolution. On the contrary, the Revolution was to find its highest, freest practical expression through the Soviets. That was why the Soviets so spontaneously and rapidly spread throughout Russia. The Bolsheviki realized the significance of the popular trend and joined the cry. But once in control of the Government the Communists saw that the Soviets threatened the supremacy of the State. At the same time they could not destroy them arbitrarily without undermining their own prestige at home and abroad as the sponsors of the Soviet system. They began to shear them gradually of their powers and finally to subordinate them to their own needs.

The Russian trade unions were much more amenable to emasculation. Numerically and in point of revolutionary fibre they were still in their childhood. By declaring adherence to the trade unions obligatory the Russian labour organizations gained in physical stature, but mentally they remained in the infant stage. The Communist State became the wet nurse of the trade unions. In return, the organizations served as the flunkeys of the State. “A school for Communism,” said Lenin in the famous controversy on the functions of the trade unions. Quite right. But an antiquated school where the spirit of the child is fettered and crushed. Nowhere in the world are labour organizations as subservient to the will and the dictates of the State as they are in Bolshevik Russia.

The fate of the coöperatives is too well known to require elucidation. The coöperatives were the most essential link between the city and the country. Their value to the Revolution as a popular and successful medium of exchange and distribution and to the reconstruction of Russia was incalculable. The Bolsheviki transformed them into cogs of the Government machine and thereby destroyed their usefulness and efficiency.

(S. 250) Thus two opposing tendencies struggled for supremacy: the Bolshevik State against the Revolution. That struggle was a life-and-death struggle. The two tendencies, contradictory in aims and methods, could not work harmoniously: the triumph of the State meant the defeat of the Revolution.

(S. 253ff) In the economic field this transformation must be in the hands of the industrial masses: the latter have the choice between an industrial State and anarcho-syndicalism. In the case of the former the menace to the constructive development of the new social structure would be as great as from the political State. It would become a dead weight upon the growth of the new forms of life. For that very reason syndicalism (or industrialism) alone is not, as its exponents claim, sufficient unto itself. It is only when the libertarian spirit permeates the economic organizations of the workers that the manifold creative energies of the people can manifest themselves and the revolution be safeguarded and defended. Only free initiative and popular participation in the affairs of the revolution can prevent the terrible blunders committed in Russia. For instance, with fuel only a hundred versts [about sixty-six miles] from Petrograd there would have been no necessity for that city to suffer from cold had the workers’ economic organizations of Petrograd been free to exercise their initiative for the common good. The peasants of the Ukraina would not have been hampered in the cultivation of their land had they had access to the farm implements stacked up in the warehouses of Kharkov and other industrial centres awaiting orders from Moscow for their distribution. These are characteristic examples of Bolshevik governmentalism and centralization, which should serve as a warning to the workers of Europe and America of the destructive effects of Statism.

The industrial power of the masses, expressed through their libertarian associations – Anarcho-syndicalism – is alone able to organize successfully the economic life and carry on production. On the other hand, the coöperatives, working in harmony with the industrial bodies, serve as the distributing and exchange media between city and country, and at the same time link in fraternal bond the industrial and agrarian masses. A common tie of mutual service and aid is created which is the strongest bulwark of the revolution-far more effective then compulsory labour, the Red Army, or terrorism. In that way alone can revolution act as a leaven to quicken the development of new social forms and inspire the masses to greater achievements.

But libertarian industrial organizations and the coöperatives are not the only media in the interplay of the complex phases of social life. There are the cultural forces which, though closely related to the economic activities, have yet their own functions to perform. In Russia the Communist State became the sole arbiter of all the needs of the social body. The result, as already described, was complete cultural stagnation and the paralysis of all creative endeavour. If such a débâcle is to be avoided in the future, the cultural forces, while remaining rooted in the economic soil, must yet retain independent scope and freedom of expression. Not adherence to the dominant political party but devotion to the revolution, knowledge, ability, and-above all-the creative impulse should be the criterion of fitness for cultural work. In Russia this was made impossible almost from the beginning of the October Revolution, by the violent separation of the intelligentsia and the masses. It is true that the original offender in this case was the intelligentsia, especially the technical intelligentsia, which in Russia tenaciously clung -as it does in other countries-to the coat-tails of the bourgeoisie. This element, unable to comprehend the significance of revolutionary events, strove to stem the tide by wholesale sabotage. But in Russia there was also another kind of intelligentsia–one with a glorious revolutionary past of a hundred years. That part of the intelligentsia kept faith with the people, though it could not unreservedly accept the new dictatorship. The fatal error of the Bolsheviki was that they made no distinction between the two elements. They met sabotage with wholesale terror against the intelligentsia as a class, and inaugurated a campaign of hatred more intensive than the persecution of the bourgeoisie itself–a method which created an abyss between the intelligentsia and the proletariat and reared a barrier against constructive work.

Lenin was the first to realize that criminal blunder. He pointed out that it was a grave error to lead the workers to believe that they could build up the industries and engage in cultural work without the aid and coöperation of the intelligentsia. The proletariat had neither the knowledge nor the training for the task, and the intelligentsia had to be restored in the direction of the industrial life. But the recognition of one error never safeguarded Lenin and his Party from immediately committing another. The technical intelligentsia was called back on terms which added disintegration to the antagonism against the régime.

While the workers continued to starve, engineers, industrial experts, and technicians received high salaries, special privileges, and the best rations. They became the pampered employees of the State and the new slave drivers of the masses. The latter, fed for years on the fallacious teachings that muscle alone is necessary for a successful revolution and that only physical labour is productive, and incited by the campaign of hatred which stamped every intellectual a counter-revolutionist and speculator, could not make peace with those they had been taught to scorn and distrust.

(S. 257) It is not only Bolshevism, Marxism, and Governmentalism which are fatal to revolution as well as to all vital human progress. The main cause of the defeat of the Russian Revolution lies much deeper. It is to be found in the whole Socialist conception of revolution itself.

The dominant, almost general, idea of revolution–particularly the Socialist idea-is that revolution is a violent change of social conditions through which one social class, the working class, becomes dominant over another class, the capitalist class. It is the conception of a purely physical change, and as such it involves only political scene shifting and institutional rearrangements. Bourgeois dictatorship is replaced by the “dictatorship of the proletariat”–or by that of its “advance guard,” the Communist Party; Lenin takes the seat of the Romanovs, the Imperial Cabinet is rechristened Soviet of People’s Commissars, Trotsky is appointed Minister of War, and a labourer becomes the Military Governor General of Moscow. That is, in essence, the Bolshevik conception of revolution, as translated into actual practice. And with a few minor alterations it is also the idea of revolution held by all other Socialist parties.

This conception is inherently and fatally false. Revolution is indeed a violent process. But if it is to result only in a change of dictatorship, in a shifting of names and political personalities, then it is hardly worth while. It is surely not worth all the struggle and sacrifice, the stupendous loss in human life and cultural values that result from every revolution. If such a revolution were even to bring greater social well being (which has not been the case in Russia) then it would also not be worth the terrific price paid: mere improvement can be brought about without bloody revolution. It is not palliatives or reforms that are the real aim and purpose of revolution, as I conceive it.

In my opinion–a thousandfold strengthened by the Russian experience–the great mission of revolution, of the SOCIAL REVOLUTION, is a fundamental transvaluation of values. A transvaluation not only of social, but also of human’ values. The latter are even preëminent, for they are the basis of all social values. Our institutions and conditions rest upon deep-seated ideas. To change those conditions and at the same time leave the underlying ideas and values intact means only a superficial transformation, one that cannot be permanent or bring real betterment. It is a change of form only, not of substance, as so tragically proven by Russia.

It is at once the great failure and the great tragedy of the Russian Revolution that it attempted (in the leadership of the ruling political party) to change only institutions and conditions while ignoring entirely the human and social values involved in the Revolution. Worse yet, in its mad passion for power, the Communist State even sought to strengthen and deepen the very ideas and conceptions which the Revolution had come to destroy. It supported and encouraged all the worst anti-social qualities and systematically destroyed the already awakened conception of the new revolutionary values. The sense of justice and equality, the love of liberty and of human brotherhood-these fundamentals of the real regeneration of society-the Communist State suppressed to the point of extermination. Man’s instinctive sense of equity was branded as weak sentimentality; human dignity and liberty became a bourgeois superstition; the sanctity of life, which is the very essence of social reconstruction, was condemned as an-revolutionary, almost counter-revolutionary. This fearful perversion of fundamental values bore within itself the seed of destruction. With the conception that the Revolution was only a means of securing political power, it was inevitable that all revolutionary values should be subordinated to the needs of the Socialist State; indeed, exploited to further the security of the newly acquired governmental power. “Reasons of State,” masked as the “interests of the Revolution and of the People,” became the sole criterion of action, even of feeling. Violence, the tragic inevitability of revolutionary upheavals, became an established custom, a habit. and was presently enthroned as the most powerful and “ideal” institution. Did not Zinoviev himself canonize Dzerzhinsky, the head of the bloody Tcheka, as the “saint of the Revolution”? Were not the greatest public honours paid by the State to Uritsky, the founder and sadistic chief of the Petrograd Tcheka?

 

(can also be found here: http://libcom.org/library/my-disillusionment-in-russia-emma-goldman)

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