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The Cynosure

  Michael Bakunin
  William Godwin
  Emma Goldman
  Peter Kropotkin
  Errico Malatesta
  Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
  Max Stirner
  Murray Bookchin
  Noam Chomsky
  Bright but Lesser Lights
  Cold Off The Presses
  Anarchist History
  Worldwide Movements
  First International
  Paris Commune
  Haymarket Massacre
  Spanish Civil War

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crushed by a regime as unethical and unprincipled as its predecessors. Was it a whim of history, or an inconsistent series of events? No. we perceive in these events no whim of history nor inconsistency. What happened was logically determined by the historical development of the country or rather by the character and historical development of world civilization and the culture for the last three or four hundred years.

It can not be said that state socialism and communism are a product of Russian history. Nobody will deny the fact that during the past few centuries the state was looked upon as an instrument of deliverance in spite of its unethical nature, and it was universally deified and worshipped. The people sought to attain a more ethical society, i.e. liberty and economic equality by the unethical means of state slavery and inequality. Such was the social religion of the great part of organized labor in the world! Russia was not unique in this respect.

The anti-state movement in Russia in the seventies was crushed and supplanted by a movement, the essence of which was the State and Dictatorship. For nearly forty years the minds of the toiling masses were being poisoned by state socialists. The ultimate goal of state socialism parading under the cloak of liberty coincided in theory with the aspirations of the toiling masses, and became the religion of the proletariat. When the Revolution broke the age-long yoke of despotism, and freed the toiling masses from a possible bourgeois domination, it infused its movement with a vital socialism of the people, and it found support in the most resolute and active faction of STATE socialist, the Bolsheviks. Because the Bolsheviks identified themselves with the Revolution, and tried to direct its course, they were soon confused in the popular mind with the Revolution itself. This misconception became more strongly entrenched in the minds of the people despite the diametrically opposed purposes of the Revolution and the Bolsheviks. This gave the Bolsheviks complete freedom of action, and they proceeded slowly but surely to curtail the freedom and initiative of the toiling masses, gradually strengthening dictatorship and corrupting the spirit of the Revolution.

Had this betrayal been completed with the NEP not in 1921, but during the crucial Civil War, we could definitely say that the Revolution was crushed by the Whiles, not by the Bolsheviks. But the Whites were predestined to failure, because the spirit of the Revolution was not as yet completely emasculated-it still retained ethical elements, i.e. liberty and economic equality. The toilers still hoped for free development and creative life after the Civil War. We see then that the Revolution was crushed not from without but from within. The very ones that aroused the enthusiasm of the masses to defeat the Whites in the Civil War proved to be the internal enemies of the Revolution. When

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