Nestor Ivanovych Makhno (7 November 1888-25 July 1934) was a Ukrainian anarchist revolutionary and the commander of the Revolutionary Insurgent Army of Ukraine during the Ukrainian Civil War. He established the Makhnovshchina (loosely translated as "Makhno movement"), a mass movement by the Ukrainian peasantry to establish anarchist communism in the country between 1918 and 1921. Initially centered around Makhno's home province of Katerynoslav and hometown, Huliaipole, it came to exert a strong influence over large areas of southern Ukraine, specifically in what is now Zaporizhzhia Oblast of Ukraine.
The Anarchist Revolution edit
- Anarchism — a life of freedom and creative independence for humanity.
- Anarchism's outward form is a free, non-governed society, which offers freedom, equality and solidarity for its members. Its foundations are to be found in man’s sense of mutual responsibility, which has remained unchanged in all places and times. This sense of responsibility is capable of securing freedom and social justice for all men by its own unaided efforts. It is also the foundation of true communism.
- Anarchism is as revolutionary, as diverse, and as sublime in every facet as is human life itself.
- I would still call on you, reader and brother, to take up the struggle for the ideal anarchism, for only if you fight for this ideal and uphold it will you understand it properly.
- “Liberation” under the management of any government or political set-up — what’s that got to do with freedom?
- From these unfolding vistas of human misery and from personal misery, man must forge convictions, call other men his brothers, and fight for freedom. Man is only free if he is prepared to kill every hangman and every power magnate if they do not wish to stop their shameful tasks. He is only free if he does not put a prime on changing his government and is not led astray by the “Workers’ Republic” of the Bolsheviks. He must vouch for the establishment of a truly free society based on personal responsibility, the only really free society. His pronouncement on the State must be one of total destruction.
- The freedom of any individual carries within it the seed of a free and complete community without government, a free society that lives in organic and decentralized totality, united in its pursuit of the great human goal: Anarchist Communism!
Quotes about Makhno edit
- If I should make up my mind to become active in Russia, I explained to them, the support of Makhno would lure me no more than Lenin's offer of aid through the Third International. I was not denying Makhno's services to the Revolution in the struggle against the White forces, nor the fact that his peasants army was a spontaneous mass movement of the toilers. I did not think, however, that anarchism had anything to gain from military activity or that our propaganda should depend on military or political spoils.
- Emma Goldman, Living My Life (1931)