Questions you've always wanted to ask an agent-provocateur

Jj Plant jplant at
Mon Sep 23 11:59:00 MDT 1996

In-Reply-To: <Pine.SUN.3.95L.960922103753.5403A-100000 at>
Louis asked :
>By the way, are you one person or are you several people?

Now there's a thought. We have a pretty big archive of posts to analyse. Does
anybody know of a programme to do text-style analysis that would correspond to
fingerprinting ?

In general, what do we know of the methods and case histories of provocateurs ?
>From the Bolshevik experience, the only source I know of in English is RC
Elwood's study of the Malinovsky case. (Victor Serge also says a little about
provocateurs in his Memoirs.)  Was the  Azev case ever well documented in
English ? Elwood refers to Burtsev as Lenin's security specialist, but does not
provide any English sources on him (except an article by Burtsev from 1919).
Apparently he published memoirs in Russian in Berlin in 1923 - I believe he had
parted company from the Bolsheviks by then ; I don't know if he became a
Menshevik or SR. Whatever his later history, Burtsev seems to be the Bolshevik
who knew and learned most, possibly in the whole history of the planet, of the
activities of agents against the revolution. His knowledge ought to be made
more accessible.

Of course the role of provocateurs on the internet would be different from
those in underground or legal organisations. So far as the forces of the state
are concerned the net is new territory and new methods have to be developed and
tested experimentally.

jplant at

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