[Marxism] Anarchists' perception of Trotsky

dan d.koechlin at wanadoo.fr
Mon Jul 5 16:33:48 MDT 2010

Why is the Kronstadt episode so important ?

Because it is the final, unequivocal split between Anarchists and
Council Communists generally on the one hand, and Trotskyites on the

American Anarchists Emma Goldman (you must have herd of her ! "If I
can't dance I don't want to be in your revolution.!") and Alexander
Berkman, French Libertarian Marxist Victor Serge, and countless other
Anarchists who had voluntarily come to Russia to help the Bolsheviks,
did all they could to persuade Trotsky not to massacre the Kronstadt
Soviet. All in vain. Which explains why Goldman, Berkman and Serge left
the USSR soon after.

The Kronstadt rebels were fed up with the Bolshevik State and wanted to
return to the values of the original 1917 Soviet revolution. Their main
demand was "Power to the Soviets (Councils)".

Trotsky had every single one of them shot, and what is worst, had
official Russian propaganda describe them as "White", i.e. Tsarist

This ridiculous accusation has been so often used to describe the
Kronstadt rebels that no single history book does not contain a snide
reference to it. When I was in high school in France, my history
textbook (1993, I am now 33) read : "Final Soviet triumph
(1919-1921) ... Peasant revolts ... and finally the Kronstadt uprising
led by Anarchists and  White Army officers..."

In the Anarchist movement, Krondstadt acts as a watershed, highlighting
the intrinsic difference between Libertarian Communism and Bolshevism.
And it is also the reason why Trotsky is particularly hated by
Anarchists (not to mention his stabbing in the back of Makhno).

The fact that Trotsky used Makhno and the Ukrainian Anarchists to
counter Denikin's White Army, letting them face the White army three
times on the battlefield (40 000 dead), but then, seeing that the
Anarchists managed unexpectedly to defeat the White armies,
treacherously turned against and massacred the Makhnovists. Those were
Trotski's direct orders : treacherously massacre the Makhnovists under
the guise of a "peace treaty" (and to add insult to injury, have them
described in history books as "White" agents).

As most Anarchists, both present at the time, and newcomers, would
agree, Trotsky was a self-serving, devious, blood-thirsty tyrant. No
tears were lost on his behalf by Anarchists when Stalin proved even more
devious and ousted him from the Soviet ruling elite.   

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