Nestor Makhno Archive
Written: April, 1920
Source: Text from www.ditext.com: Peter Arshinov, History of the Makhnovist Movement, 1918-1921.
Transcription/Markup: Andy Carloff
Online Source: RevoltLib.com; 2021
1. WHO ARE THE MAKHNOVISTS AND WHAT ARE THEY FIGHTING FOR?
The Makhnovists are peasants and workers who rose as early as 1918 against the coercion of the German-Magyar, Austrian and Hetman bourgeois authority in the Ukraine. The Makhnovists are those working people who raised the battle standard against the Denikinists and any kind of oppression, violence and lies, wherever they originated. The Makhnovists are the very workers by whose labor the bourgeoisie in general and now the Soviet bourgeoisie in particular rules and grows rich and fat.
2. WHY DO WE CALL OURSELVES MAKHNOVISTS?
Because, first, in the terrible days of reaction in the Ukraine, we saw in our ranks an unfailing friend and leader, Makhno, whose voice of protest against any kind of coercion of the working people rang out in all the Ukraine, calling for a battle against all oppressors, pillagers and political charlatans who betray us; and who [Makhno] is now marching together with us in our common ranks unwaveringly toward the final goal: liberation of the working people from any kind of oppression.
3. WHAT DO WE SEE AS THE BASIS OF LIBERATION?
The overthrow of the monarchist, coalition, republican and social-democratic Communist-Bolshevik Party governments. In their place must be substituted the free and completely independent soviet system of working people without authorities and their arbitrary laws. The soviet system is not the power of the social-democratic Communist-Bolsheviks who now call themselves a soviet power; rather it is the supreme form of non-authoritarian, anti-state socialism, which expresses itself in the organization of a free, happy and independent system of social life for the working people; in which each worker taken , separately, and society as a whole, will be able to build td without assistance his own happiness and well-being according to the principles of solidarity, friendship and equality.
4. HOW DO THE MAKHNOVISTS UNDERSTAND THE SOVIET SYSTEM?
The working people themselves must freely choose their own Soviets, which will carry out the will and desires of the working people themselves, that is to say, administrative, not ruling, Soviets.
The land, the factories, the workshops, the mines, the railroads and the other wealth of the people must belong to the working people themselves, to those who work in them, that is to say, they must be socialized.
5. WHAT ROAD LEADS TO THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE MAKHNOVIST GOALS?
An implacable revolution and consistent struggle against all lies, arbitrariness and coercion, wherever they come from, a struggle to the death, a struggle for free speech, for the righteous cause, a struggle with weapons in hand. Only through the abolition of all rulers, through the destruction of the whole foundation of their lies, in state affairs as well as in political and economic affairs. And only through the destruction of the state by means of a social revolution can the genuine Worker-Peasant soviet system be realized and can we arrive at Socialism.
Cultural-Educational Section of the Insurgent Army (Makhnovist)
27 April 1920