MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of People



Ryabushinski, Pavel Paviovich (1871- )

Textile king and multi-millionnaire. Cadet. Member Progressive Bloc in Duma. Supported Kornilov.


Ryazanov, David B. (1870-1938)

Historian, philosopher and editor, Bolshevik since 1917. He helped found the Marx and Engels Institute and later withdrew from political activity. Ryazanov was executed after being accused at the 1931 trial of a “Menshevik Center,” accused of plotting to restore capitalism in the Soviet Union.

From 1918-1920 Ryazanov headed the new State Archive Administration and helped to establish both the Socialist Academy and the Marx-Engels Institute, where he served as Director from 1921 to 1931. During the 1920s he acquired numerous library collections from abroad, and by 1930 the Marx-Engels Institute possessed more than 450,000 publications in addition to 175,000 copies of documents, including the material by Marx and Engels from the German Social-Democratic archives. During his time at the Institute, Ryazanov published the collected works of Marx and Engels, as well as those of Plekhanov and Hegel, together with numerous pre-Marxist classics of political economy. By 1930 the Institute had published 150 major works, almost all of them edited by Ryazanov.

This scholarly work ended when Ryazanov was arrested in February 1931 after being implicated in the trial of the so-called ‘Menshevik Centre’. In a report to the Society of Militant Dialectical Materialists, called to denounce both ‘mechanistic revisionism’ and ‘menshevising idealism’, M.B. Mitin, recalled Ryazanov saying in 1924: ‘I am neither a Bolshevik nor a Menshevik, I am a Marxist.’ According to Mitin, it was impossible ‘to be a Marxist without being a Leninist, to be a Marxist without being a Bolshevik’.

Ryazanov was accused of ‘wrecking activities on the historical front’, expelled from the party and exiled to Saratov, where he worked for six years in a university library. In 1937 he was arrested again and charged with involvement in a ‘right-opportunist Trotskyist organisation’. On 21 January, 1938, the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court condemned him to death by firing squad. The sentence was carried out the same day. Neither in 1931 nor in 1938 did Ryazanov acknowledge any guilt. He was posthumously rehabilitated in legal terms in 1958, and in political terms by the Communist Party in 1989.



Rykov, Alexei (1881-1938)

Member of the R.S.D.L.P. since 1899, when he was eighteen years old. In 1903 he joined the Bolsheviks after the party split.

Rykov was elected Commissar of the Interior in the first Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet government. After Lenin’s death, Rykov was elected chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, and served this post for six years, from 1924 to 1930.

Rykov was executed after being convicted of treason at the 1938 Moscow trial.



Ryner, Han (1861-1938)

Individualist anarchist and pacifist. Born Jacques Elie Henri Ambroise Ner in Algeria in modest circumstances, he moved to the metropole where he published two novels in 1894-95. In 1896 he adopted the pseudonym Han Ryner and began his journalistic work in anarchist circles, editing or collaborating on L’Art Social, L’Humanité Nouvelle, L’Ennemi du people, L’Idée Libre, L’En Dehors, and L’Unique.

He adopted a pacifist position during World War I and fought the rest of his life for the recognition of conscientious objection.

Though his fight was primarily for the liberation of the individual, and not that of society, he fought to save Sacco and Vanzetti and defended the Black Sea mutineers and Nestor Makhno. Till the end he was an uncompromising anti-clerical.

See Han Ryner Archive.