Nestor Makhno Archive
Archive of the General and Organizer of the "Free Territory" Anarchist Society in the Ukraine
"The more a man becomes aware, through reflection, of his servile condition, the more indignant he becomes, the more the anarchist spirit of freedom, determination and action waxes inside him. That is true of every individual, man or woman, even though they may never have heard the word 'anarchism' before."
–Nestor Makhno, The Struggle Against the State and Other Essays
Nestor Ivanovych Makhno (Ukrainian: Не́стор Івáнович Махно́; 7 November [O.S. 26 October] 1888 – July 25, 1934), commonly known as Bat'ko Makhno (Ukrainian: батько Махно; ˈbɑtʲko mɐxˈnɔ, "Father Makhno"), was a Ukrainian anarchist revolutionary and the commander of an independent anarchist army in Ukraine from 1917–21.
Makhno was the commander of the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine, commonly referred to as the Makhnovshchina (loosely translated as "Makhno movement"). The Makhnovshchina was a predominantly peasant phenomenon that grew into a mass social movement. It was initially centered around Makhno's hometown Huliaipole but over the course of the Russian Civil War came to exert a strong influence over large areas of southern Ukraine. Makhno and the movement's leadership were anarcho-communists and attempted to guide the movement along these ideological lines. Makhno was aggressively opposed to all factions that sought to impose their authority over southern Ukraine, battling in succession the forces of the Ukrainian National Republic, the Central Powers of Germany and Austro-Hungary, the Hetmanate state, the White Army, the Bolshevik Red Army, and other smaller forces led by various Ukrainian atamans. He is also credited as the inventor of the tachanka—a horse-drawn carriage with a mounted heavy machine gun. Makhno and his supporters attempted to reorganize social and economic life along anarchist lines, including the establishment of communes on former landed estates, the requisition and egalitarian redistribution of land to the peasants, and the organization of free elections to local soviets (councils) and regional congresses. However, the disruption of the civil war precluded a stable territorial base for any long-term social experiments.
"Burn their laws and destroy their prisons, kill the hangmen, the bane of mankind. Smash authority!"
–Nestor Makhno, The Anarchist Revolution
Although Makhno considered the Bolsheviks a threat to the development of an anarchist Free Territory within Ukraine, he entered into formal military alliances twice with the Red Army to defeat the White Army. In the aftermath of the White Army's defeat in Crimea in November 1920, the Bolsheviks initiated a military campaign against Makhno. After an extended period of open resistance against the Red Army, Makhno fled across the Romanian border in August 1921. In exile, Makhno settled in Paris with his wife Halyna and daughter Yelena. During this period, Makhno wrote numerous memoirs and articles for radical newspapers. Makhno also played an important role in the development of platformism and the debates around the 1926 Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists (Draft). Makhno died in 1934 in Paris at the age of 45 from tuberculosis-related causes.
"The idea of anarchism, the teaching of a renewed life for man as an individual and as a social being, is therefore bound up with man's self-awareness and his awareness of the suppurating sore of injustice in modern society. Anarchism exists therefore only illegally or semi-legally, never in total legality."
–Nestor Makhno, The Anarchist Revolution
1917 — Summons
1918 — Manifesto of the Makhnovists
1919 — Summons to the 4th Extraordinary Congress: Of Peasant, Worker, and Partisan Delegates
1920s — The Anarchist Revolution
1920 — A word from the Makhnovists to the laboring cossacks of the Don and the Kuban
1920 — A word to the peasants and Workers of the Ukraine
1920 — To the Young People: From the Insurgent Makhnovists
1920 — Anarchist Communist Manifesto: From the 1st Italian Section of the International Anarchist Communist Federation
1920 — To All Peasants and Workers of the Ukraine
1920 — To all workers of the plough and the hammer!
1925, Sept. — Our Organization
1925, Nov. — Anarchism and Our Times
1925, Dec. — On Revolutionary Discipline
1926 — Supplement to the Organizational Platform (Questions and Answers)
1926, Feb. — The Idea of Equality and the Bolsheviks
1926, Mar. — In Memory of the Kronstadt Revolt
1926, Oct. — The Struggle Against the State
1926 — The Problem of Organization and the Notion of Synthesis
1927, Apr. — To the Jews of All Countries
1927, Jun. — On Defense of the Revolution
1927, Oct. — Great October in the Ukraine
1927, Nov. — The Makhovshchina and Anti-Semitism
1928, Jan. — 10th Anniversary of the Insurgent Movement in the Ukraine
1928, May — The First of May
1928, Dec. — A Few Words on the National Question in the Ukraine
~1930 — My Visit To The Kremlin
1931, Oct. — "Soviet" Power - Its Present and Its Future
1932, Jan. — The Paths of "Proletarian" Power
1932, Feb. — The ABC of the Revolutionary Anarchist
1933 — On the History of the Spanish Revolution of 1931
1933 — Over the fresh grave of comrade N. Rogdaev: From A Report Made To Comrades On January 21 1933
1927 — Reply to Anarchism's Confusionists
1927 — Reply to invitation to join the Anarchist Communist International
1928 — Exchange Between Malatesta and Makhno on the Platform
1929, May — To Malatesta: In reply to "A project of anarchist organization"
1931, Apr. — Letter to Spanish Anarchists
Material Authored by the Makhnovist Insurgent Army of the Ukraine:
1920, Jan. — Declaration of the Revolutionary Insurgent Army of the Ukraine (Makhnovist)
1920, Feb. — Comrade Peasants!
1920, Apr. — Manifesto of the Insurgent Army: Cultural-Educational Section of the Insurgent Army
1920, May — Down with fratricide!
1920, May — Comrades in the Red Army, on the front line and in the home guard!
1920, Jun. — Comrades in the Red Army!
1920, Jun. — Pause! Read! Consider!
Material Authored by Dielo Truda (Russian Anarchists Abroad):