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ziq wrote

Lenin was a total Kropotkin fanboy.

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Hopium wrote

Upfrog for peertube

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southerntofu wrote

I agree we need to be more open to conversation. But i don't agree we can ignore the fact that some people on the left are dangerous power-hungry sociopaths.

I mean, you presented this encounter between Lenin and Kropotkin as the proof we can talk peacefully. However as @ziq pointed out Lenin was a fanboy of Kropotkin's so he certainly had to show respect to his master, granting Kropotkin room to disagree. The said cannot be said about the thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of anarchists Lenin and Trotsky had murdered during the great terror and political repression of 1917-1925. These people didn't have the privilege to be respected enough by their tyrant to be able to disagree...

I mean it's just like with the boss. If you're really irreplaceable for the boss and provide incredible value for the company, you have the privilege to disagree. The same cannot be said of all workers, and that's why the boss isn't invited to union meetings.

If you're interested in political repression in Russia in those times you'll probably enjoy reading Emma Goldman's accounts (maybe you already have?). She was also close to the bolsheviks when she was deported from the USA to Russia (for opposing World War I) and explains in great lengths the pains and sorrows she went through deconstructing her glorious image of Lenin and his fellow heads of government. She literally recalls in her autobiography a scene: she was arguing with anarchist comrades that every one should be out in the streets shouting the greatness of anarchism, not hiding in basements to hold secret meetings. To which a comrade replied something along the lines "We'd love that. But if we do it, the political police will shoot us on sight"

Thanks for the video take care <3

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PeaceLaborMay OP wrote

Kropotkin certainly wrote unappealing (to say the least) words about Lenin; and so did Lenin about Kropotkin (in some of his famous works, he called Kropotkin an anarcho-chauvinist). The complexity of relationship between anarchists and communists cannot be reduced to approachable one-liners, and I tried to present the encounter somewhat neutrally (which I most likely didn't achieve in the light of my simplistic call to unity). I filmed this video three times and decided to just go with it. Learning historical context is incredibly important, and is wrought with uncertainty - how much was each account revised, how heavily did the narrator's bias influence the representation of facts, etc. There are few sources I am convinced are trustworthy, and reading theory to me, at this point, is somewhat less excruciating. Thanks for engaging!

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southerntofu wrote

I tried to present the encounter somewhat neutrally

I appreciate that, thanks. However as i pointed out i feel like you invisibilized the power balance between the two claiming they were on an equal setting. And you clearly spent more time talking about the fact they talked at all, than about what they disagreed on, or how this disagreement manifested itself. Famously, Kropotkin boycotted any kind of state support from the bolshevik (despite many offers), because he wanted good social conditions for everyone and refused to be acknowledged a personal privilege.

By the way, you haven't exactly replied to this... Have you read Emma Goldman? I'm sure you would find some interesting stuff in there ;)

Please don't take my feedback as an attack. I genuinely appreciate your videos doing popular education on complex topics, and i hope we can learn together from history to develop better understanding of society :)

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PeaceLaborMay OP wrote

Thanks, your reassurance is appreciated :) Emma Goldman is on my reading list, hopefully, I'll have time to read her soon.

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southerntofu wrote (edited )

For a different view of Lenin's encounter with Kropotkin, see this article (has a few typos)

From the article...

In the first years after the Bolshevik coup d’etat, many Americans, and a few Europeans as well, confused Bolshevism with anarchism. In 1917, Lenin had preached the complete destruction of bourgeois state forms and the establishment of a workers’ and peasants’ republic based on local soviets, similar to the local communes of which the anarchists had dreamed.

By this time, the Bolsheviks had brutally suppressed the Constituent Assembly, elected by universal suffrage with a clear majority for the Socialist Revolutionaries and only 25 percent for the Bolsheviks. The red terror, which preceded and followed the dissolution of the Assembly, had erupted into the horror of the Civil War.

Kropotkin:

This opinion is no longer held even by kings; the rulers of countries where monarchy still exists have abandoned long ago the means of defense now introduced into Russia with the seizure of hostages. How can you, Vladimir Ilyich, you who want to be the apostle of new truths and the builder of a new state, give your consent to the use of such repulsive conduct, of such unacceptable methods?

The well-known Russian publicist, Katherine Kuskova, met Kropotkin often in those days, and she has commented that Kropotkin’s “stupid advice” consisted largely of (a) vigorous criticism of the terror, which he said “debases the revolution and will lead to reactionary dictatorship,” and (b) appeals to Lenin to find six or seven able non-Bolsheviks who would work with his administration in a determined effort to restore normal conditions of living.

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PeaceLaborMay OP wrote

Thanks. It is important to learn history from multiple angles, even though it is incredibly difficult to navigate them without being skewed in a direction of one's bias (at least, for me).

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southerntofu wrote

I'd say neutrality is impossible when it comes to human opinions, but we can try and focus on facts. You originally only mentioned bolshevik sources for the details of the encounters, so i figured an anarchist perspective on the matter may be interesting

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