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А 88 Арцыбашева Т.Н. Русь-Росия-Московия: от хакана до го­сударя: Культурогенез средневекового общества Центральной Рос­сии. - Курск: Изд-во Курск, гос. ун-та, 2003. -193 с.

ISBN 5-88313-398-3

Книга представляет собой монографическое исследование этно­культурного и социально-государственного становления Руси-России, происходившего в эпоху средневековья в центре Восточно-Европейской равнины - в пределах нынешней территории Централь­ной России. Автор особое внимание уделяет основным этапам фор­мирования историко-культурного пространства, факторам и циклам культурогенеза, особенностям генезиса этнической структуры и типа ментальности, характеру и вектору развития хозяйственно-экономической и социально-религиозной жизни, процессам духовно-художественного созревания региональной отечественной культуры в самый значимый период ее самоопределения.

Издание предназначено преподавателям, студентам и учащимся профессиональных и общеобразовательных учебных заведений, краеведам, историкам, культурологам и массовому читателю, инте­ресующемуся историей и культурой Отечества. На первой странице обложки - коллаж с использованием прославлен­ных русских святынь: Владимирской, Смоленской, Рязанской, Федоровской и Курской Богородичных икон.

На последней странице обложки - миниа­тюра лицевого летописного свода XVI в. (том Остермановский П., л.58 об.): «Войско князя Дмитрия выезжает тремя восточными воротами Кремля на битву с ордой Мамая».

© Арцыбашева Т.Н., 2003

© Курский государственный университет, 2003

 

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А. Вольский. УМСТВЕННЫЙ РАБОЧИЙ
ЧАСТЬ 1 ЭВОЛЮЦИЯ СОЦИАЛДЕМОКРАТИИ. Предисловие
ЭВОЛЮЦИЯ СОЦИАЛДЕМОКРАТИИ
ЗАКЛЮЧЕНИЕ
ПРИЛОЖЕНИЕ. МАЙСКАЯ СТАЧКА
ЧАСТЬ II. НАУЧНЫЙ СОЦИАЛИЗМ
ПРЕДИСЛОВИЕ К ПЕРВОМУ ИЗДАНИЮ
Глава 1. ЧЕГО ТРЕБУЕТ ДЛЯ РАБОЧИХ ЭКОНОМИЧЕСКАЯ ДОКТРИНА МАРКСА
Глава II. УЧЕНИЕ РОДБЕРТУСА О НАЦИОНАЛЬНОМ КАПИТАЛЕ
Глава III. МАРКСОВА ТЕОРИЯ ОБЩЕСТВЕННОГО ПОСТОЯННОГО КАПИТАЛА
Глава IV. ГОСУДАРСТВЕННЫЙ СОЦИАЛИЗМ
Глава V. МАРКСИЗМ В РОССИИ
ЧАСТЬ III. СОЦИАЛИЗМ И РАБОЧЕЕ ДВИЖЕНИЕ В РОССИИ
СОЦИАЛИСТИЧЕСКАЯ НАУКА КАК НОВАЯ РЕЛИГИЯ
ПРИЛОЖЕНИЕ РАБОЧАЯ РЕВОЛЮЦИЯ 1918 г. Июнь-Июль. № 1
JAN WACLAW MACHAJSKI HIS LIFE AND WORK BY ALBERT PARRY
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JAN WACLAW MACHAJSKI HIS LIFE AND WORK

BY ALBERT PARRY

JAN WACLAW MACHAJSKI: HIS LIFE AND WORK By Albert Parry

He created one of the more interesting storms in Russia's revolutionary period from 1898 to 1918. Having built it up, he remained the eye of that storm for a goodly part of those twenty years. And he did this when, himself a revolutionary and an intellectual, he passionately declared and stubbornly repeated that revolutionary intellectuals should not be trusted by the non-intellectual proletarians in whose name they presumed to speak. A Marxist so much of his early adult life, he said that Marxists in particular should be distrusted.

He was a Pole, steeped in the culture of his country's Russian conquerors almost as deeply as in his native Polish thought, language, literature, and politics. His name was Jan Waclaw Machajski, pronounced Makhaisky. His fellow revolutionaries, whom he attacked so furiously, coined the derogatory, spiteful epithet makkayevskditoa (Makhayevism) to degrade his ideas. To this day, the Soviet press occasionally revives this awful term at the least inkling that something like his argument may reappear anywhere in the Soviet Union, in whatever faint accents or camouflaged form.

According to the Russian records we have, he was born in the little town of Pinczow, the Province of Kielce, Russian Poland, in 1867. But his widow, Vera (also known as Roza Levin), wrote in the 1930s that he was born in Busk(o), near the city of Kielce, on December 27,1866. The map shows Busko and Pinczow as two separate towns, but very close to each other. And if the widow in her memoir used the old Julian calendar, then Machajski's birthdate was January 8, 1867.1

His father, Konstantin Machajski, a poor clerk, died early in Jan Waclaw's childhood, leaving a large family with barely any means of support. Jan Waclaw's mother took in boarders, and some of these were high-school students, most likely children of rural families that did not have such schools in or near their own localities. When Jan Waclaw himself entered the Kielce high school, he helped the family's meager finances by tutoring some of his mother's boarders, who were his classmates. By Vera's later testimony, he was bright enough to start such tutoring at the tender age of nine or ten.1

1 L. Syrkin, Makhayevshdiina (Makhayevisnt) (Moscow-Leningrad, 1931), p. 4, mentions Pinczow and 1867. N.N.Baturin (pseudonym of N.Zamiatin),inhis essay "Pamiati Makhayevsh-chiny" ("Remembering Makhayevism") in the book Sodiineniya (Works) (Moscow, 1930), p. 352, distorts the town's name to "Pin do v." Mrs. Machajski's statements are quoted by me on the basis of her memoir on Machajski's early life (up to 1903), which manuscript (in Russian) is now in the files of Max Nomad of New York, to whose kindness in letting me consult it I am greatly obligated. My talks with Mr. Nomad about his old mentor, Machajski* were of much aid to me in the preparation of this essay.

2 Vera Machajski's memoir.

 

On graduation from high school Jan Waclaw enrolled at the University of Warsaw, first in the natural sciences, but soon transferring to its medical school. The future celebrated Polish novelist and short-story writer, Stefan Zeromski, was among his classmates both at the high school and at the University. In later years Zeromski would reminisce that, from the secret reading of forbidden radical literature in his high-school years, Machajski moved to outright revolutionary activities as a university etudent. His widow in her memoir placed the beginning of his conspiratorial work at 1888 when he was twenty-one. Essentially, this anti-Tsarist activity was patriotically, nationalistically pro-Polish. In part it consisted in educational work among Warsaw proletarians. Zeromski, who was a member of the same revolutionary group, described Machajski as a very able and convincing propagandist.3

Some of the group's literature came from Austrian Poland. In 1891, while trying to smuggle the books and brochures into Russian Poland, Machajski was arrested by die Austrian police. After four months in the Cracow prison he was expelled from the country. He moved to Zurich in Switzerland, the traditional center of political emigres from Eastern Europe. He enrolled at the Zurich University, but devoted more time to emigre arguments than to study.

The arguments were between those Polish students who were more nationalistic than devoted to ideas of Socialism, and those who formed a group called "The Proletariat" and agitated for extreme radicalism. Machajski joined the latter. By this time he had forsaken his erstwhile Polish nationalism. He was now a zealous Marxist and an out-and-out internationalist. When in 1892 the news of a strike and bloody street clashes came from the great Russian Polish industrial center of Lodz, he wrote and helped print a flaming appeal to the Lodz textile workers to fight on against the Tsar and the capitalists "not a mere eight days, but until we achieve our demands, and then our friends, the Russian workers, seeing how helpless the Tsar is before the people's might, will wake up from their eternal slavery, will demand a reckoning from their own rich bosses, and together with the Polish working people will crush the Tsar, this greatest tyrant in the world." 4

Crossing into Russian Poland with a shipment of the leaflet, Machajski never delivered it to the Lodz workers: he was arrested on the Russo-German border by the Tsarist police. According to revolutionary Russian sources, he was then a member of the Polish Socialist Party,* founded in 1892 by Josef Pilsudski and a few other young revolutionaries. Pilsudski had that very year returned from five years of Siberian exile. Born eleven months apart, both Machajski and Pilsudski were 25 years old in 1892.

3 On the relationship between Zeromski and Machajski, see Max Nomad, Dreamers, Dynamiters, and Demagogues (New York: Waldon Press, 1964), pp. 35 and 133; also Marshall Shatz, "Jan Waclaw Machajski, the 'Conspiracy' of the Intellectuals," Survey, London, No. 62 (January 1967), pp. 45-46, quoting two Polish sources, one of them by Zeromski himself.

4 Vera Machajski's memoir.

5 Viktor Chernov, Konstruktlvnyl sotstalizm (Constructive Socialism), I (Prague: Volia Roseii Publishing House, 1925), 99.

 

II

MaAajski spent a total of three years in two Tsarist prisons, first at the Warsaw Citadel, next at the St. Petersburg Kresty ("the Crosses," then a brand-new jail built along a supposedly American model, in the form of two crosses), eighteen months in each, some of this time in solitary confinement. This was followed by a five-year term of exile to the Yakut Province in the desolate tundra and taiga of North Eastern Siberia. On reaching Yakutia, he learned that the town of Vilyuisk was the site of his exile.*

He was eager for further strengthening of his Marxist faith through talks with fellow-exiles and reading of whatever books he could find in Siberia. He considered himself extremely lucky: one of the exiles had managed to bring along a whole library of Socialist literature in several languages, and this Machajski began to devour.

He took part in the discussions and writings of the time on the latest sensation: the ideas of the German Social-Democrat, Eduard Bernstein, who in the 1890s and later undertook to criticize and revise Karl Marx by stating that class war was not at all inevitable, that a Marx-predicted social revolution was not in the offing, since the emergence of many small fortunes was taking the place of the extreme concentration of capital forecast by Marx, and that proletarians could improve their lives through labor unions and parliaments. The fiery revolutionary that Machajski was, he naturally joined those who ridiculed and attacked Bernstein.

Yet, almost in the next breath, Machajski himself was destined to become non-Marxist, nay, anti-Marxist, in a way all his own. According to his widow, already in his Zurich days he had assailed those of his Polish friends who would use the workers and the ideas of Socialism merely to win independence of Poland from the Tsar and then to run Poland for themselves, not for the workers and other masses. As Marshall Shatz points out, "this was his first lesson in the intelligentsia's 'exploitation' of Socialism for its own political purposes, a notion which subsequently became the cornerstone of Makhayevism." 7 But this repudiation of all the radical intellectuals and their revolutionary protestations, not only Polish but also Russian, German, and the rest, came in his Siberian exile.

It was there, in 1898, that he wrote and hectographed the first of his three pamphlets, all three of which he entitled Umstvemyl rabodiii (The Intellectual Worker). The second part of the series was written and hectographed in 1899.Some historical Russian sources insist that the third part was issued also in 1899 in Siberia, but more reliably Max Nomad says that Part III was printed (not hectographed) in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1904.8 It was about this time, in1904, that Machajski began to use a literary pseudonym - A. Volsky.

6 Chernov (ibid., I, 99) mistakenly stated that Verkhoyansk, farther North, was Machaj-iki's place of exile.

7 Shatz, p. 46.

8 Max Noma.d, "MaAajski, Waclaw," Encyclopaedia of tUe Social Sciences (New York: the Macmillan Company), IX (1933), 655.

In Siberia, in the late 1890s and early 1900s, ,at least the first two parts of Machajski's treatise were carried to Russian exiles wherever these settled. Leon Trotsky, in his captivity at Ust'-Kut on the upper Lena River shore, received and read all three parts, or so he recalled a quarter-century later. He said he liked the first part because in it Machajski argued, seemingly still as an orthodox Marxist, against Bernstein's revisionism and * opportunism." Trotsky and his fellow-exiles were, by Trotsky's own testimony, "much impressed by the facts and quotations" marshalled by Machajski in support of his attack on the soft line of the German Social-Democrat. Even the second pamphlet was "more of the same, although somewhat weaker." But the third and final pamphlet was not only "extremely weak," but, to Trotsky and other orthodox Marxists, sheer heresy.9

In fact, in all three - particularly as subsequently touched up by Machajski - we can see a definite and frank repudiation of Marxism, and a call for a yet stronger revolutionary line than Marx and Marxism had by then advocated. As Trotsky later recalled it, Machajski's ideas bordered on "revolutionary syndicalism"; at times, they were taken for sheer anarchism and even anti-intellectualism. Briefly, they may be summarized as follows:

Marxists and other self-professed revolutionary intellectuals only pretended to be fighters for the proletariat and other oppressed masses. Most, if not all, such intellectuals never really cared for the masses. They were only using the workers and other poor folk to advance themselves as intellectuals, as professionals, as managers, to positions of selfish prosperity and power.

Machajski further wrote that these Marxists and other would-be revolutionaries wanted to bring down the structure of private capitalism, not to usher in a paradise of equality, of justice for workers and farmers, but to put themselves into the seats of power after they had dislodged the private capitalists. Instead of private capitalists, these intellectuals were going to introduce state capitalism, he declared, with themselves as the self-aggrandizing bosses and sole beneficiaries of the new system. He called these intellectuals "a rising privileged class, fighting for a place in the sun against the old privileged classes, the landed owners and capitalists." They too, he said, had a kind of capital. This capital was their higher education, "the source of their actual or potential higher incomes."

And they were not going to surrender this capital for the common good as they implied or professed, as they protested or promised they would.

No, in reality they were going to use their capital - this higher education of theirs - to snare all the workers into a revolt against the owning classes, whose seats of power these Marxists and other intellectuals coveted. They did not mean Socialism, even as they preached Socialism.

9 L. Trotsky, "Vospominaniya b moyei pervoi sibirskoi ssylke" ("Recollections of my first Siberian exile"). Katorga i ssylka (Hard labor and exile), Moscow, no. 5, 1923, pp. 91-95. See also Vera Machajski's memoir; and Nomad,Dreamers, Dynamiters and Demagogues, p. 165.

Tbus we see Madiajski as a unique prophet indeed. This Polish intellectual pre-dieted with startling clarity and truth the regime into which the so-called Socialism of the Russian Communists has been transformed, not alone in Russia, but also in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, China, and all the other countries seized or influenced by them.

But what of the positive side of Machajski's argument? What did he propose in lieu of what the Marxists and other intelligenty preached? In brief, he would leave both action and triumph to workers only, and not a whit to intellectuals. The workers' action should consist of strikes and economic demands, which in due course would force the governments to retreat and create laws dictated by workers. The workers would compel the bourgeoisie to improve the workers' wages and living conditions to a point where the proletarian offspring would get higher schooling, too. And once everyone was truly educated, a thoroughly stateless and equal society would arise. There would be no have-nots in any sense whatever. Envy and strife would cease. All, all would be haves, and it would be mainly this equal access to education which would bring about the ideal egalitarian society. So said Madiajski.

Most importantly, Madiajski saw no special commanding role for his followers, his organization, even in the phase of transition from capitalism to his picture of paradise on earth.

He and his adherents would be governed by motives of pure altruism in contrast to the alleged selfishness of the Marxist intellectuals.10

III

His five-year Siberian exile term was up in 1900, and that summer Madiajski was allowed to start for European Russia. But en route he was re-arrested. He was mistaken for Yury Steklov, the Social-Democrat and future Bolshevik editor of Izvestiya, who had recently fled from his Siberian exile. The error cleared up, there was nonetheless no freedom for Madiajski, for at the time of his arrest dozens of copies of his hectographed pamphlets had been found in his luggage. Machajski's authorship of the pamphlets had apparently been known to the gendarmerie. Now, with the material evidence in their hands, the Tsarist authorities bunched a new case against him.

10 In English, Machajski's text has so far been presented in a brief excerpt, "On the Expropriation of the Capitalists," in V. F. Calverton, ed., The Making of Society, an Outline of Sociology (New York: Random House, the Modern Library, 1937), pp. 427-436. An objective summary of Machajski's views is given by Marshall Shatz, loc. cit., passim. Clear expositions of Machajski's doctrine, but in their spirit ranging from friendly to critical (at any rate, never truly objective), are given in Nomad's writings. The friendly tone is apparent in Nomad, Rebels and Renegades (New York: the Macmillan Company, 1932), pp. 206-208, 213, 239; also in the already cited biographical article in Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, IX, 654-655. The critical tone is evident in Nomad's Dreamers, Dynamiters, and Demagogues of more than three decades later, passim. My own book, The New Class Divided (New York: the Macmillan Company, 1966), pp. 7-8, states Machajski's philosophy insofar as it attacks the Marxist intellectuals of his time, but not his prescriptive program.

He was jailed at Irkutsk, Central Siberia. The revolutionary exiles residing in that city, although opposing the sharp message of Machajski's Intellectual Worker, "were very friendly to him as a person."11 They raised 5,000 rubles as his bond, and in 1901 he was released. He was allowed to live in Irkutsk in comparative freedom, although under police surveillance. At this time he was described by his foes as a possessor of "the zeal of a self-educated person and the self-confidence of a pedant,"12 and by his friends as a well-built man of medium height, a thin beard on his energetic face lit by "the eyes of a Polish revolutionary fanatic." 13 Even while they argued against his anti-intellectualism, his opponents among his fellow exiles did indeed like him. For, very much unlike his dour text, his speech was often gay and his manner at times smiling. Besides, he had something of a reputation as a skillful and accommodating cook, a hardy vodka-drinker, an eager chess-player, and something of a practical joker.

But Machajski soon also found some who agreed with his ideas. It was in the early 1900s, in his Irkutsk period, that he gathered around him his very first group of followers. These were a mixture of a few revolutionary exiles and some local workers, such as railroadmen, bakers, and printers. Many years later Machajski's widow recalled those Irkutsk faithful as Vera Gurari, A. F. Zholtkevich, Bronislav Mitkevich, Pavel Verkhoturov, a baker from the Ukraine named Chuprina, also -exiled workers Goltsobl, Zhenda, and others." They helped to provide illegal printing facilities; they placed their living quarters at the organization's disposal for its clandestine activities. In April 1902, under Machajski's leadership, they wrote and printed a May 1 leaflet calling upon the workers of Irkutsk to fight the educated ones and particularly the Socialist intellectuals of the time who, it was alleged, merely wanted to ensnare and exploit the proletariat. The leaflet, as Machajski's widow recalled it years later, "explained to the workers that May 1 should be the day of struggle for the workers' economic demands, and not of a demonstration for a parliamentary regime, for freedom to be enjoyed by the educated part of the society." The local intelligentsia, naturally, did not like that leaflet at all.14

Meanwhile the judicial investigation by the Tsarist authorities of Machajski's new offenses dragged on. His latest activities in Irkutsk must have been noticed, for in May 1903, when he was once more arrested, a number of his local collaborators were also apprehended. Three of them were sentenced together with him, to six years of exile each, to be spent in a distant part of Siberia, at Sredne-Kolymsk. Machajski would not be free before 1909, too long a wait after all the years already served as the Tsar's captive. He and his friends decided he must flee.15

11 Vera Machajski's memoir.

12 Chernov, I, 102.

13 P. A. Garvi (Garvy), Vospommamya sotsialdemokrata (Recollections of a Social-Democrat) (New York, 1946), pp. 287-318.

14 Vera Machajski's memoir.

15 Ibid.

 

He found himself in a cell of the Alexandrovsky Tsetttral, a notorious hard-labor prison and transfer point for political and other criminals, founded in 1873 at the village of Alexandrovskoye, some fifty miles northwest of Irkutsk. The opportunity to escape before being shipped farther north presented itself when, in their occasional softness and frequent ineptitude, his Tsarist jailers permitted Madiajski to visit, under guard, a fellow exile in a neighboring village. On this trip Machajski had a companion, another political prisoner - P. A. Garvi, a Social Democrat, in his future American years known as Peter Garvy. On the visit to the village Garvi helped Machajski to flee by distracting the guard's attention while Machajski climbed out of the window and down a ladder placed at the right spot. The cheerful calm of both conspirators had no better illustration than a farewell wave of Madiajski's hand over the window sill to Garvi as the latter sat in the next room drinking coffee with the unsuspecting guard.16

Traveling through Siberia and European Russia, Machajski safely readied and crossed the Western border. In the fall of 1903 he settled in Geneva. His fame had preceded him. The previous year, 1902, brought Trotsky - also a fresh escapee from Siberia - to London and his first meeting with Vladimir Lenin. It was on this occasion that Trotsky informed Lenin that in his Siberian exile he had been reading Machajski, and he explained to Lenin just what the Pole's ideas were.17 In time, some of Madiajski's admirers thought they detected a cautious interest and perhaps even a hidden sympathy on Trotsky's part for certain of Madiajski's arguments. They felt that Trotsky must have realized the justice of Madiajski's criticism of the intellectuals' greed for power; hence, they said, his sneers about Madiajski's premise - a defense medianism on Trotsky's part, no doubt.18

The story of those who openly believed in Madiajski's preachment, beginning as it did with the Irkutsk group of 1901-03, was continued in 1901-04 at the opposite end of the Tsar's empire - in Odessa. There, a few of his followers banded together into what they called "the Union of Workers' Conspiracy"; they seemed to be in contact with some local anarchists." The first copy of Madiajski's hectographed work, *on thick, rough paper," appeared in Odessa as early as the winter of 1901. A worker, who was a talented Marxist and fiery revolutionary, one Kh. I. Trakhtenberg, brought this copy to his group, and apparently voiced some agreement with the Pole's premise. The group, chiefly proletarians who disliked intellectuals, now splintered away from the local Social Democrats and called themselves "The Workers' Will." Their theses were definitely those of Machajski. But later, following many angry arguments, the splitters rejoined the Social-Democratic organizationof Odessa.19

16 Garvi, pp. 287-318.

17 Trotsky, Moya zkizn': opyt avtobiografii (My life: an essay in autobiograpUy). I (Berlin, 1930), 167.

18 Nomad, Dreamers, Dynamiters, and Demagogues, p. 165. M Syrkin, p. 7.

19 I. I. Genkin, "Sredi preyemnikov Bakunina" ("Among Bakunin's Heirs"), Krasnaya le-topis' (Red Annals), Moscow, No. 1 (22), 1927, pp. 188 and 190.

 

Similar groups of Machajski's followers, inspired by a more lasting opposition to intellectuals, were founded in Yekaterinoslav in the Ukraine and at Vilno and Be-lostok in the West. The Belostok group was particularly active. During the abortive revolution, St. Petersburg in 1905-06 and Warsaw in 1906 were sites of yet stronger groups of the "Makhayevtsy." The St. Petersburg organization was led by Vera Gurari and Rafail Margolin.21 Both were Jews, and Margolin was a young worker. It was interesting to note that many a young Jewish worker, although possibly with die traditional respect hie race feels for education, did not trust the politics of those who had education, particularly if these happened to be Socialist politics.

IV

The going for Machaj ski's ideas was tough, however. One reason for the failure of Machajski's ideas to expand and consolidate their grip on Russia's workers was the fierce opposition to his startling sermon on the part of practically all the active revolutionary intellectuals of the time. Socialists of all parties and groupings were aghast at Machajski's teachings. They at once mobilized the entire corps of their theoretical publicists, orators, and agitators. The whole propaganda apparatus of the Socialist movement, be it Bolshevik, Memshevik, or Socialist Revolutionary, went into action against this new common enemy. The virulence of their attack was unprecedented.

The mildest of these anti-Machajski arguments had to do with so-called "econo-mism": his opponents saw in some of his philosophy a clear - and deplorable I -kinship to the revisionism of Bernstein and other advocates of the need for workers' immediate economic improvement, the ideas Machaj ski himself had criticized in the first part of The Intellectual Worker.

His answer to the charge was that surely he stood for an immeasurably stronger revolutionary line of action than Bernstein and his ilk did. He called workers to the barricades, while the Bernsteinians did not. Those German revisionists, along with some of their timid Russian admirers, wanted to enhance the workers' lot through trade-unions and parliaments, but Macfaajski bristled with an aggressive anti-labor-unionism and anti-parliamentarism. To him. the trade union movement and the intellectuals' love for parliaments meant only soft jobs which intellectuals wanted for themselves at the expense of the gullible proletariat.

Some Socialists took a sober look at their own movement, and blamed themselves for whatever limited influence Machajski's ideas had achieved among certain declassed intellectuals, unemployed artisans, and restless workers of Russia (an influence that increased during the period of reaction that followed the revolution of 1905). In the 1920s, looking back. Communist commentators explained this success not as the result of the inherent quality of Makhayevism but as a temporary triumph-by-default.

21 Syrkin, p. 7.

 

The default, they said, was that of the non-Madiajski-type Socialists of the post-1905 era. A Russian Communist wrote in 1926: We must give justice to the Makhayevists: as demagogues, they managed to find the sickliest spot of our underground organizations. In their malicious campaign against the Socialist intelligentsia they superbly exploited the abnormal relationship in the underground between the intellectual center on the one hand, and the working-class periphery on the other.22

The Communist went on to explain that the intellectuals manning the underground headquarters surrounded themselves with the trappings of such rigid conspiracy that workers ceased to see them. Thus came the alienation Used so cleverly by Machajski and his followers in their campaign. An effective answer would have been to bring enough proletarians into the underground committees, but this was not done at the time, not even by the most alert of the Bolsheviks.

Yet, there was more to Madiajski's temporary success than this disappointment of Russia's proletarians with the professional revolutionaries, who, in 1905, had seemed so close to a victory whidi they were unable to deliver. Deeper-rooted than such disillusionment, there was the age-old resentment felt by the country's lower classes for the higher strata - for the better-dressed, for the educated, for "those who wear eyeglasses." As a Moscow publicist wrote in1927, in its general premises Makhayevism 'stemmed from the times of serfdom, from the peasant's distrust of his master, from the lower-class townsman's distrust of the professional intellectual, and. at that, to them the word 'intellectual' meant everyone who did not do heavy physical labor, and who wore a clean suit." 23

In time to come, during and after the revolution of 1917, it was sometimes indeed dangerous to wear a suit, a necktie, and eyeglasses: the lower classes suspected and hated you as their enemy by such small signs as these. From my personal experience in the Russia of those tumultuous years I well remember the risk we sometimes ran in wearing neat clothes and eyeglasses. This memory is amply supported in the available literature about the era. In late 1917,Sergei Pushkarev. a moderate Socialist, came home from the armed forces to be with his ill mother at her estate in the Kursk Province. The district commissar, "a tall and robust sailor, of bandit appearance and behavior, always with a revolver and a belt of cartridges," came to harangue the local peasants. He demanded that the Pushkarevs, deprived of their 620 acres, also be expelled from their rural home: "Listen, comrades I Why argue7 Just look around. All of us here, toiling proletarians, are without eyeglasses, there is only one who has them " And he pointed at Pushkarev accusingly.24 The well-known Soviet writer Konstantin Paustovsky reminisced how in 1919 his mother and nearly blind sister walked across the south of Russia to join him in Kiev. As a matter of caution, the girl removed her glasses. Paustovsky explained: "Everyone treated people in glasses suspiciously in those violent times. They thought them cunning enemies, and hated them ferociously." 25

22 Baturin, p. 354. Baturin's essay in Sodtinenlya is a reprint of his obituary of Machajski, which originally appeared in the Moscow Pravda for March 2, 1926 (no. 50).

23 Genkin, p. 186.

24 Sergei G. Pushkarev, "1917 — A Memoir," The Russian Review, XXVI (Hanover, New Hampshire, January 1967), 65-66.

25 Konstantin Paustovsky, Povest' о zhiznl (Narrative of my life), II (Moscow, 1962), 154.

Particularly in the first revolution, of 1905-06, this primitive hostility to the odikastyie, the eyeglass-wearing intellectuals, was strong among the plain folk. In the reactionary outbursts of street violence led by the hooligans, by the Black Hundred "patriots/' and by the burly janitors and butcher-shop assistants, the targets and the victims were usually Jews and students, and often their telltale characteristics included their eyeglasses. Machajski was accused by his opponents of applauding the hoodlum enemies of Russia's intellectuals. He was charged with anti-intellectual hooliganism, and although there was never any actual political union between his followers (who after all counted in their ranks a number of intellectuals, Jewish or not) and the Black Hundreds, a common strain of distrust for intellectuals can be detected both among Machajski's adherents and the pogrom-bent ignoramuses.

Nor was there any actual alliance between Machajski's faithful and the so-called Zubatovtsy - the followers of Sergei V. Zubatov, who from 1890 to 1903 was chief of the Moscow security police, and who organized "legal" workers' groups to win the Russian proletariat away from the revolutionaries' influence. Yet Machajski's revolutionary foes pretended to see an affinity between his and Zubatov's appeals to the workers to improve themselves economically.26

But another alliance could be, and was, proved by Machajski's foes - the alliance between his teachings and organization and those of the anarchists. Some anarchists of the era, and a few later researchers, thought they detected the influence of Michael Bakunin's writings upon Machajski. None could find any direct connection to Bakunin, less so an open acknowledgement of such a debt, in any of Machajski's texts. The alliance between Machajski's followers and the anarchists developed from the warm sympathy felt for him by the anarchists of his time perhaps more than from any of his own statements. While he attracted anarchists of various schools, he in fact attacked them - as he abused all the other faiths and causes. But they listened to him, and some finally came over to join him.

(In Russia, however, far removed from his immediate charisma, some of his followers would seek out anarchists, to establish a working contact with them, and then merge with them - more on the anarchists' terms than on their own.)

26 Such attacks on Machajski can be found in the already cited works of Baturin, Chernov, Genkin, and Syrkin, also in R. V. Ivanov-Razumnik, Chto takoye makhayevshdtma? (What Is Makhayevism?), St. Petersburg, 1908,passim, as well as the two articles on Machajski and his movement in Bol'shaya sovetskaya entsiklopediya (Great Soviet Encyclopedia), XXXVIII (Moscow, 1938), 494, and 2nd edition, XXVI (Moscow, 1954), 544.

 

V

An outstanding case of Machajski's magnetism winning over an anarchist was rhnt involving Max Nomad.

Nomad first heard of Machajski in 1904. shortly before Nomad moved from I.I. native Austria to Switzerland, little suspecting that Machajski would "play a decisive role in shaping the course of my life."27 Some Russian-Jewish anarchist workers in Vienna told Nomad of a group of rabid anarchists active in Odessa. They were called "the Irreconcilables," intent as they were on fighting the bourgeoisie with all possible weapons, but some of them went farther; being followers of one "Makhayev" (as many Russians mistakenly called Machajski), they swore to fight not only the capitalists but also the intellectuals, those hypocritical "wolves in hecp's clothing." Sixty years later Nomad was to reminisce:

It was all very hazy and confusing until I met him in Geneva a year later [1905]. He was thirty-eight at that time, but looked at least fifty. His ascetic face reminded me of the pictures of John the Baptist. They had not cut off his head; but the best years of his life had been spent in prison and Siberian banishment. Moreover, his entire life seems to have been one long chain of bad luck.28

A Soviet commentator once described this post-Siberian period of Macbajski's life as being full of woe. Having reached the safety of Switzerland, Machajski "was greatly destitute and felt himself forsaken by all." 29 But the reality of Geneva was quite different. In that fair city he was far from being alone, starving, and forgotten. He had his young wife with him, Roza Levin, also known under her revolutionary pseudonym of Vera, a fellow exile from the Siberian years. And, in Nomad's testimony, "a rich convert provided for their living expenses and the printing of Macbajski's writings."30

27 Nomad, Dreamers, Dynamiters, and Demagogues, p. 35.

28 Ibid., p. 104.

29 Genkin, p. 186.

30 Dreamers, Dynamiters, and Demagogues, p. 105.

Followers and doubters, friends and opponents sought him out, and he overwhelmed all with his intense and bitter arguments. At his first meeting with Nomad, knowing that Nomad was an anarchist, Machajski ranted against anarchism and syndicalism so aggressively that Nomad was repelled, and would not discuss any issues with him for a long time after.

But Nomad had by then certain doubts about his own anarchist ideas. He began to read Machajski's writings - and presently was a "Makhayevist." He thought he had found the supreme truth in Machajski:

His revolutionary recipe for the destruction of the capitalist system and the emancipation of the working class was simplicity itself. A world-wide secret organization was to turn the spontaneous and scattered strikes for higher wages and the demonstrations of the unemployed into world-wide general strikes and uprisings which would 'dictate the law" to the governments, forcing them to take over the industries, to raise wages, and to provide public works for the unemployed.31

With the capitalists eventually gone from the face of the earth, equality of income would be brought about, and soon also education for all. "The ensuing elimination of the chasm between the educated and the uneducated would result in the establishment of a classless and stateless society." To young Max Nomad, with his anarchist views being thus revised, Machajski's solution, "sounded very plausible and truly in the interest of the horny-handed underdog." 32

The rich convert who helped to propagate Machajski's ideas was a young girl named Janina Berson, daughter of a wealthy St. Petersburg banker. She hated Tsarism and capitalism, but accepted money from her father to live well in Germany, Switzerland, and other pleasant foreign lands, and to help her radical friends in their plotting. Meeting Vera-Roza Machajski at the University of Berlin, she at once believed in Jan Waclaw's ideas, and from then on gave generously to support the Machajskis in Geneva. She devoted to the cause a large part of the allowance she received from her rich father. It was the money of Janina, or, rather, of her banker-sire, that made the first printed edition ofThe Intellectual Worker possible and that financed the smuggling of these books into Russia. It was through Janina that Nomad had first met Machajski.33

The bibliography of Machajski's works in his Geneva period is often stated in a rather contradictory manner. It is, however, certain that all three parts of The Intellectual Worker were reprinted on Janina's money in their original Russian, but with some meaningful revisions and additions by the author, in Geneva in 1904-05. Meanwhile the first Russian revolution created the temporary semi-free conditions which made it possible for Parts I and II to be reprinted in St. Petersburg in 1906. The publisher was one V. Yakovenko-Pavlenkov.

Machajski's widow in her memoir states that he published both Bankrotstvo sot-slallzma XIX stoletiya (Bankruptcy of Nineteenth Century Socialism) and Burzhuaz-naya revolyutsiya i rabocheye delo (The Bourgeois Revolution and the Workers' Cause) in Geneva in 1905. Max Nomad confirms this and adds that in St. Petersburg in 1906 the Russian edition of The Holy Family by Marx and Engels contained Machajski's "Primedianiya perevodchika" ("Notes by Translator"). In 1908 Machajski's Rabochii zagovor (The Workers' Conspiracy) was published in Geneva,34 and in this text he for the first time rather fully explored the problem of actual tactics to be followed by his adherents.

31 Ibid., pp. 105-106.

32 Ibid.

33 Ibid., pp. 195-196.

34 Vera Machajski's memoir, also Nomad's biography of Machajski in Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, IX, 655, bibliography.

 

Machajski returned to Russia in 1906. But he was one year too late. The Tsarist forces were gaining the upper hand; revolutionaries were being arrested, deported to Siberia, and many hanged or shot. To avoid the net, Madiajski returned to Geneva either late in 1907 or early 1908.

Nomad does not tell us precisely how long Janina's aid to Madiajski lasted, nor is any other source definite on this point. He simply says: " . . our money ran out . the game was up . in a period of general apathy and discouragement," which seems to have occurred sometime between 1906 and 1910. "So we decided to adjourn . . and to keep body and soul together as best we could." This last problem was solved by Madiajski in a rather humdrum manner: he went to Zakopane, a winter health resort in the High Tatra Mountains, Austrian Poland, where he made a living as a tutor. Wrote Nomad: "He had excellent references; Stefan Zeromski, Poland's most famous novelist, had remained his devoted and admiring friend ever since their school days, even though they did not share the same brand of radicalism." Perhaps Zeromski felt he had to repay Machajski somehow for modeling after him a revolutionary character in one of his novels whom he called Radek. (Many Austrian and Russian revolutionaries of the time, not knowing too much about the younger version of Machajski, failed to recognize him in Zeromski's Radek. Sharing this ignorance, Karl Sobelsohn, a Lvov-born radical, adopted the fictional hero's name for his own, and thus became Karl Radek.)35

Nomad himself worked with Machajski until about 1910, when other and less violent ideas than Machajski's began to occupy him. Nomad would remain a radical but of a more contemplative type. He was also beginning to suspect Machajski of wanting precisely the thing Jan Waclaw was accusing the Marxists and other intellectuals of wishing and plotting for: power. In decades to come Nomad formulated this suspicion: " . if the movement led by Machajski's organization was strong enough to 'dictate the law' to the government, then it might also be strong enough to overthrow that government, whereupon the leaders of 'our' secret organization might seize power and establish their own dictatorship." 36 There was in Nomad, for years, enough of his original "pure" anarchism not to wish anyone's government, less so dictatorship, over people. And thus did Nomad, Machajski's most influential adherent, leave the movement.

In Russia, far more publicized than Max Nomad, Yevgeny Lozinsky was for a time considered Machajski's most articulate and active disciple. Lozinsky, also an intellectual, hardly ever acknowledged his spiritual debt to the master, but pretended to pursue an independent cause. His ideas, however, were in essence a striking echo of Machajski's arguments, and this was particularly clear from Lozinsky's two books on the intelligentsia and the achievements and prospects of the labor movement, published in St. Petersburg in 1907 and 1909.

But soon afterwards this apostle, too, left Machajski's fold.

35 Dreamers, Dynamiters, and Demagogues, pp. 133 and 35.

36 Ibid., p. 203.

 

VI

Madiajski was living in Paris and working in a bank when the news of the overthrow of Tsarism came in March 1917.

Within a few months, along with other political emigres, he returned to Russia and again tried to write and publish. Always more radical than moderate Socialists, he accepted the Bolshevik takeover of November of that year, but with grave reservations, of course. In the summer of 1918, in Moscow, he published a little magazine Rabodtaya revolyutsiya (The Workers' Revolution), which did not last beyond its first issue, in which he Aided the Bolsheviks for being entirely too slow in expropriating the bourgeoisie. He felt that they, no less than the moderate Socialists who had preceded them, lived up to his forecasts: here was a new bureaucracy, composed of intellectuals and some so-called "advanced" workers, interested in their own newly-acquired power rather than that of the proletariat.

He took a minor editorial and research job with the Communists, nonetheless. At that post, as copy editor of Narodnoye khoziaistvo (People's Economy), later renamed SotsialisticUeskoye khoziaistvo, the journal of the Supreme Council of People's Economy, he worked quietly until February 19, 1926, when he died of angina pectoris.37 He was then 59 years old. For the last eight years of his life, after the summer of 1918, he had been politically silent.

He died (as Marshall Shatz rightly notes) "peacefully but, ironically enough, as one of those 'intellectual workers' he had previously singled out as the foremost enemy of the working class." 38 And it was lucky for him that he did not live in the Soviet Union some ten years longer: he was not bothered by Stalin's secret police in the 1920s, for Stalin was then intent on badgering and removing bigger game than Machajski; but Madiajski would have surely been purged had he survived into the 1930s, when hardly a single non-conformist - no matter how unimportant or obscure - was overlooked by the arresting and shooting squads.

Machajski's death was noted with some show of sympathy and sorrow in just one Russian publication. This was the periodical of the Russian anarchist emigres in Paris.39 The two obituaries in the official Soviet press (Izvestiya of February 24 and Pravda of March 2) were a curious mixture of sneer and grudging respect.

37 A. Shetlikh, "Pamiati V. K. Makhaiskogo" ("In Memory of V. K. Machajski"), Izvestiya, Moscow, February 24, 1926.

38 Shatz, p. 56.

39 P. A(rshinov), "Pamiati V. K. Makhaiskogo," Delo truda (The Cause of Labor), Paris, no. 11 (April 1926), pp. 5-8.

His widow in Moscow was allowed to exist unmolested, at the state's modest expense, on the official grounds that she had once been a fighter against the Tsarist regime. In 1934 Max Nomad, knowing that he would not be permitted by Stalin's government to re-visit the Soviet Union (for he had two years earlier published his book Rebels and Renegades, which he was certain could not be liked by Stalin), arranged for Janina to invite Vera to visit her in France. Nomad and Machajski's widow spent this last meeting, reminiscing about the past and going over the fine points of Machajski's doctrine.40 From this year dates Vera's invaluable memoir of Jan Waclaw's early life, penned in her miniature handwriting, now in Max Nomad's archives and made available by him to those researchers who come to his New York apartment with their questions on Machajski.

It was in 1933, the year before his trip to Western Europe, that Nomad published n brief appraisal of Machajski's life and work in The Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, and it was still a friendly view, despite the fact that he had not been the master's follower since about 1910. But from the middle 1930s on, certainly after his last talk with Vera, Nomad was increasingly critical of his former mentor.

Janina, an emigre from the revolution, eked out a sorry living in Western Europe in the 1920s and '30s, while her banker-father was a lowly clerk in Warsaw, the last of his fortune gone with the fall of Kerensky's government in November 1917. But Janina, though destitute, did not seem to be either regretful or bitter. She still spoke of her work with Machajski in tones of nostalgia, and she was glad to see Vera when Nomad arranged for their reunion in France in 1934.41

In official Soviet writings for the two decades up to Stalin's death in March 1953, Machajski's memory was attacked with increasing ferocity - on the rare occasions when it was at all mentioned. The vicious onslaught was kept up even in the relatively relaxed post-Stalin times. One year after Stalin's demise, "Makhayevism" was castigated as "counter-revolutionary" and "reactionary" in its "slander of the revolutionary intelligentsia." The aim of Machajski's teachings was described as "inciting enmity" between the intelligentsia and the working class. Yet this official statement of 1954 admitted that Machajski's ideas had some following in Red Russia as late as 1938.42 And even as late as February 1965 a high Kremlin propagandist writing in Pravda on the relations between the Party and the intelligentsia found it necessary to castigate "Makhayevism" once more, ostensibly as a long-outdated phenomenon.43 But if outdated, why was it necessary to drag it out? Apparently the Party hierarchy was not too sure that the Machajski prediction was outdated or otherwise laughable.

40 Dreamers, Dynamiters, and Demagogues, pp. 201-205.

41 Ibid., pp. 195-201.

42 Unsigned, "Makhayevshchina," Bol'shaya sovetskaya entsiklopediya, 2nd ed., XXVI (1954), 544. This Soviet encyclopedia, in both its editions (1938 and 1954), gives the year of Machajski's death incorrectly as 1927 instead of 1926. In my book The New Class Divided I unfortunately repeated this error of the Soviet encyclopedia.

43 A. Rumiantsev, "Partiya i intelligentsiya" ("The Party and the Intelligentsia"), Pravda, February 21, 1965.

The fact is that the hatred of the have-nots against the haves is today as current among the Russians as ever. Those lowly folk who feel they are barred from education still sullenly resent the educated. The Soviet press now and then finds it necessary to assure its readers, in reply to their querulous letters to the editor, that some day everybody will indeed be educated and that at that happy point there will be no distinction whatever between menial and mental workers - that in that blissful future there will be no such thing as menial work. There will be no workers - everyone will be an engineer!

Meanwhile, people who wear glasses are still suspect to the lower classes. Except that the old Russian word for them has changed. It is no longer odtkastyte. The new eyeglass-wearing intellectual is called odtkartk. But the bitterness, the distrust, the jealousy are still in that widely used term. That which Jan Waclaw Machajski discerned in the plebeian psyche of old Russia, and made his main premise, is still alive in the Soviet Union.

 

 



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