Lenin the Revolution Rapist: How Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolsheviks were held off by an anarchist Ukraine – “Revolt” magazine, 1992

Lenin the Revolution Rapist: How Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolsheviks were held off by an anarchist Ukraine

Revolt number 2 (1992), South Africa

Recently, criticism has been levelled at Lenin, a man still regarded as a virtual god. Lenin, with his right hand man Trotsky, led the Bolshevik Socialists to victory in the October revolution in 1917. Once you deconstruct the myth of Lenin, you open a very funky can of worms …

LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTION

In February 1917, there was a Popular uprising in the Russian empire. The Tsar abdicated the principal political parties – most of them Socialist, and began to set up a crude parliamentary democracy, led by the Mensheviks. But Russia was a big, bleak, backward old empire that sprawled across five time zones, communication was bad; the uprisings continued. Radicals were released from prison, dissidents returned from exile, and ordinary people became increasingly aware of the possibilities of communal power. Peasants chased out the landowners, workers took over the factories and many organized themselves democratically through local mass meetings – Soviets.

Freedom was in the air. Much of the population had tasted it or at least had a whiff of it, it seemed to be out there for the taking. There seemed nothing to fear but the fear of freedom. Lenin (of the minority Bolsheviks) was one of the first politicians to sense the mood of the people. He realized that by adopting the popular slogans of the masses – “land to the peasants,” “‘worker control,” and “all power to the soviets,” the Bolsheviks, under his leadership could seize power and move to the next phase of the “Marxist” revolution – “The dictatorship of the Proletariat. Continue reading

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The Violence: The State’s Bloody Hands – “Revolt” magazine, 1992

Revolt number 2 (1992), South Africa

More people are dying in Apartheid’s fall than at its height. The cause of the violence is not “tribalism” but a destabilisation campaign by the State and its Inkatha ally. The solution is not, however, a new government…

[Note: between 1990 and 1994 – the years between the unbanning of major anti-apartheid parties such as the African National Congress, the Pan-Africanist Congress and the SA Communist Party- a wave of political violence against mass democratic structures and organised labour swept the country. Such violence had taken place in Natal since the late 1980s; now it spread with terrifying speed to the Witwatersrand/ Reef industrial heartland. This article examines how much of the violence was orchestrated by the Apartheid state and its armed wings and vigilante and moderate allies as a low-intensity war against the mass democratic movement, and draws out the strategic implications of this analysis.]

While the politicians play around at negotiations, our communities have experienced the worst features of violence in their daily lives, be it on the trains, taxis or busses, on their way to and from work; during nightwatches and at funerals; at work, at home; even during festivities. Continue reading

SA Police: to serve and protect … to torture and kill – “Revolt” magazine, 1992


Revolt number 2 (1992), South Africa

The South African police continue to assault, torture and kill people in custody. The brutal death of Simon Mthimkulu in July [1992] in one example amongst many.

In the final hours of his life, 19 year old Simon set out on an errand with his friends Joubert Radebe and Sikhalo ‘Lucky Boy” Maseko. It was a sunny afternoon in Sebokeng township that fatal Tuesday, July 14.

The three friends were on their way to fetch some money owed to Radebe’s father when, as they were crossing an open space, a stolen white Mazda came up against a barricade of rocks blocking the road. The driver, unable to manoeuvre the vehicle around the rocks, abandoned it and disappeared. Continue reading

“Revolt” – a South African Anarchist Paper from 1992 [UPDATED]

Revolt was a short lived South African anarchist paper. It appeared only once. It also lacked contact details for the publishers!

UPDATE: Its two editors were subsequently involved in the paper Unrest, which became Workers Solidarity in 1995, paper of the Workers Solidarity Federation. However, while there was a lineage Revolt to Unrest to Workers Solidarity, there was an important difference between Workers Solidarity and its predecessors. Workers Solidarity rejected the somewhat violent language of the earlier papers, and, while stressing the limitations  of the 1990s democratic reforms, insisted that these marked a major gain for the black working class. This was part of a shift towards a politics that recognised the struggles for reforms, as a means of mobilising people as valuable in themselves, and as a space to promote revolutionary ideas and self-management.This allowed WSF to actively engage in mass struggles, and with a range of militants, without losing sight of its larger revolutionary politics.


The South African police continue to assault, torture and kill people in custody. The brutal death of Simon Mthimkulu in July [1992] in one example amongst many.

More people are dying in Apartheid’s fall than at its height. The cause of the violence is not “tribalism” but a destabilisation campaign by the State and its Inkatha ally. The solution is not, however, a new government…

The New World Order is on our doorstep with the US imperialists setting themselves up in Botswana and Zambia. Washington, following the end of the Cold War, is placing renewed emphasis on projecting itself into Third World “flashpoints.”

During the uprisings and reaction that followed the October Revolution, the fertile earth of the Southern Ukraine was trampled under the boots of at least four advancing and retreating armies.

The Rio Earth Summit was dominated by the very people responsible for the global ecological crisis in the first place. Solutions were not, cannot, and never will be, found by such groups. Grass roots action is the only answer. Continue reading

1992: New World Order in Africa – “Revolt” magazine, 1992

The New World Order is on our doorstep with the US imperialists setting themselves up in Botswana and Zambia. Washington, following the end of the Cold War, is placing renewed emphasis on projecting itself into Third World “flashpoints.”

Recent reports in left wing journal Work in Progress * show just how close to home the US “new world order” really is: Botswana is being groomed as a forward staging base for the US in the region whilst Zambia’s “democrat” President Chiluba has recently signed a military agreement with the US for the training of military personnel in technical fields. Continue reading