About: This is “Echo of Freedom, Radical Podcast (Эхо Свободы, Радикальный Подкаст)”. In each podcast episode a different issue is discussed. Each episode can stand by itself, but there is a direction of the whole podcast towards the complete liberation. Additionally this is the space where poetry will be uploaded.
Author: My name is VolodyA! V Anarhist, i am politically anarchist, ethically vegan, spiritually ex-buddhist, religiously atheist, epistimologically agnostic, artistically poetic, sexually perverted, and queer gender-wise. But this podcast is not about myself, but rather about my ideas.
Contact: Anybody is more than welcome to contact me with your thoughts and comments. Please use the comment facility of LibSyn or send me an e-mail (Volodya_Ⓐ_When Gendarme Sleeps.org) (PGP key fingerprint: 0DDF C0B2 A699 E6E7 C154 567A D5BD 548F B099 86AC). I will accept and play audio comments sent as OGG Vorbis/FLAC (or MP3/Wave if you must).
Disclaimer: All that i discuss here is my opinion, i do not condone nor condemn any action(s) by this podcast, i simply speak my mind. Please respect that and be respectful if disagree. Trolling behaviour and spam do not constitute a form of speech and will not be tolerated.
Copyright: All the content that is made by me for this podcast is in public domain at the moment of publication unless stated otherwise. I would appreciate it if while using any of the things you find here, you provide reference back to me, but that is only a request.
Important: This podcast is not affiliated with LibCom.org.
Sat, 6 December 2014
Non‐hierarchical groups sometime create a hierarchical superstructure, and become subservient to a small clique of people who can unilaterally overrule the decisions of the group as the whole. Here i discuss one option of how to oppose such things, but hope to actually hear about alternative ways of dealing with such situations.
Direct download: EchoOfFreedom_136_2014Dec06_HierarchicalSuperstructures.vorb.oga
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:20pm EST
Sat, 6 December 2014
We are all aware of the Russian invasion into Ukraine, and as anarchists we all have said one thing or another on this subject. I myself have previously voiced my criticism of those, who are fighting on the side of Russia or Ukraine in this conflict, and many other comrades have done the same. In this episode i want to make my position a little clearer, i do not wish to back‐pedal on what was said before, nor do i want to start the conflict within us. However, we need to go beyond saying what is obvious and try to understand more exactly the nature of our relationship to this conflict.
Specifically in this episode i want to contrast the anarchists and antifascists who are fighting on the side of Ukraine and those who are fighting for Russia. I believe that enough comparison and looking for similarities was done already, and what i say here should only be understood as the addition to that discussion, rather than the substitute for it.
To briefly summarise what is already known at this point. After the Euro Maidan protests, which had significant problems associated with them, but yet had the popular sector as well, Ukraine's president has ran away from the country, within days Russian troops have began taking control of Crimean peninsula, and within months a referendum, controlled by the government of Russia was held, which was used as the pretence to annex that territory. At the same time military and police agents have crossed the border into the Eastern Ukraine and have started the uprising with the goal of inclusion of that territory as a part of Russia. Local people were a part of those uprisings, but were originally never a part of the top leadership. At that time the Right Sector, a large portion of which identify as “national socialist”, have became a reasonably strong force within Western and Central Ukraine. Ukraine has eventually started an offensive on the positions of the pro‐Russia fighters in Eastern Ukraine and have began using USA‐like tactics of indiscriminate bombings of the population. At this time some anarchists and antifascists have began actively joining the fighting forces. Some have joined the Ukrainian military in its attempts to kick the Russian imperialist army from Ukraine, others went with the pro‐Russian rebels attempting to fight the fascists.
Antti Rautiainen in the article “The End of Antifa?” has done a great job explaining why joining either dichtomic side in this conflict is counterproductive. But even in that article there was no attempt at analysing the differences between those who fight for Ukraine and those on the side of Novorossia.
Although every conflict is unique, we can still draw a lot of guidance from looking at the history of the anarchist movement and seeing how anarchists have dealt with the issue of choosing the side in a war of the governments. Some will speak of the World War II, others remember the Free Territory or Makhnovschina, while others may take the chronologically middle route and inspect the role of anarchists in the Spanish revolutionary war. Let's look at all three while asking the following questions: What decisions in respect to nationalism were made? Were these decisions strategic or tactical in nature? What analogies can we draw with today's conflict?
Free Territory (Makhnovschina)
The first thing to understand about the Free Territory of Ukraine is that it was driven primarily by the Platformism and by charisma of several individuals, who were leading the people through it. Nestor Makhno was a brilliant tactician, but he was not a political philosopher. Much of what he did was out of the position of necessity, but that was in part why Free Territory has survived for so long. The question was never “What will make me appear the most radical?” but rather “What will give the greatest freedom and stability in Free Territory right now?” Makhno had no problems making temporary pacts and alliances with nationalists if that allowed the army of Makhno to receive less casualties. These were tactical steps, but strategically and ideologically some things were never done. Anti‐Semitism for example was always an offence within the ranks of the army, that has carried the death penalty. Bolsheviki were a group that Makhno saw in much of the same way as nationalists, uniting with them temporarily, but never allowing oneself to become a part of their structure. Where the interactions with Leninists and nationalists was different, it could have been caused by the fact that both were drawing from the same crowd to some extent. Although Platformism at that time has never matured enough to be appealing to the urban population. One group that was always on the opposite side of the barricades from Makhno were the armies of the foreign powers that came into Ukraine (regardless of their ideologies). The reason for that was not some appeal to nationalism, but a much simpler rational: A foreign power has no intention of helping the people on the annexed territory, the only goal of such power is to benefit its central hub at the expense of the population of its satellites.
In Spain the interaction with nationalists was more complex. There were Spanish Nationalists, who were fascists. And there it is unknown if there even could have been much alliance building, even if one of the sides wanted it tactically. The fascists of Spain did not hide the fact that they were not content on any portion of the country, they needed the whole thing for their political survival. But there was another nationalist group, which was actively helped by anarchists and republicans. Even as the fighting was taking place within Spain, they were supporting Ethiopian nationalists who were fighting against the invading forces of Italy. In this case there was absolutely no tactical advantage to Spanish anarchists to do this, the only thing that drove that was the question of ideology and perhaps minor strategic gains.
Large numbers of anarchists, antifascists, and republicans went to fight on the side of the Republic or syndicalists. The goal of those who went was to support the self‐determination of the local population, and not to subdue it into one government or another.
The strategic position in dealing with nationalism during the Spanish Revolutionary War seems to be the differentiation between different kinds of nationalism. The fascism of Franko was dealt with in a completely different way than the fight against the external invasion by another country.
World War Ⅱ
The role of anarchists in WWⅡ is somewhat smaller than it could have been. In the USA, all those who have opposed fascism before the start of the war were labelled “premature antifascists” and could not participate in combat. In Britain many anarchists engaged in the anti‐draft advocacy, and many were sent to prison because of that. In USSR by that time the only anarchist organisation large enough to speak about was the group of Tolstoyan anarchists in Moscow, who have voiced their opposition to the draft policies of Stalin and were swiftly destroyed by the government apparatus. It is not to say that individual anarchists and antifascists did not participate in that war, undoubtedly they did, but they did not do it as any kind of solid unit or at the very least they are not remembered any longer.
German Nazi army did, however, use some anarchist symbolism when they were retreating from the Ukraine near the end of the war. They have set up black battalions who would claim to be the ideological descendants of Makhnovschina, but they had no link to the anarchist movement nor held any of the same philosophical standards.
Where does it take us?
Throughout the history, when anarchists have individually joined the armed forces in the intergovernmental armed conflict their contribution has made little difference at the end. And in fact it might have contributed to the destruction of the segments of the anarchist movement that were working against militarisation of the society. But if we talk about a massive support to some side of the fight, then anarchists of the past have shown time after time that it makes little sense to support any external army invading another territory for the purposes of annexation. It is an ideological and philosophical position, which is backed up by the strategic benefits. However, joining the 'legitimate' side of the conflict is wrong for different reasons, those are normally tactical in nature, but sometimes are upgraded to the level of strategy.
Anarchists and antifascists that are joining the Ukrainian side are making the mistake in their strategy and tactics. There is little chance that their contribution will change the political landscape in Ukraine even if it manages to kick out the Russian army. On the other side those who are fighting on the side of Russia are not only wrong strategically for the very same reasons, but they are committing a very strong ideological back‐step by supporting a force that is attempting to annex the territory. At no previous time in history have antifascist volunteers joined the imperialist forces that tried to expand their borders, and there is a very good reason for that; it goes against the very essence of the libertarian antifascist position.
In closing i wish to say that my goal is not to excuse one side because the other is “more wrong”. However, the consequences of the actions do need to be measured carefully in these things. And my hope is that those who are making the stands that i consider problematic will either begin an active dialogue with the larger movement, explaining their positions, or end their problematic behaviour and attempt to undo some of the damage done already.
Direct download: EchoOfFreedom_135_2014Dec06_TacticsStrategyAndIdeologyInUkraineConflict.vorb.oga
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:44am EST
Sat, 11 October 2014
Contemporary anarchism exists at the intersection of several movements that oppose oppression: anti-capitalism, antifascism, anti-racism, ecological movement, feminism, free speech advocates, lgbt activism, etc. Having said that, being a member of those movements does not automatically excuse any and all actions of the people. We should criticise ourselves, because only then can we move forward.
Recently i have come across the news about antifa people helping out with Russian conquest of Eastern Ukraine and defending their position by claiming that they do so to oppose the spread of fascism in the occupied territory; here i will attempt to explain the fallacy of such position. The antifa group in question calls itself "8th International Brigade Carlos Palomino", however this is not going to be a critique of their specific actions nor will i attempt to talk about their tactic, rather i will express my opposition to the entire strategy chosen.
The very first thing that we need to recognise about Russian occupation of South and Eastern Ukraine is that it has nothing to do with opposition to fascism in that country. Russian government has zero-tollerance to any opposition to pro-Russian nationalist, pro-Russian racialist, or pro-Russian imperialist ideas. Antifascists are commonly labeled as terrorists and thrown in jail, one of the best recent examples of that is Alexandr Kolchenko, who was arrested in Crimea and accused of plotting terrorist acts in an obviously made up case, his real crime was that his antifascism was directed against pro-Russian fascists who were in the area.
Which brings me to the next point, that Russia doesn't only lack any drive to oppose fascism, but it actively supports fascists and fascist ideologies on the territories that it controls. Slavic Union (aka SS), the russian neo-nazi group, has long been rumored to volunteer in much of south and east ukraine. Cossacks, who have traditionally been the most racist of the Russian force groups, are given complete carte blanche in their behaviour in the occupied territories.
And even within Russia-proper police often refuse to even listen to the claims about attacks by racists, and are often too busy with checking the papers of anybody who doesn't look like a russian. Although Russia criticises Ukraine for attempting to promote Ukranian language, i would challange anybody in Russia to find the country-wide TV or Radio station that broadcasts in anything other than Russian.
The laws that deal with the rights of minorities in Russia have been discussed to death already; but now in the occupied territories it is only getting worse. In Lugansk 2-5 year sentence for homosexual sex have recently been approved, and in some cases it can be upgraded to death penalty. In Crimea the Russian government officials have vowed to have no public visibility for LGBT people. And although Kremlin often tries to claim that it just supports the wishes of the local people, whatever those are; it openly destroys any sort of action that does not further its imperialist agenda.
What Russia has become good at, is painting a picture of itself as a fighter against USA and fascism. This has drawn some people to mistakenly conclude that in order to oppose US imperialism and neo-nazism they need to show some sort of support to Russia. Such propaganda model in part is based on that of the United States, and it is very strange how so many people fail to recognise the similarities. Russia today is declaring to the world "You are either with us or with the terrorists!" and the same people who were criticising such idiotic dichotomies just years ago, completely accept them now.
So what are the reasons why Russian forces are now in Ukraine? The answer is relatively simple, Ukraine has managed to kick the pro-Russian corrupt president Yanukovich out of the country. That ex-president actually managed to build himself a personal zoo on his manssion, he has sucked the money from the same regions that today are apparently fighting to join Russia. But even though the people managed to kick out the president, they were unable to resist the military invasion by Russia, and that was due to the long time that Ukraine was an openly neutral country. The military in Ukraine simply cannot stand up against Russian one, because Ukraine has depended on USA, Russia, and UK to protect its borders, two of these countries are refusing to do anything except sanctions and one of them is actively working towards the occupation.
In this situation it is of course easy to jump on the bandwaggon of the side that is most likely to win the fight. But just like no feminist in the right mind has defended the US invasion of Afghanistan, should no antifascist support Russia in its attempt to annex territory after territory from Ukraine.
None of the above should be taken to mean that i believe no nazis are in Ukraine. I know that there are, and i know that in some parts the fascist movement is a big problem. I also know that i give fully support to Russian people who would want to fight against right wing take-over. However, the fight to prevent the rise of fascism in Ukraine should not become the fight to further Russia's imperialism, and it should be lead by Ukranian people themselves; and until the Russian invasion Ukraine was actually doing a much better job at it, than Russia has.
Direct download: EchoOfFreedom_134_2014Oct11_AntifascismAndRussia.vorb.oga
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:33pm EST
Sun, 7 September 2014
Much discussion is going on around the possibility of forcing people to retire at a later age due to the higher survaval rate of humans in the contemporary society. However, those who propose the raising of the age of retirement simply refuse to look at the problem in all its complexity. In the real world people donʼt die later due to some form of genetic evolution, but due to the technological progress which actually makes lowering the retirement age a better solution overall.
Direct download: EchoOfFreedom_132_2014Sep07_AgeOfRetirement.vorb.oga
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:22am EST
Tue, 10 June 2014
Sam Seder has relatively recently had a debate against Walter Block on Majority Report show. In my opinion it is appauling how the host has managed to almost lose this argument, given that Prof. Block has given him so much rope to be hanged with it. This is my critique of the argument strategy of the progressive against the capitalist.
Please listen to the original debate at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BhcdVubtZ0
Direct download: EchoOfFreedom_131_2014Jun10_HowNotToArgueAgainstLibertarians.vorb.oga
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:22pm EST
Sat, 19 April 2014
Leninism has never been a coherent philosophy of the radical political change, it was closer to the opportunistic attempts at rhetoric (often blatantly plariarising from other groups, even when the plagiarised parts create major contradictions). However, there was one original thought that Lenin had had. Well… not really an idea, more like a slogan, but it was quite original and something that can be held as an example of at least one radical thing that came from the Bolsheviki. I am referring to the demand made by V. Lenin that Czarist Russia loses the World War.
To my knowledge no group at that time had such a position that was clearly vocalised. Many were too afraid to anger the loyalists who would commit any and all crimes in the name of their god, nation, ruler, or some other external entity. And for that, and for pretty much nothing else, Lenin can be respected.
But today we have the CPRF rejecting the only rational position that their “philosopher” has proposed. There are staged demonstrations taking place all over Russia supporting the government's decision to not only occupy Crimea, but also push further into the territories of other bordering countries. Forget the “right of all to self-determination”, this is not what is being supported, it is clear even by the language that they are using. Already today people who oppose Russian military presense in Ukraine are labeled as “separatists” (apparently they want to separate the part of Russia that has either just been annexed or where the annexation hasn't even taken place yet).
But enough about CPRF, it is a puppet party that didn't even complain after it became known that Zyuganov (CPRF candidate for the president) has gotten the most votes in one of the ellections. They are so afraid to rock the boat by now, that there is absolutely no distinction between the ruling elite and “Communist opposition”.
It is more important to see how this position reverberates in other circles.
The so-called “communists” in other countries seem to take this situation as the opportunity to write angry critiques of everybody around them, without even a thought of what sollutions exist to the current clash of Russia's and US imperialism. And much of the anarchist movement seems to attempt to side-step the issue. The parallel can be drawn with China's continuous occupation of Tibet, Communist Parties everywhere support it, and anarchists just don't talk about it… after all it is much easier to talk about some first-world problems and feel oneself important.
The whole situation seems shocking to me. Tibet and Crimea have the potential to become the perfect example of why creating a huge hierarchical machine in order to protect oneselves against another hierarchical machine creates an orwellian world where “pigs” are indistinguishable from “humans”. It is absolutely not necessary to support the USA in order to oppose RF, nor does one need to do the opposite.
Despite what the professional revolutionaries tell us, there is nothing wrong with the demand “USA out of Iraq, Russia out of Crimea”.
Don't forget to leave your comments.
Direct download: EchoOfFreedom_129_2014Apr19_CPRFBetraysTheirPrinciples.vorb.oga
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:20am EST
Mon, 10 March 2014
William is an anarchist from the States, who is engaged in Tranzmission Prison Project and The Final Straw anarchist radio. We talk about the range of things: his becoming of an anarchist, his view on the definition of the terms anarchism and freedom, his work and views on LGBT siguation in the USA and mention the current situation in Crimea.
The links to the projects:
Direct download: EchoOfFreedom_128_2014Mar10_AnarchistWilliamInterview.vorb.oga
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:10am EST
Fri, 7 March 2014
More and more we see around us different forms of a simplistic nationalist analysis of the situation in Crimea. On one hand there are people who claim that Ukraine is entirely overrun by Nazi sympathisers (and that Russia should be supported), on another we have the claims that we should support anybody who is fighting the Russian aggression with no thought of the reasons for such fighting. In reality the situation is much more complicated, but the complexity of it should not be used to claim that only two extremist paths can lead to a reasonable solution.
Below are some facts that we should keep in mind when thinking about the problem:
I am *not* going to end with saying “and therefore you must think …”, rational people should be able to make their own opinions, and it is also possible that i have missed some very important facts. Keep fighting and keep thinking.
Direct download: EchoOfFreedom_127_2014Mar07_CrimeaDebate.vorb.oga
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:49am EST
Tue, 4 March 2014
Recently i have appeared on another great anarchist audio show The Final Straw. You can go to that particular show Interview with Volodya, Swain on Mumia & AWU, Kiev announcement.
Direct download: afm-final-straw-03022014.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:18am EST
Tue, 11 February 2014
Anthony Rayson is the person behind starting of South Chicago ABC Zine Distro, the service dedicated to educating prisoners, education society about the prisoners, and prisoner support in general.
Sound quality may not be great due to the fact that it is the recording off of the skype conversation. The content of the interview is very thought provoking, however, and that should definitely more than compensate for the sound problems.
You can contact South Chicago ABC Zine Distro by writing to PO Box 721, Homewood IL 60430, USA.
Direct download: EchoOfFreedom_126_2014Feb11_AnthonyRayson.vorb.oga
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:54pm EST
Sun, 9 February 2014
This episode is recorded as a response to me watching Police Shoot and Kill Dog in Front of Owner.
I believe that no group should receive some special consideration, and everybody should be responsible for their actions, and only for their actions. Passive voice is OK linguistically, but not politically. We, as the society, should not move responsibility on case by case basis depending on what suits us in that particular case.
Direct download: EchoOfFreedom_125_2014Feb09_SpecialPleading.vorb.oga
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:17am EST
Tue, 21 January 2014
We, as anarchists, are almost afraid of specialising in our day-to-day lives, even though in our activism we have for a long time accepted the need for diversity of tactics. Is it logical? What should we be doing?
Here i don't answer all the questions, i think asking them at this stage is more important… plus i don't know one “correct” way in this case.
Direct download: EchoOfFreedom_124_2014Jan21_Specialists.vorb.oga
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:03am EST
Sun, 17 November 2013
Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood. But Freedom is first! In this episode i discuss why i support equality, but only if it is equality of freedom.
Those who support marriage, slavery, prisons, capitalism, etc. will be offended! (Just like with other things on this podcast).
Direct download: EchoOfFreedom_122_2013Nov17_FreedomBeforeEquality.vorb.oga
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:47pm EST
Thu, 6 June 2013
Normally i would ally myself with progressives, maybe their methods are a bit reformist, but at least their spirit is good. But in many matters it seems that progressivism means bigotry.
Direct download: EchoOfFreedom_119_2013Jun06_ProgressivistBigotry.vorb.oga
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:13am EST
Thu, 16 May 2013
This is in part a response to watching this video, but it goes into a more in depth analysis of the core of my philosophy.
Please do not hesitate to leave comments and to let me know what you think.
Direct download: EchoOfFreedom_118_2013May16_BostonMarathonBombingReasons.vorb.oga
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:45am EST