Anarchism in Makhno’s homeland: adventures of the red-and-black flag Reply

It makes sense that as anarchists movements grow on a worldwide basis anarchist tendencies in countries with a history of tyrannical leftist governments would assume a rightward orientation while anarchist movements in rightward leaning nations would assume a leftist orientation.

By Denys Gorbach

Open Democracy

Anarchism may be a popular political brand in Ukraine today, but it’s not anarchism as we know it. Русский

 

For westerners on the left, including anarchists, the Maidan protests of 2013-2014 turned Ukraine from an unknown quantity into the home of a mass grassroots movement—and one they had to understand. For many on the left, this meant a trip to our country: 2014 was Kyiv’s year of ‘revolutionary tourism’.

But the ‘tourists’ involved in anarchist movements at home were dazed and confused on the streets of Kyiv: why was their red and black flag flying alongside the swastika and Celtic cross? Why was there a portrait of Nestor Makhno, the anarchist revolutionary leader of a century ago, on a tent belonging to a nationalist group? And why were locals who called themselves anarchists one moment calling for the creation of a mono-ethnic state the next? Anarchism occupies a very specific place in the worldview of your average Ukrainian, and their perception of it differs from sympathetic westerners.

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