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SwiftRosenthal

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I do not want to see the Anarchist rule over but I do like their agenda on dissolving the Trade Unions!
Perhaps it is only the current Trade Unions that have problems... maybe we could replace them with one single (Agro-)Industrial Union (organized from the bottom up as per radical-democratic principles) encompassing every worker in the Republic, or even every worker in the Comintern?
 

Enewald

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Perhaps it is only the current Trade Unions that have problems... maybe we could replace them with one single (Agro-)Industrial Union (organized from the bottom up as per radical-democratic principles) encompassing every worker in the Republic, or even every worker in the Comintern?
I think we need no unions.
Unions defend the right of the workers, but are they necessary?
We have this thing called the 'state', Volkrepublik...
A revolutionary state in need of trade unions?
Who is abusing the workers? Trade unions are just another bureaucratic hindrance, what is their purpose?

If Anarchists have to rule this state, then let them. The trade unions should have no powers.

The state is a cancer. The trade unions are a cancer.
The less problems we have, the sooner we are ready with our revolution.

So for now, maybe eliminate the other cancers, whilst letting one survive, that being the state.
One problem is enough, trade unions do not serve the revolution.

No decentralization, but less ruling. Less central rule, less local rule.
For now, we have to have some kind of centralized, well-functioning and just state.
The state is there to protect the citizens from external threats, it should help, guide and show the right way to the people.
State is a necessary evil we have to accept in order to build a better future for the entire mankind.
It must have some power, but it most not be oppressive.
And that power has to be temporary.
 

Tommy4ever

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The VSVR 1880-1883

In order to form a coalition both the Anarchists and the Independents were forced into a compromise. The press was to be free but the Independent proposal was not to be put in place, the VSVR would look to expand the revolution but it would not risk getting involved in a war in which victory would be uncertain, taxes would be slashed but a progressive tax system was to be put in place. The Anarchists were forced to accept a bitter pill as they agreed to give the Trade Unions a large amount of power over the economy as the state contracted from economics, worse still they agreed to accept the Independent demand for large scale state funding for the Unions. Whilst in the past the Anarchists (notably under Proudhon and Bakunin) were strong proponents of Trade Union power the bloating of the Unions coupled with rampant corrupt within had dissatisfied much of the faction, when the likes of Kropotkin started to develop Anarchist ideas that didn’t involve giving economic power to these Unions the pro-Union portion of the Anarchist movement withered away. Now the primary force in pushing the faction away from the Unions had brought them into an alliance with them.

Kropotkin’s turbulent time as Chairman would flow from crisis to crisis as external and internal forces bombarded his regime.



To the South-East of the VSVR, shortly after Kropotkin’s electoral victory, another election took place. The Free City of Krakow was founded in 1815 as a neutral joint Protectorate of Prussia, Russia and Austria. However in recent year Prussia had been destroyed and Russia forced out of the immediate vicinity of the City bringing it heavily under of the VSVR. In 1877 the City’s vibrant democracy was opened up for all as it instituted universal suffrage. In February 1880 the Krakow Revolutionary People’s Party, campaigning on the issue of a union with the VSVR, secured 63% of the electoral vote. On March 3rd 1880 the Free City of Krakow ceased to exist as it was absorbed into the VSVR. Krakow had a population of some 600,000 people, the equivalent to 2 Luxemburgs or ½ of Finland. It also contained a vibrant wine producing industry which had been failing under the previous bourgeois regime – now the City’s industry received large scale state funding vie the intermediary of the Republican Congress of Trade Unions (RCTU) which acted as the most powerful body in the entire Trade Union movement.



This early part of the Anarchist-Independent regime’s term in power was defined by a series of cultural achievements. On a high from the optimism of the election victory libertarian socialists published some of their greatest works.

On the political scene the coalition partners struggled to some to a compromise on the issue of expanding the franchise for several months. However in October, after the RCTU started a large-scale campaign of bringing the collective farms of the Republic under its wing, Liebknecht decided to put the support of his faction behind a universal franchise that would expand the vote to both the petty bourgeoisie and the farmers. With 5 of the 10 man Central Committee being associated with the coalition it seemed that the move could not be stopped. However, fearing that the revolution would be high jacked by the much less revolutionary peasantry, the Marxist factions united to oppose the move. They, quite rightly, whipped up a fury over the fact that the Central Committee in no way represented the true strength of the factions (there were 3 Anarchists, 2 Independents, Marxist-Leninists and Moderates and 1 Militarist). Facing mass opposition from the urban working classes who were both fiercely against the expanding of the franchise to the countryside and the continued use of the Central Committee as the supreme decision making body forced the coalition to put the Bill before the Constituent Assembly. The Assembly voted to expand the franchise to the artisans with 39 votes in favour (that means at least 9 coalition members voted against their leadership), 37 against with 24 abstaining. Meanwhile the Assembly voted firmly against expanding the vote to the rural masses with 31 in favour, 52 against and 17 abstaining. It was a humiliating blow for the Anarchists. Kropotkin’s popularity with the urban masses started to decline sharply whilst at the same time, in respect of his championing of their rights, his popularity with the peasantry was greatly increased.



With tensions running high at home the 2nd most important Republic of the Comintern was brought under serious risk by a massive White uprising. With Iberia aflame the tenuous grip Madrid had on Morocco faded away as the French aligned Italians swooped in to pluck the former Sultanate from Spain’s grasp.

As support for the rebels flooded in from France, Portugal and Britain the small Spanish Army seemed to be at serious risk of cracking. The White rebels calling for a restoration of the Catholic Church, an end to the planned economy and a Westminster style Parliamentary democracy seemed to have struck a chord with much of the country as they successfully mobilised 100,000s for their cause. When Madrid sent a desperate telegram to Cologne in late October Kropotkin was placed in an ethical dilemma. Spain had, by far, the most authoritarian regime in the entire Comintern and it had indeed thrown the Anarchists out of politics in a bloody purge just a couple of years before. If Kropotkin sent troops to Spain he would be propping up a regime which represented everything he and his Anarchist Comrades despised about the Leftist movement, however if he did not he would lose an invaluable ally on France’s Southern border, the respect of the Comintern and of the VSVR public at large. In the end, after much procrastination, his hand was forced by Liebknecht who assured Kropotkin that he would leave the coalition if he did not intervene.



In January the International Brigades landed near the White held port of Cadiz. The Brigades were 90% Red Army soldiers with the rest being made up of volunteers from the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. At the time of their arrival the Republic was on the brink of collapse as the East had been overrun and Galicia had declared its nominal independence.



However in this position of power the Whites madea fatal misjudgement as they attempted to strike directly at Madrid with much of their military strength. This led to a crushing defeat to the Brigades at Toledo - it was a defeat from which they would never recover. However the fighting would rage on until the beginning of 1884 when the last White strongholds (in Galicia) finally fell to the government. For the first time a Communist state had come under serious threat from its own people.



However Socialism continued its march forward as in September 1881 the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was proclaimed in Kabul. Less than one month later the Republic of the Netherlands and East Indies completed its takeover of the Sultanate of Aceh on Sumatra.

Internally the VSVR continued to struggle onwards. Reducing state control over the economy and lowering taxes whilst pumping money into the growing behemoths of the Trade Unions the coalition successfully gave industry a boost. However new issues quickly presented themselves. Firstly the old problem of overproduction became yet more accentuated as industrial output continued to soar. In August 1881 an open letter was published in Spark which was written by a former Anarchist support and lifelong textiles worker from Essen (in the Ruhr). In a detailed and scathing criticism of life in the VSVR the worker detailed how he spends 12 hours every day labouring away in the textile mill before at the end of each working day hauling the cloth he spent hours creating over to a nearby steel mill where it is used as fuel the following morning, he then goes home to his wife (who works in a different textile factory). After losing much of his income to taxes and Union membership fees he can barely afford bread (the price of bread had been steadily rising for two decades but had soured following the loosening of state price control). Yet he can easily afford the finest silks and just enough beer to become just drunk enough to forget the pointlessness of his life as a worker. Whilst used as a means to attack the coalition the story of the nameless textile worker was as much a direct assault on the entire Republican ideal as much as anything else – the ever growing proletariat was starting to see its interests moving away from those of the Party.

On top of this the once bulging budget surpluses were a thing of the past, in their first year in power the coalition lost ½ of the entire gold reserve. Only after this did it start to raise taxes again. Indeed by mid 1881 taxes were just 5% lower for the poorest and middle strata and 20% lower for the wealthiest (the government had successfully stimulated demand in the economy by changing rich income taxes from a crippling 100% to a mildly hurtful 80%).

Finally that old problem of Trade Union corruption had reared its ugly head in a big way. With a huge injection of state funds into the Trade Unions and a massive increase in political power (as the Unions took control over most industry in the Republic) the Unions started to become a major problem. By the Autumn of 1881 it was estimated that for every £100 taken in by the Trade Unions £55 reached their intended target. Worse still the Unions had failed to scrap or even reduce the fees they charged the Workers, leaving yet more surplus money. With the problem so obvious both the Anarchist and Marxist press lambasted the government and called for an immediate curtailing of Trade Union power.



With dwindling popularity and a belligerent press (even the Zeal was critical of the government) Kropotkin embarked on an ambitious scheme to update the entire rail network of the Republic. Providing funds for the Union of Transport Workers (one of the cleanest Unions left) Kropotkin provided clear guidelines for just how the funds should be spent. The process seemed to be successful as all projects were properly funded and completed on time. The new rail network greatly increased efficiency, all was well. That was until the RCTU attempted to bring the UTW (Union of Transport Workers) into its block. Fearing RCTU control of this vital piece of new infrastructure the coalition passed several laws (with pan-faction support in the Central Committee and the approval of the Constituent Assembly) that forbade any single Labour Group to represent more than 1,000,000 workers. The RCTU already represented some 8,000,000 workers and was therefore ordered to divide itself. It was hoped that smaller, more manageable, Unions would be less corrupt and less powerful. Unsurprisingly the RCTU refused to give up quietly and threatened the government with strike action (this would be the first widespread strike action the Republic had ever seen).



On March 6th 1862 the RCTU called a General Strike, it was supported by several other large Trade Union bodies. Some 12,000,000 workers went on strike and the Republic was effectively crippled. Schlieffen called for the Army to be brought in, Liebknecht called for negotiations with the RCTU, Lenin demanded a political crack down and Kropotkin shut off the tap of cash. With no more funds coming in from the government the Unions struggled to keep the strikers on a living salary (the primary condition that the workers had demanded to strike was that the Unions give them enough money to survive), however they still had a large supply of cash that could last for months.

One might have thought that turning off the tap of cash flow towards the RCTU would have bolstered finances, instead the losses of income through tax and exports forced the budget deficit to widen. Kropotkin was forced to levy a 5% tariff on all imported goods to keep the Republic afloat – this was a move that infuriated his already alienated Independent allies leaving relationships between the coalition partners icy at best.



It seemed that things just wouldn’t go Kropotkin’s way. In June 1882 the Danish National People’s Party came to power in vital Comintern ally Denmark. Still claiming to be a firmly Communist country Denmark did not secede from the Comintern but its ideology of ultra-nationalism, Third Way economics and populist rhetoric did frighten many in the Republic. When the Moderate Chair of the Comintern, Pablo Iglesias, openly attacked the DNVP in the Comintern he faced a flurry of abuse from delegates from several countries.

Later in June the General Strike came to an end as the RCTU cut an Independent brokered deal with the Central Committee. They agreed to allow a government team of inspectors to crack down on Union corruption, they agreed not to promote any further large-scale Trade Union mergers and they agreed to begin the process of phasing out Union membership fees but they refused to divide the existing Trade Union blocs. It was a halfway compromise that appeased no one. The Unions were unhappy about the compromises whilst the anti-Unionists were infuriated by the abject failure of the government to reduce Trade Union power.



However the VSVR was not the only state in turmoil. Following its fall from the ranks of the Great Power in 1880 (replaced by the USCA) the Ottoman Empire had erupted into Civil War. In 1881 Bosnia had succeeded as the Balkans were swept up in a Nationalistic frenzy whilst at the same time Mesopotamia and Libya also forced the Ottoman authorities into retreat. However things only truly became untenable in 1882 when the Socialist Young Turk movement rose up across industrialised Anatolia. The 400 year old Empire was not so easily defeated and the Emperor fought on until Constantinople itself fell in January 1883, within a month the Royalists had surrendered. The Confederated Socialist Republic was born.



The CSR (Officially the Confederated Socialist Republic of Turks, Greeks, Bulgarians, Serbs, Albanians, Armenians, Kurds, Mesopotamians, Syrians, Libyans and Indians) was divided into 11 constituent Republics, 3 special territories (Cyprus, Pontus and Smyrna/Izmir) and 1 Free City. Each Republic had its own Council of Soviets (effectively a Parliament with representatives from each major group of workers, farmers or soldiers) which ran internal affairs whilst each Republic contributed 2 elected members for the Great Council of the Republic (with the exception of the Turkish Republic which contributed 5 whilst the Free City of Constantinople contributed 1) which ran Confederation wide policies. It was a radical new design and one Kropotkin was eager to examine. In May he travelled to the CSR on a state visit to help establish the alliance between the VSVR and CSR.



He couldn’t have chosen a worse moment to leave the Republic as just one day into Kropotkin's visit of the CSR, Republican hero Karl Marx died. Unable to attend the funeral Kropotkin appeared to slight the most popular man in VSVR history and was damned by the Leninists.

Kropotkin rushed back to the VSVR after finishing up in Constantinople only to find another crisis on his doorstep – the Republic’s coffers had finally run dry and for the first time in its entire history the state was forced to look for a loan. The humiliation of receiving a large loan from the Bank of England was total; desperate to avoid further problems Kropotkin raised taxes again so that they reach pre-1880 levels. It seemed his entire time in office had been pointless.

With his standing at an all time low Kropotkin’s regime was shaken by yet another Union borne crisis – the RTCU had thrown out the government inspectors after several high ranking Union officials were accused of siphoning off Union funds. Kropotkin was left between a rock and a hard place. The Marxist-Leninists and Militarists joined together to deliver a simple warning – topple the RTCU now or be toppled. The Independents replied with – move on or the coalition is over. After pleading with Kropotkin to act Malatesta and Kadon (the radical Anarchists) left Cologne to organise the Anarchist militia (it was clear that if the Leninist-Militarist forces won the Anarchist faction would not survive). In the end Kropotkin did send an ultimatum to the RTCU to submit but then it was too late. On July 8th 1883 the first shots were fired in the VSVR Civil War.



The Comintern at the outbreak of hostilities.
 

Tommy4ever

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Sorry about the low calibre of this update. We all have our off days. I just had a lot of vague ideas of waht should happen, this also seemed to just drag on and on ...

Hopefully you get the most important idea - Kropotkin failed, partially due to his own errors but mostly due to Trade Union scallywagness and external pressures. Now we finally have a Civil War - my favourite! :D
 

unmerged(140907)

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Way to fail Independents. Way to fail.

Interested in where this goes next. Nice work Tommy.

EDIT: Questions Tommy. What do the Independents mean by "Move on."? Do they want Kropotkin to leave the Unions in power and just move on from trying to deal with them? Also are there more than two sides in this Civil War? As far as I can tell there is the possibility of the Government vs. M-L and Militarists vs. Unions + Possibly the Independents.
 
Last edited:

John Forseti

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Comrades, you see what the Anarchists have wrought? Utter disaster from day one! There is a chance to make amends however, aid the Marxist-Leninist and Militarists to restore the Volksrepublic, to destroy Kadon's Aristocracy and to rekindle the fire of the revolution!


P.S Tommy, even if it's not the best ever, it's still a very good update.
 

Viden

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Well, what could be expected if a bunch of criminals take the power? Corruption, inestability, violence and all the shit Kropotkin brought to us.

Simply, compare:

- Marxist-Leninists = Improving of living standarts + Economic boom + Strong foreing policy + Stability + Fullfit of all electoral promises.

In one word: Prosperity.

- Anarchists = Corruption + Weak foreing policy + Economy sunks + Stopping vital reforms + Inestability + Etc.

In one word: Decadence.

PS: And, for International's shame, Catalonia is still under French yoke. :facepalm:
 

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Well, it seems that my worst fears were correct. The economy in dissaray, rampant corruption, no progress for the common workers, the reinstitution of capitalist private press, fascists coming to power within the Comintern. Compare this to the constant economic success of the Marxists. We need a new coalition. However, we don't want to go down the Danish path once this struggle is won... grave times indeed.

OT: Ah, and I was standing by that grave this summer when visiting London :/
 

Enewald

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Damn you Kropotkin... you ruined everything.
Kill him. Why cannot we get decent leaders???
Bring down the government, I did not vote to see that kind of crap happen.
Kropotkin betrayed everything.
 

unmerged(140907)

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4 way Civil War.

The Anarchist Government vs. the Marxist-Leninists vs. the Unions vs. Enewald.
 

J. Passepartout

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As an old pro-unionist Anarchist, I tend to agree with Enewald and think that too much time was spent on antagonising the masses who are members, rather than working on a more just and democratic union organisation which could help in the transition from state to popular rule.
 

Dyranum

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:rofl:

The sole time that the Anarchists are in power they just wreck the whole place.
 

winsingtonIII

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Wow, it only takes three years of the Anarchists in power to screw things up enough to start a civil war.... Not sure how anyone can defend them now...
 

Tommy4ever

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You know the Independents shoulder far more of the blame than the Anarchists for this disaster ...

They're the ones who empowered the Unions ...

Anyway. The Republic is in dire need of a big shakeup, some new blood and a new political landscape that can only be provided through a Civil War.

ps What do you think of the CSR? Twas the one bit of this update I was quite happy about. :)
 

Dyranum

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Seek75

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You know the Independents shoulder far more of the blame than the Anarchists for this disaster ...
But we're at super-ultra-blame center where everyone blames everyone for everything, even if they didn't have much to do with it, remember?

Anarchists point at Lenin and scream "Tyrant!" before he's elected and has a chance to do anything, Marxists point at Anarchists and scream "Violent hatemonger!", even if they're moderates who do not condone violence. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if this comment ends up rubbing people the wrong way and sparks even MORE finger-pointing.
 

unmerged(140907)

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Yep. Tommy's right. The main blame lies with the Independents for supporting the empowerment of an actor not directly controlled by the government that could easily organize workers against the state (What a great idea!). Though the Anarchists (or maybe just Kropotkin) are responsible for enabling them and proving weak leaders.

The CSR is funny (lol official name). I like the neat little reference they are to the USSR. I don't think they'll work out though, seems to much like a Yugoslavia situation waiting to happen :(
 

Viden

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But we're at super-ultra-blame center where everyone blames everyone for everything, even if they didn't have much to do with it, remember?

Anarchists point at Lenin and scream "Tyrant!" before he's elected and has a chance to do anything, Marxists point at Anarchists and scream "Violent hatemonger!", even if they're moderates who do not condone violence. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if this comment ends up rubbing people the wrong way and sparks even MORE finger-pointing.
Moderates who establish the first and only terrorist group of the Republic.
 

Viden

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See? I told you!
There's no fingerpoint, only facts. It's simple: The Young Anarchists were established, justified and protected by the Anarchists. Obviously, Anarchists do this when they weren't busy demanding the heads of the Marxists and the overthrow of rightfully elected goverments.
 
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