To the young people

Insurgent Makhnovists


Why, comrades, are you sitting at home? Why are you not in our ranks?

Or are you waiting for the arrival of the commissars with punitive detachments to draft you by force? Don't fool yourselves that they won't find you, that you will hide, escape. The Bolshevik authority has already shown that it will stop at nothing: they will arrest your family and relatives, they will take hostages, if necessary, they will fire upon the entire village with artillery - and in some way or another, you and your comrades, who are presently still at liberty, will sooner or later be drafted by the government.

And then they will send you, with weapons in hand, to kill your brother peasants and workers - the revolutionary insurgent Makhnovists.

We, Makhnovist insurgents, are not sitting at home, although each one of us also has a family and relatives and loved ones from whom we do not wish to be separated. But we are revolutionaries. It is not possible for us to look on indifferently as the working people are once again thrown into slavery, as new despots lord it over us, unchecked, under the mask of the socialist-communists, under the banner of worker-peasant authority. Three years of revolution have clearly shown that every authority is counter-revolutionary, without exception, whether it be the authority of Bloody Nicholas or of the Bolshevik-Communists. We Makhnovists raise the banner of revolt for a total socialist revolution, against every authority, against every oppressor; we are fighting for the free Soviets of the working people.

Follow us, comrades! Let the faint-hearted self-seeker and coward remain at home near someone's skirts - we do not need sissies. But you, honest peasants and workers, your place is with us, among the revolutionary insurgent Makhnovists. We will take no one by force. But remember: the Bolshevik government, through its own brutal violence to the Makhnovists, compels us also to merciless battle.

And so, decide, comrades! Drafted by the commissars, you will be sent against us, and we will be compelled to treat you as hostile and an enemy of the revolution. With us or against us - choose!

Insurgent Makhnovists

June 1920

Source: [Peter Arshinov, History of the Makhnovist Movement, 1918-1921]

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