AHC: Anarchist victory in the Russian Civil War

A conflict that has always fascinating me is the Russian Civil War, and this is in no small part due to the diverse array of factions and ideologies that existed alongside the larger Red and White armies. Among these smaller factions that interest me the most were the short-lived anarchist governments created within Russia that were, for all intents and purposes, often pretty successful up until the Bolsheviks invaded. It's also worth pointing out that there were a handful of anarchists, such as Alexander Schapiro, that worked with the Bolsheviks before being ousted from the regime.

In OTL, none of these groups or ideologies really ever had a chance at winning the Russian Civil War due to, among other things, their size, but the challenge here is to find a way to make an anarchist movement emerge victorious in an alternate Russian Civil War, be it through Makhnovia somehow gaining support throughout wider Russia, the Kronstadt Rebellion being successful, a coalition of anti-Bolshevik leftists emerging, the Bolsheviks themselves going down a very different ideological path before the Russian Civil War begins ITTL, etcetera. Also, assuming the anarchists do emerge victorious in the Russian Civil War, what would such a nation look like going forward with regards to both its domestic and foreign policy?
 
That really depends on what kind of anarchism you are talking about.

Firstly, you need a coherent ideology to unify the anarchists around, and the support of enough other factions. Maybe anarcho-syndicalism, or anarcho-communism?

In regards to domestic and foreign policy, that really depends on how it wins, who is in charge, and what does everyone else think about it. Such a Anarcho-Russia will hardly be seen as any better than the USSR was by foreign powers.

I think you might have to get anarchism (or some flavour of it) to be the primary revolutionary anti-establishment movement, as opposed to Marxism, which necessitates a 19th century POD. My guess would be anarcho-syndicalism.
 
Apparently, there was a congregation of anarchists, including Left-SRs, following the 1905 Revolution to decide on future anarchist action in Russia that was discovered and suppressed by local law enforcement. If the meeting results in a unified Russian anarchist front, this could make for a good POD to have anarchism become the leading strain of leftist, especially given that the Bolsheviks are in their infancy at this point.
 
So during the 1920s you get a massive collapse in production at the same time as a new ruling class develops out of coordinating bodies. In the 1930s this takes on a state character and either or both of the urban working class and the peasantry are turned upon by the state. Through the 1930s the state becomes more and more determined by the value form relations and eventually engages in forced industrialisation based on primary accumulation from the countryside.
 
So during the 1920s you get a massive collapse in production at the same time as a new ruling class develops out of coordinating bodies. In the 1930s this takes on a state character and either or both of the urban working class and the peasantry are turned upon by the state. Through the 1930s the state becomes more and more determined by the value form relations and eventually engages in forced industrialisation based on primary accumulation from the countryside.
Depends on how the anarchist movement organizes itself during the Russian Civil War IMO. Historical anarchist and libertarian socialist organizations that lasted for a few years (including during the Russian Civil War) never had a new ruling class come to power, and as long as you avoid the creation of some kind of military junta or "anarchist" version of democratic centralism, I'd actually say that it's likely that an anarchist Russia stays anarchist and thoroughly democratic like a number of Russian anarchist societies were during this time period.
 
Orwell on the changes in Barcelona and the CNT/FAI’s incorporation into government.

The peasant and petits bourgeois rural production will determine the situation: productivity will collapse as peasant choose leisure over labour. And a body of factory workers will independently discover what we called the Ural Siberian method.
 
Orwell on the changes in Barcelona and the CNT/FAI’s incorporation into government.

The peasant and petits bourgeois rural production will determine the situation: productivity will collapse as peasant choose leisure over labour. And a body of factory workers will independently discover what we called the Ural Siberian method.
I think the IRL outcomes of anarchist revolutions show that, assuming there isn’t an undemocratic ruling clique during the revolution, typically a ruling class doesn’t take control of anarchist societies. The Neozapatismo organization in southern Mexico, which is for all intents and purposes is an anarchist-esque society, has been around for well over twenty years at this point without a ruling oligarchy rising to power, and I think this is because it’s very difficult for oligarchies to emerge out of these very decentralized societies where there isn’t much of a central apparatus to take control of. In Russia, which is an extremely large territory that would likely have a ton of regional devolution of powers in this scenario, I think this would only be exaggerated. But if an oligarchy does take over an anarchist Russia, I think the most likely way it would happen is if a Makhno-esque army that wields considerable social influence turns on the autonomy of the communes or syndicates or whatever and de facto seizes control as a military junta.
 
The big obstacle to anarchist success in a lot of revolutions is that non-anarchist socialists and communists are more ready to use violence to suppress the anarchists than anarchists are to suppress more authoritarian communists. And that only intensifies when you consider right-wing factions like the Whites in Russia.

This is not to say anarchist revolts cannot succeed (Rojava and the Zapatistas say hi) but it's far harder when faced with a group like the Bolsheviks who were prepared to defend what they defined as a revolutionary society by any means necessary (and it gets worse with for instance fascist societies, though that's less relevant to Russia)).
 
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The big obstacle to anarchist success in a lot of revolutions is that non-anarchist socialists and communists are more ready to use violence to suppress the anarchists than anarchists are to suppress more authoritarian communists. And that only intensifies when you consider right-wing factions like the Whites in Russia.

This is not to say anarchist revolts cannot succeed (Rojava and the Zapatistas say hi) but it's far harder when faced with a group like the Bolsheviks who were prepared to defend what they defined as a revolutionary society by any means necessary (and it gets worse with for instance fascist societies, though that's less relevant to Russia)).
That's true. I think that's why for an anarchist movement in Russia to be successful, the Bolsheviks would have to be out of the picture or, with different people in charge, supportive of the anarchists (although for this to be a possibility there'd have to be an anarchist movement larger than the alternate Bolsheviks by the time 1917 comes around).

Either way, given what most prominent anarchist movements in Russia adhered to during this time period, I think the most likely government structure in a successfully anarchist Russia would be a mix of anarcho-syndicalism and anarcho-communism, which would be interesting to see play out. I'd imagine that debates between which system to fully embrace would define a lot of post-revolutionary Russian politics.
 
I'm wondering how much of the former Russian Empire would this hypothetical anarcho-Russia be able to hold onto.
Depends on where the anarchists initially seize power and if they pursue an expansionist policy IMO. If the historical anarchist Russian revolutions, which were often in the west, are anything to go off of, I actually think that the anarchists could have similar borders to OTL's USSR so long as interactions with neighboring states follow a similar route.
 
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