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Serge, Victor (1890–1947)

Jeff Shantz


Victor Serge is considered a leading Russian intellectual and critic of both the former Soviet Union and capitalist states of the West. His numerous works on socialism and revolution include What Everyone Should Know about State Repression (1926) and Memoirs of a Revolutionary (1951), books that remain widely read. Born Victor Lvovich Kibalchich in Brussels to a family exiled from Russia for participation in the Narodnik peasant movement and People's Will direct action group, his youthful experiences of extreme poverty shaped a lifelong commitment to social and economic justice and the belief in the necessity of revolutionary social transformation. Serge became actively involved in the anarchist movement in Paris, imprisoned for the first time in 1914 for his connection to the Bonnot Gang , an anarchist organization in France. Initially, he was an outspoken advocate of individualist anarchism and illegalism that engaged in criminal activity. However, as expressed in writings for the popular journal L'Anarchie , Serge shifted his activities to working-class syndicalism through first-hand experiences in Spain, where he lived in 1917 and 1918 after his release from prison and before moving to the Soviet Union. With the 1917 Russian Revolution Serge became actively involved with the Bolsheviks in Moscow and Petrograd. For Serge, the anarchists failed to offer a practical ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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