by Brandon Smith

Wednesday, 06 June 2012

It was August 19th, 1920.  A military detachment of Red Army soldiers led by Bolshevik authorities steamrolled into the Russian town of Khitrovo to implement a policy known as “Prodrazvyorstka”; resource allocation in the name of national security which led to the confiscation of vital grain supplies and the starvation of millions of peasants.  To be sure, multiple excuses were used to rationalize the program, all in the name of the “greater good”.  But in reality, Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks saw the farming culture of Russia not as human beings, but as mechanisms for feeding city residents and the army; the power centers of the newly formed Communist government.
This attitude of collectivism (and elitism at the highest levels) and the treatment of the food producing subsection of the populace as slaves to the machine predictably generated the desire for civil unrest and even rebellion.  By the time the Red Army had entered Khitrovo, the region was already a tinderbox.  After they had taken everything of value and began to beat elderly men in public view as an example to the rest of the town, a war had ignited.
At the height of what was later called “The Tambov Rebellion”, over 50,000 – 70,000 Russian citizens had taken up arms against their oppressive government, including Red Army soldiers who left their posts to join the cause.  Vastly outnumbered, and technologically outclassed in every way, the guerilla fighters managed to infiltrate multiple levels of Bolshevik society and government, and had struck debilitating hits against Russian infrastructure.  So great was the threat, that Lenin along with Red Army leadership ordered chemical warfare to be used in the forests where guerrillas were thought to be dug in, as well as summary executions of civilians, many of whom were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Concentration camps were built, mostly to house women, children, and elderly people thought to be related to insurgents and to be used as bargaining chips.  Eventually, the rebellion diminished, but not before Lenin was forced to end the policy of Prodrazvyorstka along with many other directives that had angered the Russian public.
The Soviets later attempted to erase all memory of the event, destroying records and removing public figures who might recount what had happened.  However, the fight against collectivist control and state power continued through numerous movements until the break-up of the empire decades after.
Now, many historians and cynics of today would label the Tambov Rebellion an overall failure.  They did not succeed in removing Lenin and the Bolsheviks.  They did not defeat the Red Army.  They did not directly put an end to Prodrazvyorstka, though they did trigger a chain of dominos which forced Lenin’s hand.  There was no glowing victory as there was during the American Revolution centuries before.  The freedom fighters were mostly forgotten until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the release of documentation that had survived the purge.  However, what these men and women did accomplish was to set an example; to remind us of the ongoing and inevitable battle between oppressive establishments and the people they seek to dominate.
Even in the nightmare world of communist Russia, from the conquests of Lenin, to the terrors of Stalin, even in the face of organized and energized tyranny, people decided to fight rather than quietly live in servitude.  The lesson we are taught by the Tambov Rebels is that there is no such thing as unassailable empire, that free thinking people will ALWAYS exist, that the drive for independence is inborn and inherent, and that no oligarchy will stand unopposed for very long.
Another lesson we learn, is that defiance is a virtue unto itself.  It is its own means, and its own end.  Wherever people seek truth, and honor, no consequence is foreboding enough to stop them.  Defiance takes no notice of the threat of death.
Some may question the example of the rebellion described above and its relevance to our times.  “Surely”, they will say, “the days of concentration camps, martial law, food confiscation, and general war against the people by most governments are long gone.”  We are living in more “civilized times”, where technology and reason prevail.  The gullibility of this world view is hard to ignore…
In fact, Americans today may very well bear witness to similar or far worse tragedies in the coming years if current presidential directives and congressional legislation are any indication.  It has become obvious that the Patriot Acts which many in the public rolled over for (under some protest) were a mere warm up to policies like the following:

FISA: An overarching domestic surveillance bill which joins the cooperative efforts of corporations and government agencies.

…Read the details on the rest of the categories at


The John Warner National Defense Authorization Act:

Presidential Directive 51:

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2012):

Assassination Programs:

National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order:

Internment And Resettlement Operations:

These are covered in detail, with links to supporting documentation at

Worth the read!