Marxist Writers: Victor Serge


Marxists’ Internet Archive

Victor Serge

Victor Serge

1890-1947

“It is often said that ‘the germ of all Stalinism was in Bolshevism at its beginning’. Well, I have no objection. Only, Bolshevism also contained many other germs, a mass of other germs, and those who lived through the enthusiasm of the first years of the first victorious socialist revolution ought not to forget it. To judge the living man by the death germs which the autopsy reveals in the corpse – and which he may have carried in him since his birth – is that very sensible?” – From Lenin to Stalin, 1937.


Biography

Victor Lvovich Khibalchich (better known as Victor Serge) was born in Brussels, the son of Russian Narodnik exiles. Originally an anarchist, he joined the Russian Communist Party on arriving in Petrograd in February 1919 and worked for the newly founded Communist International as a journalist, editor and translator. As a Comintern representative in Germany he helped prepare the aborted insurrection in the autumn of 1923.

In 1923 he also joined the Left Opposition. He was expelled from the party in 1928 and briefly imprisoned. At this time he turned to writing fiction, which was published mainly in France. In 1933 he was arrested and exiled. After an international campaign he was eventually deported from Russia in April 1936 on the eve of the Moscow Show Trials.

Upon arrival in the West he renewed contact with Trotsky but political differences developed and a bitter controversy developed between the two remaining veterans of the pre-Stalinist Russian Communist Party. Escaping from Paris in 1940 just ahead of the invading Nazi troops he found refuge in Mexico. During his last years Serge lived in isolation and died penniless shortly after the 30th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution in November 1947.

MIA is saddened to hear of the death of
Vladimir Kibalchich (1920-2005),
Victor Serge’s son,
revolutionary artist and friend of the MIA.

Appreciation by Susan Weissman

Works:

June 1908

The Illegals

February 1909

Anarchists – Bandits

February 1910

Our Anti-Syndicalism

April 1910

The Revolutionary Illusion

June 1911

The Individualist and society

June 1911

An Honest Gentleman

January 1912

The Bandits

January 1912

Expedients

February 1912

On the Bonnot Affair

January 1912

On the Bonnot Affair

April 1912

Two Lectures

January 1913

Egoism

March 1917

Letter to Emile Armand

May 1919

Frame of mind of the French proletariat

July 1919

Machine Gun (poem)

1920/21

Flame on the Snow (prose)

1923

Observations in Germany

April 1923

Five Years’ Struggle

Mar./Apr. 1924

Lenin in 1917

1926

What everyone should know about repression

Aug. 1926

New Aspects of the Problem of War

Feb. 1927

Bolshevism and Asia

1927/28

The Class Struggle in the Chinese Revolution (5 letters):
First Letter: The Class Struggle in the Chinese Revolution
Second Letter: The Communist Task
Third Letter: The Strength of the Agrarian Revolution – The Red Spears
Fourth Letter: The Outcome of an Experience of Class Collaboration
Fifth Letter

Early 1928

Canton, December 1927 (as Paul Sizoff)

1926–1929

Year One of the Russian Revolution
(Alternative translation of extracts)

1930

Hail the Red Army! (extract from Year One of the Russian Revolution)

1932

Conquered City (novel)

1935

Notes on Russia

1936

Open Letter to André Gide

10 August 1936

Letter to Trotsky

13 August 1936

Letter to Andres Nin

14 August 1936

Letter to Trotsky

29 August 1936

The Death of Ivan Nikitich Smirnov

7-8 November 1936

November 7, 1917

6-7 March 1937

Twenty Years Ago

13 August 1937

Farewell to Andres Nin

December 1937

Portraying the men and events of our times

1938

Marxism in Our Time

1938

Secrecy and Revolution

1938

Twice Met

February 1938

Obituary: Leon Sedov

28 April 1938

Once More: Kronstadt

October 1938

Kronstadt: Trotsky’s Defense. Response to Trotsky

1939

A Letter and Some Notes

1938/ndash;44

Excerpts from the “Notebooks”

1940

On Trotsky’s “Their Morals and Ours”

1944

A New International

1944

The Jewish Question

1944/45

Planned Economies and Democracy

1945

In a time of duplicity

July 1945

Recollections of Maxim Gorki

1945

On the French Anarchists

1945

On Second Congress of Comintern

1945

Kronstadt ’21

1945

On Third Congress of Comintern

undated

Letter to René Lefeuvre

Appendix

The document below was not written by Victor Serge, but was ascribed to him by Trotsky in his polemic against Serge in the essay Moralists and Sychpohants Against Marxism. The text was included in a promotional leaflet for Trotsky’s book Their Morals and Ours, which Serge had translated into French. In his book The Serge-Trotsky Papers, David Cotterill points to suspicions that it may actually have been written by or under the influence of Marc Zborowski (known as Comrade Etienne), who was effectively running the Fourth International in Paris at that time, but was in reality an agent of the NKVD. Whatever the case may be, this document effectively destroyed the relationship between the last two surviving members of the Russian Left Opposition of the 1920s. For this reason we include it here in this archive.

September 1938

On Their Morals and Ours



Last updated on 20.5.2013