DJ Wez G - the finest House Music, Chillout and Drum & Bass close ×
+

Review: Memoirs of a Revolutionary – by Victor Serge

memoirs of a revolutionary

This is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read, a first witness account of some of the most important world events of the first half of the twentieth century, a rich period for revolutionary events and the author, Victor Serge, a Belgian born Russian, is perfectly poised to give detailed personal encounters with many of the key protagonists. Serge is a revolutionary, who participates in the Russian Revolution from 1919 as a core Bolshevik. He meets and works with Lenin and Trotsky and his European roots make him critical to the emerging infrastructure of Soviet Russia. Serge writes often with a critical frankness of the core movements of which he is part, a fact that later endangers him as (correctly identified by the author) the Revolution seeps into Totalitarianism, culminating in the great Stalinist Purges of the 1930s. Initially the book flirts with the rising tide of working class socialism in Western Europe. Paris is a hotbed for leading international figures of the Left. Later, in Barcelona, Serge makes key contacts that will come into fruition for his analyses of the Spanish Civil War. From there he embarks for his never seen before motherland (his family were anti-Tsarist exiles). The post 1917 revolution is enduring its honeymoon, yet the whole survival of the Bolsheviks comes within a blink of an eye as the Civil War almost leads to their destruction in Petrograd as the Whites make gains. Serge, as he moves up the ranks, rapidly becomes disillusioned with the turn that the Revolution is taking. He warns against the Cheka and GPU. He is a peaceful man and holds onto the non-violent tenets of socialism. Later, when the party splits – Serge is a key figure in the alliance against the Party Centre and Politburo, which culminates in his expulsion from the Party and exile in Orenburg. His suffering in prison shows how lucky he was to retain his life, in a period where the executioner’s bullet was only ever a step away and was freely used. Serge’s fame as an author, especially in France, managed, through international outcry, to keep him and his young family away from the true harshness of life as an exile and ultimately secured his freedom back to Western Europe. The outbreak of world war was predicted by this great political visionary. His tracts against Stalinism often made him an enemy of…

Read more

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus
pinterest

Police Brutality and Mental Health – PART 2

nazi jackboot

In this second post about my experiences of police brutality and mental health, I wish to discuss the nature of problems affecting diagnosed mental health victims when it comes to attempting to conventionally use police services. If you’ve ever been a mental inpatient you are probably aware that the police’s jurisdiction does not extend to mental hospitals. There is no protection for incarcerated patients no matter how many times you contact police. Therefore you are forced to deal with crime inside a hospital environment on your own. This in itself is dangerous, especially when often it is the polices themselves who have removed you to the locked environment. I suppose, it could be argued that it makes sense not to want to seek help from an organisation that works on behalf of the secret prison system that is mental health lockup. The problem I have found, is that once back in the community, attempting to build up your life, should you ever require the assistance of the police in a conventional way. To report a crime or anything else, you do not get standard service that a public user of their service might expect. This dilemma is created by, despite diagnosed mental illness not (yet) being a criminal offence, it is recorded by the police and you do show on their system as being diagnosed mentally ill. When you call 999 or 101, caller display and police monitoring systems indicate immediately and you are flagged as a ‘mentally ill’ customer. I first encountered the reality of this situation over a decade ago when, during a business dispute whereby some of my business’ equipment was illegally seized and I was attempting to recover it I was held hostage on someone else’s business premises with active threats of violence which I feared could result in murder. I felt I had no real alternative but to report the matter to the police, from a question of personal safety as much as anything else. Luckily, I had a mobile phone so I dialled 999 and reported the matter from within my locked environment. After about 15 minutes the police turned up at the location. they entered the premises where the owner was actually in the room with me. The police entered, and despite me having given a lucid sane account of the crime I alleged, the police did nothing to the person I was…

Read more

Share : facebooktwittergoogle plus
pinterest