chapter  19
8 Pages

The Myth of Bukharin’s Anarchism

WithSidney Heitman

This chapter shows that the claim is baseless, which underscores the need to reevaluate prevailing opinion of Nikolai Bukharin's career and thought—a process that has already begun in the Soviet Union and in the West but still has far to go. The origin of the myth of Bukharin's anarchism dates back to two sets of events early in his career that have been generally misunderstood or intentionally distorted until now. One was a dispute between Bukharin and Vladimir Lenin in 1916; the other, the radical position commonly ascribed to Bukharin in the years immediately following the revolutions of 1917. It is clear, then, that despite the progress that has been made toward rectifying the historical record of Bukharin's life and accomplishments, serious misconceptions still exist. The chapter deals with only one such aberration—the long-held myth of his anarchism during one stage in his career.