Alexey Borovoy

The last of the Mohicans! The systematic uprooting of independent thought has finally reached Borovoy. To think otherwise than the Bolshevik state ordains has become an ever greater crime during the twelve years of Communist rule. The struggle against political offenders, which began immediately after the Bolsheviks assumed the reins of government, continues to be waged most ruthlessly. Some have been shot; all the others are paying with imprisonment and exile. Some time ago the news came that the handful of Anarchists still at large in Moscow had been arrested and exiled to various parts of the Bolshevist empire. Borovoy alone remained. Now he, too, suffers a similar fate, having been doomed to exile for three years.

Professor Alexey Alexeyevich Borovoy belongs to the older generation that was active in our movement long before the World War. With marked individualist tendencies in his writings of the pre-war period, Borovoy joined the Anarchist Communist movement soon after the October Revolution. Intellectual to the tips of his fingers, he could not at once make up his mind as to direct participation in the labor movement which, in 1917, was opening great new propagandistic vistas to the Anarchists. Together with several other intellectuals he organized the “Union of the Idealist Propaganda of Anarchism.” Of that group only two members refused to bow before the omnipotence of Bolshevism. One of them was Borovoy.

As soon as the Anarcho-Syndicalist movement became organized in Moscow, Borovoy joined it and remained true to it to the last. Ever since then he participated in all the manifestations of Anarchist thought - few and far between as they necessarily were -events regularly followed by merciless persecution of those who dared take part in them. Thus Borovoy’s voice was heard at the annual gatherings in memory of Peter Kropotkin, at the Bakunin commemoration meeting, and lately in connection with the exposure of the so-called “mystical Anarchists” in the Anarchist press abroad.

A lecturer at the Moscow University before the war, he lost his Chair upon the accusation of the Bolsheviks who would not allow a non-Marxist to lecture on economics and philosophy. Unfit for physical labor, he was compelled to join the terrifying army of Soviet bureaucracy, to save himself from starvation. But he never hid his opinions and he always gave vent to them whenever and wherever he could. He is an excellent speaker and his melodious voice carried the argument to the very soul of his listeners.

Bolshevism has certainly managed to imprison and exile all the active Anarchists. But it must fail where all the other states and Che-Kas have failed; it cannot destroy Anarchist thought and work.

A. S. (Ibid). [“Bulletin, of the Relief Fund,” November-December 1929]

Professor Alexey Borovoy died in 1936 in Wiatka [Viatka] exile.

From: The Guillotine at Work, p. 594-595..