One of the most controversial UK anarchist magazines ever was ‘AUTHORITY’ published as an antidote to ‘ANARCHY’ in the 1970s. Copies of the mag are hard to come by but m’learned friend Phil Guard has just scanned some copies in which I hope to bring you shortly.

Authority No .1 contained an article titled ‘THE MYTH OF KRONSTADT’ exposing anarchist calumnies against the Bolsheviks. Two maps of the Gulf of Finland were shown twenty years apart showing that the island fortress did not e ven exist in 1921 but was built by a Stalinist five year programme completed in 1937. The Trotsky quote ‘shoot them down like patridges’ was also shown to be free of thr sinister meaning attributed by anarchists and was in fact a charming folk song urging people to let their hair down and have a good time.

Authority was not broadly admired within the movement.


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  1. Dora Kaplan

    I reckon the SWP could do with a bit of help from the lads at ‘Authority.’ A bit of timely revisionism would soon establish that there was never really any sexual abuse to cover up at Trot Towers, and the embarassing transcripts of their lunatic internal procedures are really Mr Kimber’s attempts at a modern rendering of ‘As I roved out one morning,’

  2. b

    The article in Authority by the radical policeman who was trying to organise with comrades in his workplace along anarchist and libertarian communist lines was hilarious. Demands included the abolition of police uniform. Those with experience of ‘Case Con’, the movement of radical social workers, must have loved it!

    But…if I’m not mistaken, the Kronstadt article was (spuriously) signed ‘Albert Meltzer’. Might there have been a big dollop of middle-class contempt against him for not being a ‘proper’ historian, from posh boys and girls who thought that people from below stairs shouldn’t express opinions, research stuff, teach them stuff, etc.?

    Decades of reflection have led me to the conclusion that the answer is ‘yes’. The article is funny…but why sign it AM? I’m not saying the sun shone out of his bum, but what was this level of contempt towards him all about?

    The prime mover behind ‘Authority’ is now a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

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