In December 1972 – January 1973 together with Vasily Minorsky, Tarasov has founded a clandestine radical left group called the "Party of New Communists" (PNC) (Russian: Партия новых коммунистов (ПНК)), and became the group's informal leader in the summer of 1973. In 1974 PNC merged with another clandestine radical left group called “Left School" (Russian: Левая школа) to form the “Neo-Communist Party of the Soviet Union" (NCPSU) (Russian: Неокоммунистическая партия Советского Союза (НКПСС)). Tarasov has become one of the NCPSU leaders and theorists, writing the party program, The Principles of Neo-communism (Russian: Принципы неокоммунизма) in 1974. The KGB arrested him in 1975. Upon preliminary imprisonment and a yearlong confinement in a special psychiatric hospital he was released because the NCPSU case was never brought to trial. In the psychiatric hospital Tarasov was subjected to cruel treatment and (de facto) to torture (beatings, ETC – electroconvulsive therapy, induced hypoglycemia, injection of large doses of neuroleptics) all resulting in severe somatic disorders, which A.Tarasov has been suffering from since his release, leaving him virtually disabled (Hypertonia, Ankylosing Spondylitis, liver and pancreas diseases). After his release, Tarasov participated in restoration of NCPSU, which he had led until its self-dissolution in January 1985. In 1988, two State Psychiatric Commissions examined Tarasov and found him completely psychologically healthy. (Also read: Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union)
In 1984 Tarasov started publishing his works (under a pseudonym) in the USSR ("samizdat") and in foreign press. In 1988, his articles started appearing (under pseudonyms) in independent press and from 1990 he has been publishing his works in independent and official press under his own name.
In 1988 he founded the "Independent Archive" (from 1990: "Independent Archive – Independent Sociological Service") and in 1991 he became an associate at the Centre for New Sociology and the Study of Applied Politics "Phoenix" (Russian: Центр новой социологии и изучения практической политики "Феникс"). In 2004, he became a co-director of "Phoenix" and, in February 2009, its Director.
In the first half of 1993 Tarasov was one of the three editors of a monthly magazine called The House of the Unions, published by the same team as Solidarnost (Russian: Солидарность (Solidarity), the newspaper founded by the Moscow Federation of Trade Unions (MFP) (currently the newspaper of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia). The magazine had a circulation of 30,000. In his address to the readers of the first issue A.Tarasov has noted that The House of the Unions makes it its mission to "update Socialist thought" and "create a theory that matches current reality." After just five issues the magazine was closed down by Andrey Isaev, Editor in Chief of "Solidarnost", for non-conforming to the political line of MFP, i.e. for "excessive" radicalism.
In the second half of 1993 Tarasov was a member of the editorial board of the newspaper The Working Class Action; in 1993–1994 – a member of the editorial board of a counterculture magazine Vugluskr (Russian: Вуглускр); in the mid-1990s – political adviser for a radical student union "Students’ Advocacy".
In 2002 he was one of the founders, compilers and a scientific editor of a book series Zero Hour: Contemporary World Anti-Bourgeois Thought (Russian: "Час "Ч". Современная мировая антибуржуазная мысль" – “Gilea” Publishing House). He followed this with two additional book series: Class Struggle (German: Klassenkampf; co-edited with Boris Yuliyevich Kagarlitsky – "Ultra.Culture" Publishing House) in 2005, and The Rose of the Revolution (Russian: "роЗА РЕВОлюций") in 2006 (“Cultural Revolution” Publishing House). These series include modern left-wing socio-political literature (mainly foreign).
On November 4, 1995, Tarasov was the victim of an unprovoked assault near his house: after calling him by name, unknown attackers beat him so severely that he lost consciousness (although he tried to defend himself). The attackers escaped with his passport, but did not take a large sum of money and valuables. Police opened a criminal investigation into the assault, but the attackers have never been found.
In 2008, neo-Nazis included A. Tarasov on the list of their enemies who must be physically exterminated. The list was published on radical right-wing sites.
Political differences with contemporary dissenters
Tarasov is known among Russian anarchists as a consistent critic, primarily of the practice of anarchism as fruitless and unpromising, and, to some extent, of its theory as outdated and unscientific. Tarasov's criticism has caused open animosity towards him among anarchists.
Tarasov's reaction to 2011–2012 Russian protests was negative. He criticized the protests from the left, considering them to be the movement of petit bourgeoisie and "consumers' rebellion" alien to the goals and objectives of left-wing forces in Russia and irrelevant to the revolutionary struggle against capitalism.
Between 2002 and 2012 Tarasov actively participated (behind the scene) in publication of the Scepsis journal (Russian: Скепсис), also contributing to its online version (from May 2003). He was responsible for some of the publications on the journal's website, collaborated with authors and translators as an editor and a curator. He had a noticeable influence on the political and theoretical stance of the journal, which is evident in the journal's and the website's mission statement, documenting some of Tarasov's theoretical ideas, such as: defining the bureaucrat-bourgeoisie as the ruling class of modern Russia; characterization of Russia as a society of degrading peripheral capitalism; distinguishing between the concepts of "intellectuals" and "intelligentsia"; recognition of the rudimentary level of the left movement in Russia, etc. In addition, the mission statement of Scepsis contains references to five of Tarasov's writings. It is also known that A. Tarasov was one of the authors of the Scepsis'smanifesto entitled "Do Not Fall into the Same Trap!" and dedicated to the "Bolotnaya" protests of 2011. His input into the manifesto was the idea of the necessity to organise grassroots "clusters of resistance… at work, at school, and in the neighbourhoods".
In 2012 A. N. Tarasov left the Scepsis due to ideological and political differences with the majority of its Editorial Board members, most of whom were the students and followers of Yuri Semenov. Tarasov's departure was preceded by his public polemics with Semenov.
Recognition and awards
Tarasov is an accomplished prose and poetry writer (since 1992). He is also a translator from English and Spanish (since 1997). Tarasov's works have been published, apart from Russia, in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Spain, Greece, Finland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Serbia, India, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Argentina, Cuba, Panama, South Africa, Morocco, Réunion, New Zealand, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, as well as in unrecognized Transnistria and Donetsk People's Republic. He is a laureate of the prizes of several literary magazines: “Druzhba Narodov” (Fraternity of Peoples, Russian: «Дружба Народов» (2000), “Yunost" (Youth, Russian: «Юность» (2001) and "Oktyabr'" (October, Russian: «Октябрь» (2011).
"Провокация. Версия событий 3–4 октября 1993 г. в Москве". – М.: Центр новой социологии и изучения практической политики "Феникс", 1993. ("The Provocation. A Version of Events in Moscow on October 3–4, 1993". – Moscow: Center for New Sociology and Research in Applied Politics "Phoenix", 1993)
"Правда о Югославии". — Пермь: ОПОР, 1993. ("The Truth About Yugoslavia". — Perm': OPOR, 1993 (co-author)
"Провокация. Версия событий 3–4 октября 1993 г. в Москве. — Постскриптум из 1994–го". — М.: Центр новой социологии и изучения практической политики "Феникс", 1994. ("The Provocation. A Version of Events in Moscow on October 3–4, 1993. — Post scriptum from 1994". — Moscow: Center for New Sociology and Research in Applied Politics "Phoenix", 1994)
"Политический экстремизм в России". — М.: Информационно-экспертная группа "Панорама", 1996. ("Political Extremism in Russia". — Moscow: Information-expert group "Panorama", 1996 (co-author)
"Политический экстремизм в России". — М.: Институт экспериментальной социологии, 1996. ("Political Extremism in Russia". — Moscow: Institute of Experimental Sociology, 1996 (co-author). ISBN5-87637-043-6
"Левые в России: от умеренных до экстремистов". — М.: Институт экспериментальной социологии, 1997. ("The Left Wing in Russia: From Moderate to Extremists". — Moscow: Institute of Experimental Sociology, 1997 (co-author). ISBN5-87637-006-1
"Очень своевременная повесть. Феминистка как стриптизёрша: культурологический анализ". — М.: Издательство Академии Искусства и Науки XXI века "Норма", 1999. ("A Very Timely Novel. A Feminist as a Stripper: Culturological Analysis". — Moscow: "Norma" Publishing House (the Academy of 21st Century Art and Science), 1999). ISBN5-85302-194-X
"Революция не всерьёз. Штудии по теории и истории квазиреволюционных движений". — Екатеринбург: "Ультра.Культура", 2005. ("Not A Serious Revolution. Study of the Theory and History of Quasi-Revolutionary Movements". — Yekaterinburg: "Ultra.Culture" Publishing House, 2005). ISBN5-9681-0067-2
"Le rouge et le noir. Extrême droite et nationalisme en Russie". ("The Red and the Black: The Extreme Right and Nationalism in Russia") — Paris: CNRS Éditions, 2007 (co-author). ISBN978-2-271-06505-6.
"XX əsr radikalı üçün Erix Fromm irsi. — Fromm E. Marksın insan konsepsiyası". — Bakı: Solfront, 2012. (Fromm E. "Marx’s Concept of Man". Tarasov A. "The Legacy of Erich Fromm for a Radical of the End of XX – Beginning of XXI Century". — Baku: Solfront, 2012). ISBN978-9952-444-73-5.
^Тарасов, А.Н (2005). "Полемика с Александром Шубиным". Из книги: "Революция не всерьёз. Штудии по теории и истории квазиреволюционных движений".Екатеринбург, издательство "Ультра.Культура", 2005. ISBN5-9681-0067-2. (Tarasov, A. "Polemics with Alexander Shubin" (from the book: "Not A Serious Revolution. Study of the Theory and History of Quasi-Revolutionary Movements". Yekaterinburg, “Ultra.Culture” Publishing House, 2005).
^ abТарасов, А.Н (2007). "Возвращение на Лубянку: 1977–й". Журнал Неприкосновенный запас (2). (Tarasov, A. "The Return to Lubyanka – Year 1977". "Neprikosnovennyj Zapas" (Emergency Ration) Magazine, 2007, No.2).
^(Russian) Потапов, В. "Дом Союзов". Журнал "Община" (49). (Potapov, V. "The House of the Unions", Obshchina, No. 49).
^Tarasov, A (January–February 2001). "Offspring of Reforms – Shaven Heads Are Skinheads. The New Fascist Youth Subculture in Russia". Russian Politics and Law. 39 (1): 43–89. doi:10.2753/RUP1061-1940390143. S2CID144644768.
^(Russian) Тарасов, А.Н (2010). "Субкультура футбольных фанатов в России и правый радикализм". Из сборника статей: "Русский национализм между властью и оппоцизией". Москва, Центр "Панорама", 2010. ISBN978-5-94420-039-6. (Tarasov, A. "The Subculture of Football Fans in Russia and Right-Wing Radicalism" (from the compilation of articles: "Russian Nationalism Between the Power and the Opposition". Moscow, “Panorama” Centre, 2010).
^(Russian) (2007). "Антология позднего Троцкого". М.: Алгоритм, Эксмо, серия "Философский бестселлер". 2007. – 606 с. ISBN978-5-9265-0313-2. (An anthology of Trotsky's later works. "Philosophical Bestseller" series. Moscow: Algorithm and Eskmo publishing houses, 2007) –.
^(Russian) Бадью А. "Можно ли мыслить политику? Краткий трактат по метаполитике". М.: Логос, 2005. – 239 с. ISBN5-8163-0068-7. (Badiou A. "Can a politician think? A brief tractate on metapolitics". Moscow: Logos publishing house, 2005) —.
^(Russian) Касториадис К. "Воображаемое установление общества". М.: Гнозис; Логос, 2003. – 479 с. ISBN5-8163-0047-4. (Castoriadis C. "The Imaginary Institution of Society". Moscow: Gnosis and Logos publishing houses, 2003) —.
^(Russian) Панфилов, О.В. "Нарушения прав журналистов и прессы на территории СНГ: ноябрь, 1995 год". Независимая газета, 14 декабря 1995 г. (Panfilov, O.V. "Violations of the rights of journalists and media workers in the CIS countries: November, 1995". Nezavisimaya Gazeta, December 14, 1995).
^(Russian) Баранов, А.Ю. "Пострадали… незаметно. Террор против левой прессы". Правда, 9 ноября 1995 г. (Baranov, A.Yu. "Harmed...without being noticed. Terror against the leftist press". Pravda, November 9, 1995).
^(Russian). "Избит неизвестными…". Общая газета, № 51, 1995 г. ("Beaten by the unknown". Obschaya Gazeta, No. 51, 1995).
^(Russian). "Мониторинг Фонда защиты гласности: ноябрь 95". Законодательство и практика средств массовой информации. № 12, 1995 г. (Monitoring analysis by the "Foundation for the Defense of Glasnost". Media Legislation and Practice. No. 12, 1995).
^(Russian). "Неизвестные, избившие Александра Тарасова, отобрали у него паспорт". ИМА-пресс. – 6 ноября 1995 г. ("The unknown, who beat Alexander Tarasov, took his passport". IMA-press, November 6, 1995).
^(Russian). "Избит политолог Экспертной группы Панорама". Молодёжный канал – Горячая линия. – 6 ноября 1995 г. ("Attack on a politologist from the Information Expert Group Panorama". Youth Channel – Hotline, November 6, 1995).
^Kuzmin, А. (2011). "Русский радикальный национализм в современной России: традиции и эволюция" [Russian Radical Nationalism in Modern Russia: Traditions and Evolution]. Сыктывкар, Издательство Сыктывкарского государственного университета, 2011. Syktyvkar: Publishing House of Syktyvkar State University: 218. ISBN978-5-87237-761-0.
^(Russian) Тарасов, А.Н. "Леворадикалы". Раздел из книги: Тарасов А. Н., Черкасов Г. Ю., Шавшукова Т. В. "Левые в России: от умеренных до экстремистов". Москва, Институт экспериментальной социологии, 1997. (Tarasov, A. "Radical Left". A section from the book: Tarasov, A., Cherkasov, G., Shavshukova, T. “The Left Wing in Russia: From Moderate to Extremists”. Moscow, The Institute of Experimental Sociology, 1997).
^Tarasov, А.Н (2005). "Революция не всерьез. Штудии по теории и истории квазиреволюционных движений" [Not A Serious Revolution. Study of the Theory and History of Quasi-Revolutionary Movements]. Екатеринбург, издательство "Ультра.Культура", 2005. Yekaterinburg: "Ultra.Culture" Publishing House: 10–12, 14, 21–23, 40–66, 69–81, 84–88, 95–101, 121–124, 129–137, 151–153, 157–169, 209–214, 217–220, 226–235, 242–248, 409, 410. ISBN5-9681-0067-2.
^(Russian) Тарасов, А.Н (2009). "Мать беспорядка". Журнал Неприкосновенный запас (5). (Tarasov, A. "Mother of Disorder". "Neprikosnovennyj Zapas" ("Emergency Ration") Magazine, 2009, No.5).
^(Russian) Акай, Л. "Анархисты и "леваки": почувствуйте разницу!". Наперекор. – № 8. (Akai, L. "Anarchists and "lefties": feel the difference!". Naperekor (magazine), No. 8).
^(Russian). "Книга политолога Врунгеля. Полное морально-политическое единство в одном отдельно взятом вопросе". Орган московских анархистов. – 1998, 22 апреля. ("The Book of Vrungel, a political scientist. Full moral and political unity on a single issue". A Publication of Moscow Anarchists, April 22, 1998).
^(Russian) Тарасов, А.Н (December 22, 2011). "Бунт кастратов". Русский журнал. (Tarasov, A. "The Castrates' Riot", "Russkyj Zhurnal" ("Russian Magazine)", December 22, 2011).