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Messages - The_Ferret

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The Russian Revolution / Re: Women Revolutionaries
« on: November 17, 2004, 10:33:14 PM »
I was really intrigued by Fanny Kaplin who tried to kill Lenin.

The Russian Revolution / Re: Lenin
« on: November 17, 2004, 10:27:05 PM »
From today's news wires: Soviet Icon Lenin Died of Syphilis-Experts Say


I heard the same thing. It may have been from when he lived in Switzerland and consorted with prostitutes.

The Russian Revolution / Re: Nestor Makhno
« on: November 17, 2004, 10:24:49 PM »
And don't forget Anarcha-Feminism.  ;)

Hmmmm... You mean as advocated by my sister and comrade Emma Goldman?

She is buried about a mile from where I live.

Rasputin / Re: Rasputin
« on: November 17, 2004, 10:12:18 PM »
What do you think about that (it's already quite old)

some pic about this subject

Miracles about this icons (in Russian):

I did not mention this before but those pictures are just mesmerizing. The two showing the Tsarovich with Rasputin are just breathtaking.

I find it truely amazing how an artist can create beauty out something like that.

In a sense I really feel sad for the Alexei. He was really an innocent victim of a lot of the evil surrounding his life.

     I do agree that there were problems with the early Bolshevic leaders - but I cannot agree that Peter was the Worst Tzar ever! He was certainly more farsighted than Alexander I or Alexander III ...
 Please do tell us - Why are you so down on "Great Peter"?

red Rskkya

Because he enslaved Russian peasants and in some respects made their lives worse than ever. Perhaps no ruler, until the time of Joe Stalin made live more horrible for the average Russian. In his attempt to build St Petersburg he constripted thousands of workers and forced them to toil under slavelike conditions. He forced all males into the army, sometimes for life. He murdered members of the Stralsy by his own hand in a barbaric display of sadism that would have made Caligula jelous. When peasants rightfully rose up to make conditions on their lives easier he suppressed the rebellion with great brutality. Its a shame Charles of Sweden didn't beat Peter at Poltova.

In my opinion the only decent Russian Emporer was Alexander II. Paul was also a decent guy until his worthless son Alexander I murdered him.

The Russian Revolution / Re: Nestor Makhno
« on: November 17, 2004, 08:04:39 PM »

Hey, how does anarchism really work??  ???


It can under proper conditions. Anarchism can ether be violent or passive. Many prominant anarchists, among them Leo Tolstoy believed in peace through absence of govenment. Some forms of anarchism are spiritually based (e.g. Christian Anarchism of Dorothy Day) and others are based on materialist agnosticism.

There are different varieties of anarchism, Anarcho-Syndicalism which holds that producers shal control the economy themselves and that governments should become irrelevent and eventually fall by the wayside. There is Communist Anarchism, popular in Russia in the 19th century. There is Christian Anarchism, corporate anarchism, libertarian anarchism and so on.

If you want to know more check out

To learn more about Nestor Makhno and read some of his writings see:

The Russian Revolution / Re: Nestor Makhno
« on: November 17, 2004, 07:52:49 PM »
What does the poster say? I can only make out the first word 'death'.

"Death to the enemies of the working class".

Hmmmm. The Russian peasantry also expected to be set free by Hitler's invasion; they looked to him as the liberator from Stalin's terror. But, few tyrants ever make good on any populus expectations of kindness and generosity. There may have been some nuance differences between a Napoleonic-controlled Europe of enslaved peoples vs. the Romanovs, but it seems to me that 200 years of time has somewhat wrongly softened the view of Mr. Napoleon.

Good point. While this is not really the place to talk about it, many russians served under Hitler. Many of them in General Andrei Vlasov's Russian Liberation Army. While its true that Hitler didn't give a dam about the Russian people, it shows how desperate their situation was to serve a dictator who considered you to be racially inferrior.

Its also true that a number of Peasants and Cossaks also supported the Swedish King Charles when he invaded Russia and was defeated by Peter the Great at Poltova (I do not remember what year that was but it was somewhere around 1700). It seems that Peter was so disliked by his own people that many Russians would rather serve under a Swedish King.

Given that the USSR has fallen, it is more difficult to place a positive spin on the implementation of Communism in Russia. If we take away that hindsight and the terror of Stalin, was communism a good idea and worth pursuing? Hence, was Revolution in 1917 a good thing to have happened in Russia? Would Russia have been better off if the 1917 Revolution had never occurred?

I believe the revolution did two good things for Russia, 1) Remove the Romonovs from power and 2) End that nations participation in the World War. On the down side, it installed the worlds worst regeim ever, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin together did more to destroy freedom in Russia than any Czar. Not even the most evil Czar of all, Peter "the Great" killed more people than Joe Stalin.

The Russian Revolution / Re: Nestor Makhno
« on: November 16, 2004, 03:15:03 AM »
Yes, being an anarchist I find him to be an amazing personality. He could very well have been the man who showed the world how Anarchism really can work.

Nestor Makhno

Napoleon does indeed get a bad rap from many people. I believe that he indeed was a meglomaniac and a war monger. He ruthlessly suppressed the Jacobins and guilotined their leaders back home. Yet abroad he spread the ideals of te French Revolution.

Perhaps its becase the British and Prussians won at Waterloo that they were able to color history and paint Napoleon as a monster. Even Tolstoy, as enlightened a man as he was showed disfavor to the French Emporer.

Ironically, after the war was done, young Russian officers became intoxicated with the ideas of the west and staged the Decemberist Revolt. It was poorly planned and doomed to failure, yet it marked the beginning of modern revolutionary Russia.

The Russian Revolution / Nestor Makhno
« on: November 15, 2004, 07:01:30 AM »
To this day he is revered as a great hero to many Russian and Ukrainians. I found some of his writings to be quite amazing.  

Did anyone read "Anarchist Revolution"? His manifesto on how he would govern Russia?

I think its interesting to think about what Makhno could have done would he have succeeded in defeating Lenin and the White Armies.

It is particularly interesting to immagine if Russia would have chosen Anarchism rather than Bolshivism. Maybe the world would have been spared the Great Terror of Stalin.

Rasputin / Re: Rasputin
« on: November 15, 2004, 06:46:45 AM »
I heard several different stories about Rasputin. He was known to be an illiterate peasant from Siberia. Though he was described as a monk and a mystic he was also married and had a daughter. It was certainly true that he was by no means celibate or astetic.

One rather strange story, which I cannot confirm but heard from several Russian friends was that was said about him was that he was from a community of Gnostics in Siberia. Siberia had long been a place where obscure religious communities existed, from the ultra Orthodox Old Believers to the hedonistic Doukhobors. Being a Gnostic, Rasputin believed that one cannot be cured of sin unless one knows sin. For that reason he advocated drinking, fornication and drug use.

As far as his healing powers, they were well attested by many sources. He was also said to have been gifted with the gift of prophocy.

Imperial Russian History / Re: Russian Bourgeoisie
« on: November 15, 2004, 06:37:08 AM »
Every once in a while,  there is mentioned on the threads about the life in Imperial Russia being either aristocractic or peasant.  There hasn't been any mentioned about the rising upper middle class  known as the Russian Bourgeoisie.

"With the collapse of the Soviet system, the long-neglected history of the early capitalists is being recovered and rewritten.  Once regarded as the 'losers' in the Russian Revolution, these merchants can now be seen as early pioneers in the Russian's tranformation to a free market ecomony."

This is written onf the book jacket of a very good book titled MERCHANT/MOSCOW, Images of Russia's Vanished Bourgeoise by James L. West and Iurii A. Petrov.

There are marvelous photographs and chapters about business pracices, department stores, daily life in the work place and at home.

For those of you interested in th Old Believers there is a section about them which you will find quite interesting.

Learning about this class may give us a better understanding why their section in historical  Russian timeline is called "the Silver Age".

So,  who were these people who climbed into this upper middle class position in Russia?



The Merchant class had always been part of Russian Society. This is particularly true of Moscow's merchant class. At the time of Peter "The Great" many refused to follow the religious reforms of the Orthodox Church and became "Old Believers". Some joined the rebellion of Stenko Razin as a result. The merchant class was mostly conservative and royalist in political belief. After emancipation of the serfs in 1864 the merchant class was joined by poorer groups of town dwellers. By 1914 many of these acheived some wealth as well. Additionally there were the Jewish townsmen who were a seperate class altogather. Though many Jews had wealth, they had fewer rights than gentiles and often were subjected to violent mob actions, especially from the time of Alexander III onward.

Or to put it a different way, if Napoleon had proclaimed emancipation of the peasant people, could he have defeated the Czarist armies?

I think its an interesting idea. Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn had indicated that Russia would have been a freer nation would the Czar had been defeated.

Interesting to note also, the greatest reforms in Russia always follow military defeat. The Crimean War resulted in emancipation. The Russo-Japanese war resulted in the first Constitution. WW 1 resulted in Revolution. Afghanistan resulted in the fall of communism.

By contrast, great victories always spelled out oppression: Poltava meant more oppression and slavery by Peter "the Great", Napoleonic war put an end to Alexander's Reform. WW 2 was more genocide under Stalin etc.

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