Author Topic: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?  (Read 43800 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Kurt Steiner

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #60 on: February 24, 2007, 04:10:00 AM »
Destroying the past is a human feature, methinks. We destroy what we hate, what hurts us, because we can't stand it or because those objects are symbols of something we don't like. It's absurd, but it's just part of our nature.

Quote
  I asked him:
   "Is there no on who can open the Emperor's eyes to the real situation?"
   He heaved a despairing sigh.
   "The Emperor is blind!"

Interesting...

Offline James1941

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 399
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #61 on: February 25, 2007, 02:23:26 PM »
I am not exactly sure what Vasa is referring to when saying that "they" destroyed many beautiful jewels and other things. In fact, the Soviets destroyed very little of the imperial past but tried to preserve it and use it.
With the exception of statues to Alexander II and Alexander III and Nicholas II, the Soviets destroyed very little of the past. And one might argue these statues weren't very good to begin with. And, they actually didn't destroyed them, just removed them from sight. The palaces were turned into museums, wedding chapels, offices, and sanitoriums. That is why we can visit them today. The destruction was during World War II and the Germans are to blame. Then, after the war the Soviets carefully restored these palaces. The jewels were also preserved. A good many were sold to gather foreign currency and today these adorn the heads of royalty and the rich. The rest are preserved in the Diamond Fund and visitors can go and see and admire them today. On the whole the Soviets record here is quite good. They can be blamed for may horrible things, but wanton destruction of the past is not one of them. With one exception, that of churches. Stalin did order the desecration and destruction of churches, although even many of these survived and are being restored today.

Offline Peter C

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #62 on: November 16, 2007, 05:56:24 AM »
Western ambassadors were scarely in the thick of things. Please consult Ten Days that Shook the World, by John Reed.

Offline Zvezda

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 146
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #63 on: February 27, 2008, 03:47:32 PM »
On the basis of a profound study of world history and of the conditions under which capitalist society arose and development, its laws of development, and the antagonistic contradictions it contained, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels discovered the objective laws of social development. They proved the inevitability of a socialist revolution, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the transition of society from the capitalist socio-economic system to that of communism. Lenin further developed all aspects of the Marxist theory of socialist revolution in the age of imperialism, the period when revolution came onto the agenda as an immediate practical task of the proletarian class struggle. Lenin scientifically proved that the world capitalist system had fully ripened for the socialist revolution by the beginning of the 20th century and that the imperialist stage is the eve of the socialist revolution.

The combination of feudal, capitalist, and national oppression with the political despotism of the autocracy made the situation unbearable for the masses of people and lent special sharpness to the class condtradictions in Russia. A revolutionary situation developed in the country and resulted in the first Russian bourgeois democratic revolution of 1905-07. This was the first prologue of the October Socialist Revolution.

The Russian proletariat approached the decisive political battles of 1917 with a great revolutionary tradition. It already had behind it the experience of the people’s revolution of 1905-07 and the subsequent class battles. The war resulted in tremendous breakdown of the productive forces. There was a general breakdown in industry, transport, and agriculture. The railroads were unable to handle the freight load because of the shortage of locomotives and railroad cars. Industry suffered from a severe shortage of feul and raw materials. The grain harvest in 1916 was reduced from that of 1913 by 1.6 billion poods. Russia’s financial dependence on foreign governments grew tremendously.

The SR-Menshevik leadership of the soviets considered Russia not to be prepared for the socialist revolution and assumed that in the process of the bourgeois democratic revolution power could go to the bourgeoisie. Therefore, this leadership came to an agreement with the capitalist-landlord parties of the Cadets and Octobrists and created conditions allowing them to take power. On March 15 the bourgeois Provisional Government was established, headed by Prince Lvov. The Provisional Government was able to retain power only because of the cooperation of the soviets. In fact, dual power had been established in the country: it consisted of the Provisional Government, the organ of the bourgeois dictatorship, on the one hand, and the soviets workers and soldiers deputies, the revolutionary dictatorship of the workers and peasants, on the other.

The Februarry Revolution did not resolve the fundamental questions on the minds of the people, questions concerning an end to the imperialist war and the conclusion of peace, the elimination of the system of large land ownership, labor questions, and the abolition of national oppression. The bourgeois Provisional Government, supported by the collaborationist parties of the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries, pursued an imperialist policy against the popular interests. The revolutionary Russian proletariat could not stop at the bourgeois democratic revolution, and as Lenin foresaw, its transformation into a socialist revolution was inevitable. Only a socialist revolution could resolve the pressing problems of social progress—the need to eliminate the bourgeois-landlord system in Russia, put an end to all forms of social and national oppression, and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat with the aim of building a socialist society.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2008, 03:50:34 PM by Zvezda »

Offline Zvezda

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 146
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #64 on: February 27, 2008, 03:51:50 PM »
One of the most crucial questions was that of war and peace. In a diplomatic note of 1 May the minister of foreign affairs P.Miliukov, expressing the Provisional Government’s desire to carry the war through “to a victorious conclusion” aroused broad indignation and brought the revolutionary masses out in open antigovernment demonstrations. On May 1-4 about 100 thousand workers and soldiers of Petrograd, and after them the workers and soldiers of other cities, led by the Bolsheviks, demonstrated under banners reading “Down with the war!” and “all power to the soviets!” The mass demonstrations resulted in a crisis for the Provisional Government. Under pressure from the revolutionary forces, two ministers were removed from the Provisional Government, Miliukov and A.Guchkov, the minister of the navy. The SR-Menshevik leaders decided to create a coalition cabinet. Thus the first coalition government was formed on 18 May. With Prince Lvov as chairman. Joining the government along with representatives of the bourgeois-landlord parties (Cadets and Octoberists) were t wo Mensheviks I.Tsereteli and M.Skobelev and two SRs A.Kerenesky and V.Chernov. The creation of the coalition government did not change the class nature of the government or the antipopular policies it pursued.

On July 1 about 500 thousand workers and soldiers in the capital demonstrated for the demands “all power to the soviets”, “down with the war”, and “down with the ten capitalist ministers.” Carrying out the wishes of American, British, and French imperialists, as well as Russian imperialists, and with the support of the Congress of Soviets assured, the Provisional Government opened an offensive against the Germans on 1 July, but it soon collapsed. The news of the offensive and its collapse intensified the struggle of the proletariat and the soldiers. A new crisis in the Provisional Government began on 15 July. On July 16 spontaneous demonstrations of workers and soldiers began in Petrograd, demanding that power be turned over to the soviets. The Central Committee of the RSDLP provided the leadership to the spontaneous movements of the masses in order to keep it peaceful and well-organized. On July 4 a peaceful demonstration was held in Petorgrad with more than 500 thousand participants. By order of the Provisional Government, and with the knowledge of the SR-Menshevik Leaders of the All-Russian Executive Committee of the Soviets, there was an armed attack by military officers against the demonstraters. 56 people were murdered and 650 wounded.

The July events represented the last attempt by the revolutionary masses to solve the problem of power by peaceful means. On July 4 demonstrations took place in Moscow and other cities. The SR-Menshevik Central Executive Committee published an appeal in which it declared: “We have recognized the Provisional Government as the government of revolutionary salvation. We have recognized that it should have unlimited powers and unlimited authority.” A period of repression began. On July 5-6 attacks were made on the editorial offices and printing presses of Pravda and on the Palace of Kshesinskaia, where the Central Committee and the Petrograd Committee of the Bolsheviks were located. On 7 July a government decree ordering the arrest and trial of Lenin was published. He was forced to go underground, just as he had been under the tsarist regime. Bolsheviks began to be arrested, workers were disarmed, and revolutionary military units in Petrograd were disbanded or sent off to the front. On July 12 the Provisional Government published a law introducing the death penalty at the front. The formation of the second coalition government, with Kerensky as chairman, was completed on July 24. Dual power came to an end.

Offline Zvezda

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 146
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #65 on: February 27, 2008, 03:53:56 PM »
The struggle of the classes and parties for power grew sharper every day. The distinctions between the conflicting sides became greater, the political isolation of the bourgeoisie and the petit-bourgeois parties grew deeper, and the influence of the Bolshevik Party increased. The bourgeoisie, headed by the Cadets, set out to unleash civil war and attempted to establish an open military dictatorship in the country. A conspiracy of the imperialist bourgeoisie against the revolution was begun, headed by General Kornilov, who had been supreme commander in chief since July 18. This conspiracy was actively supported by the reactionary forces of Britain, France, and the United States. In response to a Bolshevik appeal, Moscow’s working class greeted this congress of reactionaries and conspirators with a protest strike of 400 thousand workers. The Moscow workers were supported by strikes and protest rallies by workers in Koev, Kharkov, Nizhny Novgorod, Ekaterinburg, and other cities. After the Moscow conference, the counterrevolution, headed by the Cadet Party, moved toward the practical realization of its aims. The military-political center for preparations for the coup was set up at the supreme headquarters of the commander in chief in Mogilev. On August 25, General Kornilov began a military revolt and started troops moving toward Petrograd. The conspirators also planned offensives against Moscow, Kiev, and other major cities. The Central Committee of the RSDLP appealed on August 27 to the workers, soldiers, and sailors of Petrograd to come to defense of the revolution. The Bolshevik Party mobilized and organized the masses to defeat the Kornilov revolt. The Red Guard in the capital, which by then numbered about 25 thousand fighters, was supported by the garrison of the city, the Baltic sailors, the railroad workers, the workers of Moscow, the Donbas, the Urals, and other proletarian centers, and the soldiers at the front and in the rear. The revolt was suppressed. The defeat of Kornilov’s revolt disorganized and weakened the counterrevolutionary group, demonstrated the strength of the revolutionary forces, increased the authority of the Bolsheviks, and proved to be one of the decisive stages in the struggle for the victory of the socialist revolution. It signified the unswerving determination of the workers, soldiers, and poor peasants to deal a might blow to the forces of counterrevolution and indicated the tremendous growth of influence of the Bolshevik Party among broad segmenets of the working people of Russia.

A nationwide crisis had matured in the country, embracing all spheres of social, economic, and political relations. The policies of the bourgeois Provisional Government, opposed to popular interests, had brought the country to the brink of a national catastrophe. Disorder in industry and transport had intensified, and difficulties in obtaining provision had increased. Gross industrial production in 1917 had increased by 36.4 percent from what it had been in 1916. From March to October 1917 more than 800 enterprises had been closed down in the country. The production of iron, steel, coal, and petroleum had declined sharply. In the autumn, as much as 50 percent of all enterprises were close ddown in the Urals, the Donbas, and other industrial centers. Mass unemployment had begun. At the same time, the cost of living increased sharply. The real wages of the workers fell about 50 percent from what they had been in 1913. The regime resorted to issuing more paper money and contracting new loans. From the beginning of the war until February 1917 more than 8 billion rubles in paper money had been put into circulation but in the following eight months a total of 9.5 billion was released. In  1917 new paper money was used to cover some 65 percent of budget expenditures. Russia’s national debt in October 1917 had risen to 50 billion rubles. Of this, debts to foreign governments constituted more than 11 billion rubles. The country faced the threat of financial bankruptcy.

Offline Zvezda

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 146
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #66 on: February 27, 2008, 03:56:18 PM »
The class consciousness of the proletariat in the fall of 1917 was indicated by the increased activity of the factory committees, which had been organized at plants and factories everywhere, the growing number of trade unions, and the strengthening of Bolshevik influence in these unions. In October 1917 there were more than 2 million factory and officers workers in trade unions. The strike movement at the time was remarkable for its exceptional stubbornness, high level of organization, and political determination. In September and October there were strikes by the Moscow and Petrograd proletariat, the minersof the Donbas, the metalworkers of the Urals, the oil workers of Baku, the textile worker of the Central Industrial Region, and the railroad workers on 44 different railway lines. In these months alone more than a million workers took part in mass strikes. Workers control over production and distribution established in many factories and plants. This was an indication that the workers movement had risen to the highest stage of development. As a result of the political and economic struggle, the working class had to take power into its own hands.

The working class movement, which was socialist in character, pulled the democratic movement of the peasants along behind it. Until October 1917 there were about 4250 peasant uprisings against the landlords. In August, 690 peasant actions were recorded, and in September and October more than 1300. When the Provisional Government sent out punitive detachments it only enraged the peasants. They would burn, seize or destroy the landlords’ estates, and take reprisals against the most hated landlords, especially the garrison in Petrograd, Moscow, and other cities, the Northern and Western fronts, and the sailors of the Baltic Fleet, who in September openly declared through their elected representative body, the Tsentrobalt, that they did not recognize the authority of the Provisional Government and would not carry out any of its commands.

Only the Leninist Party had a program that could really solve the national question. The Bolsheviks linked the resolution of that question with the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat and for the republic of soviets. At the First All-Russian Congress of Soviets, Lenin declared: “Let Russia be a union of free republics.” The energetic activities of the Bolshevik organizations in the Baltic region, Ukraine, Belorussia, Moldavia, Transcaucasia, the Volga region, Turkestan, and Siberia guaranteed the unity of the struggle for soviet power being waged by the Russian working class and the proletarian and semiproletarian masses of the oppressed peoples.

With Kornilov’s failed putsch, a new stage in the Bolsheivzation of the soviets began. Before that, the soviets of Ivanovo-Voznesensk, Riga, Kronstadt, Orekhovo-Zuevo, and Krasnoiarsk had supported the Bolshevik positions, and after August, the soviets of Ekaterinoslav, Lugansk, and some other cities had as well. During and after the defeat of Kornilov a mass turn of the soviets toward the Bolsheviks began, both in the central and local areas. OOn 31 August the Petrograd Soviet of Workers and Soldiers Deputies and on September 5 the Moscow Soviet Workers Deputies adopted the Bolshevik resolutions on the question of power. The Bolsheviks won a majority in the soviets of Briansk, Samara, Saratov, Tsaritsyn, Minsk, Kiev, Tashkent, and other cities. In one day alone, September 1, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of Soviets received demands from 126 local soviets uring it take power into its own hands. On instructions from the Central Committee of the RSDLP, local Party organizations began a campaign for new elections to the soviets. The new elections gave the Bolsheviks a chance to win a majority in the soviets. In mayn cities prominent Party figures were elected as presidents of local soviets—for example, in Moscow, V.Nogin, in Baku, S.Shaumian, in Samara, V.Kuibyshev; in Cheliabiansk, S.Tsvilling, , and in Shuia, M.Frunze. The slogan “all power to the soviets” was once again placed on the agenda, since the majority of them were not under the leadership of the Bolshevi kParty. But the slogan now indicated the need to wage a struggle to transform the revolutionary Bolshevik soviets into insurrectionary organs aimed against the Provisional Government, organs of struggle for the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Offline Zvezda

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 146
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #67 on: February 27, 2008, 03:57:23 PM »
In the October armed insurrection the Bolshevik Party relied on strong armed forces. The Petrograd Red Guard was in the vanguard of these; in the course of the struggle it had grown to nearly 40 thousand fighters. This armed vanguard of the revolution had the support of 200 thousand Red Guards in other cities in Russia. At the beginning of the insurrection the revolutionary soldiers in the Petrograd garrison numbered more than 150 thousand; the Baltic Fleet, which was on the side of the Bolsheviks, had more than 80 thousand sailors and about 700 combat and auxiliary ships. These mighty armed forces had the support of millions of revolutionary soldiers at the front (especially the Northern and Western) and in the rear-echelon garrisons. In turn, these armed forces rested upon the support of the revolutionary workers and poor peasants of the entire country, who were ready to wage war against capitalism.

The armed insurrection began on October 24. On that day, by order of the Provisional Government, an attack was made by cadets on the print shop of the Bolshevik newspaper Rabochii put and an order was issued for the arrest and trial of members of the Military Revolutionary Committee. On instructions from the Central Committee, the MRC sent soldiers of the Lithuanian regiment and a sapper battalion to the print shop. These forces repulsed the cadets and the printing of the paper resumed. In the afternoon of October 24 the cadets tried to raise the drawbridges across the Neva River in order to cut off the workers districts from the center of the capital. The MRC sent Red Guard units and soldiers to the bridges and placed them all under guard. Toward evening soldiers of the Keksgolm regiment occupied the central telegraph offices, a unit of sailors took over the Petrograd telegraph agency, and soldiers of the Izmailovski regiment took the Baltic railroad station, Revolutionary units blocked off the Pavel, Nikolai, Vladimir, and Konstantin cadet academies.

On the morning of October 25 the MRC adopted Lenin’s appeal “To the Citizens of Russia.” This stated: “The Provisional Government has been deposed. State power has passed into the hands of the organ of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers and Soldiers Deputies—the Revolutionary Military Committee, which is leading the Petrograd proletariat and the garrison.”

At 2240 on October 25, the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets and of Workers and Soldiers Deputies began in Smolni. At the opening of the congress, 390 of the 649 delegates who had arrived were Bolsheviks. The congress proclaimed the transfer of all power to the soviets. On October 26 the Winter Palace was seized and the Provisional Government was arrested. On October 26 the Congress of Soviets adopted the Decree on Peace and the Decree on Land, based on a report by Lenin. In the Decree on Peace, the Soviet power proposed to all the belligerent countries that negotiations begin immediately for a just and democratic peace without annexations or indemnifcations. By the terms of the Decree of Land, landlord ownership was abolished; landlord estates and crown, monastery, and church lands, with all livestock, implements, and buildings, and everything pertaining thereto, were given to the peasants without any compensation. The right of private ownership of land was abolished and replaced by all-national ownership of the land. As a result of the implementation of this decree, the peasants received more than 150 million hectares of land and were freed from annual rent payments to landlords amounting to 700 million gold rubles. The congress elected an All-Russian Central Executive Committee and formed the first Soviet government headed by Lenin. With the establishment of the Soviet government began the building of the Soviet state—a state of a new type, a dictatorship of the proletariat.

Offline Phil_tomaselli

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 314
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #68 on: May 28, 2008, 03:02:06 PM »
Well - yes and no.  Not too sure about the numbers but the general principal stands - the Bolsheviks as a coherent and armed group clearly had more support than the other groups individually or in most combinations of each other (and on the whole they wouldn't combine).  The Decree on Land was meaningless as the Peasants had taken most of it anyway - Lenin was just good at selling to the peasants what they'd already got.  I'd be fascinated to see any evidence of the Provisional Govt ordering attacks on peasants anywhere - but I am blinkered by having to rely on original British sources which make no mention that I've found.

On the whole - Go For It Zvedza - I doubt we'll agree on much but it's interesting to see the Soviet viewpoint being cogently argued - but expect some flak from the descendants of the White diaspora and the romantic and over sentimental Romanov lovers.  No doubt you will be accused of being a Putin apparatchik.......or a former KGB officer..........orworse.

Phil Tomaselli

Offline Tania+

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1206
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #69 on: May 31, 2008, 08:42:15 AM »
My yes, we are entitled as 'free peoples' to fully express our likes, dislikes, love or distance from issues as the Soviet viewpoint, or as decendants of the White Diaspora. As one can read through the many sites here, peoples have done just that. More than just the writers who thumb through and analyze history, the Soviets, the White Diaspora lost more lives than westerners would even begin to note in and of their own lives or countries history. The loss of lives, the insanity and tremendous loss of life of the Russian peoples was a terrible tragedy.

All their children as well see it through much different eyes, thoughts, feelings than westerners. At last though the people of Russia are coming out of their hazed lives and really starting to understand the endless nightmare of the Leninist and Stalinist years. Ptsd is hard to erase when it has been pushed in every conceiveable way on any peoples and children.

Russia I believe needs to work our her problems without any outside interests, or meddling. The peoples of Russia know what they want, don't want. Like any family they need to come together and make sure nothing as communism ever rears its head again. That's what started all this tragedy of a nation and peoples in the first place, 'outside interests'.

Do you honestly think peoples of nations like others to come and tell them how to run their governments, etc.?
It couldn't happen and is not happening where such identifiable 'interests' feel that nation is worth poking their noses into, or where they would profit from it 'big time'. The Russian people outside of the Russian Mafia, (made up of many holigans of the past Soviet team mates) are solidly starting to feel finally 'who they are' and of how they can become a positive nation. I believe in time, it will become more and more democratic, but not the democratic lifestyle as in America or England. I believe also that more and the more the White Diaspora are in many ways helping the new Russia to keep her new found voice and center of being.

In time Russia will once again be solely unto herself and become of positive influence in the global arena. Faith took Russia through the ugly years, and determination and faith once again will bring the Russian peoples to a lasting place of home at last.
TatianaA


Offline Michael HR

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 645
  • Imperial Corps Des Pages
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #70 on: May 31, 2008, 09:55:27 AM »
I think this is one of the most intelligent posts on the site and have enjoyed reading it. It is a question that we will ponder for years due to the complex reasons for the revolution that brought about the abyss for Russia. I agree that the reasons do not fall on Nicholass II alone but his ancestors, the war, bad management of the government and sadly the Tsarina in her involvement with affairs of state -v- the peoples assessment did not assist at all in the minds of the people. Mismanagement across the board by incompetent persons promoted above their abilities reared Russia to the revolution and of course the promise of the ending of the war brought about the second in October.

As things turned out post Lenin and Stalin and I feel the people may have wished they had remained under the Dynasty either by Nicholas or Michael as Emperor or some other member of the family such as GD Nicholas as being one member who was respected by that time.

The revolution was like a car crash in slow motion - by the time it starts it was almost impossible to stop.

Michael HR
Remembering the Imperial Corps Des Pages - The Spirit of Imperial Russia


Offline Elisabeth

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2131
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #71 on: June 01, 2008, 10:15:07 AM »
Let's face it, we can't take the so-called good intentions of the so-called Russian proletariat in 1917 at face value. Russian urban workers were closely tied to the villages, because most of them were peasant recruits or itinerant factory workers, returning to the provinces during the planting and harvest seasons. So whatever you say about the urban Russian worker, he was closely connected to the provincial peasantry, by familial ties, by upbringing, and by loyalty. And in the spring and summer of 1917, the Russian rural peasantry was, whatever Zvezda would have you believe, turning into a MOB, violent, bloodthirsty, and on the march, appropriating the lands of the nobility without any sort of sanction from the revolutionary provisional government in St. Petersburg, setting fire to estates and not infrequently even murdering landowners to get their point across.

The problem with Russia in 1917-18 was not only a weak provisional government and morally irresponsible political parties like the Bolsheviks - on the contrary, I would argue that the problem was, first and foremost, the Russian people themselves, because they were, for the most part, either half-eduacated and politically fanatical as a result, or else completely illiterate and politically ignorant. At any rate some 80 percent of the population was not yet ready for any form of truly democratic government. (Think about that figure. 80 percent!) Of course many of these poor people (not by any means all of them) eventually fell hook line and sinker for the Bolshevik party program - after all, it promised them an end to the war, all the land they could possibly desire, and all the bread they could possibly eat. Plus a very convenient, "legally" sanctioned outlet for all the rage they felt towards the former ruling classes. Where have we heard this story before? Why, the French Revolution. Almost as bloody and every bit as infamous. And rightly so.
... I love my poor earth
because I have seen no other

-- Osip Mandelshtam

Offline Phil_tomaselli

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 314
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #72 on: June 01, 2008, 02:04:39 PM »
The Russian revolution was consciously modelled on the French, in part because the political circumstances of an inflexible and reactionary government were the same.  But I detect something insidious in the argument that the people weren't ready for democracy - what people are?  And who judges?  In fact I'd argue that for a brief period in Russia (coincident with the Provisional Govt but not a result of it) there was a real flowering of democracy that culminated in the only meeting of the Constituent Asembly that was closed down by Lenin & co.

Phil T

Offline Elisabeth

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2131
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #73 on: June 03, 2008, 09:24:59 AM »
The Russian revolution was consciously modelled on the French, in part because the political circumstances of an inflexible and reactionary government were the same.  But I detect something insidious in the argument that the people weren't ready for democracy - what people are?  And who judges?  In fact I'd argue that for a brief period in Russia (coincident with the Provisional Govt but not a result of it) there was a real flowering of democracy that culminated in the only meeting of the Constituent Asembly that was closed down by Lenin & co.

Phil T

The Russian Revolution of March 1917 was NOT consciously modelled on the French Revolution, it was not consciously modeled on anything - on the contrary, it was a spontaneous outburst of popular discontent with the current regime. But once the tsar abdicated and a new leadership was established, I think the new government tried to model themselves more on the American Revolution than on the French one. After all, the provisional government hoped to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, which was certainly not the goal of the Jacobins! The fact that the Bolsheviks probably took the French Revolution as a model is another story all together - and that's one reason why I have always had a hard time believing that Lenin's Terror was ONLY motivated by geopolitical exigencies - no, IMHO, it was always part and parcel of his entire program of revolution.

And Phil, sorry to say this, but I think you're being more than a little naive in arguing that the Russian people was ready for democracy in 1917-18. I do not think that most of them were. If you have an illiteracy rate of well over 50 percent, and a poverty rate that competes with that figure, and 80 percent of your entire population is peasant in origin and either uneducated or only very badly educated - then you do not have an adequately well-informed populace, and it follows that you cannot establish a true democracy. And let's have another reality check: the Russian people, in the elections to the Constituent Assembly (which were free elections, conducted before the Bolshevik takeover) voted overwhelmingly for the Socialist Revolutionaries, a radical party, very pro-peasant, which not merely advocated but actually practiced terrorism . I ask you, what hope exactly did Russia have, if this was the very best it could do at possibly the most defining moment of its entire history?



I think you're naive
... I love my poor earth
because I have seen no other

-- Osip Mandelshtam

Offline LisaDavidson

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 2665
    • View Profile
Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #74 on: June 03, 2008, 04:50:42 PM »
The Russian revolution was consciously modelled on the French, in part because the political circumstances of an inflexible and reactionary government were the same.  But I detect something insidious in the argument that the people weren't ready for democracy - what people are?  And who judges?  In fact I'd argue that for a brief period in Russia (coincident with the Provisional Govt but not a result of it) there was a real flowering of democracy that culminated in the only meeting of the Constituent Asembly that was closed down by Lenin & co.

Phil T

The Russian Revolution of March 1917 was NOT consciously modelled on the French Revolution, it was not consciously modeled on anything - on the contrary, it was a spontaneous outburst of popular discontent with the current regime. But once the tsar abdicated and a new leadership was established, I think the new government tried to model themselves more on the American Revolution than on the French one. After all, the provisional government hoped to avoid unnecessary bloodshed, which was certainly not the goal of the Jacobins! The fact that the Bolsheviks probably took the French Revolution as a model is another story all together - and that's one reason why I have always had a hard time believing that Lenin's Terror was ONLY motivated by geopolitical exigencies - no, IMHO, it was always part and parcel of his entire program of revolution.

And Phil, sorry to say this, but I think you're being more than a little naive in arguing that the Russian people was ready for democracy in 1917-18. I do not think that most of them were. If you have an illiteracy rate of well over 50 percent, and a poverty rate that competes with that figure, and 80 percent of your entire population is peasant in origin and either uneducated or only very badly educated - then you do not have an adequately well-informed populace, and it follows that you cannot establish a true democracy. And let's have another reality check: the Russian people, in the elections to the Constituent Assembly (which were free elections, conducted before the Bolshevik takeover) voted overwhelmingly for the Socialist Revolutionaries, a radical party, very pro-peasant, which not merely advocated but actually practiced terrorism . I ask you, what hope exactly did Russia have, if this was the very best it could do at possibly the most defining moment of its entire history?



I think you're naive

I think a post February Revolution run by the SRs would indeed be interesting. It's a fairly well regarded concept in political thought than once a revolutionary party becomes a ruling party they start to become conservative, or perhaps more conservative would be more accurate. Would the SRs continued to practice terrorism if they were the ruling party?

To be fair to the Russians of 1918, few had much experience with democracy, so my thought is that absent of malific interests (Bolsheviks, German General Command) there was a chance in 1918 for Russia to develop into a democracy.

So, I do blame the Germans for infecting the country with Bolsheviks and the Bolsheviks for stiffling all dissent.