Author Topic: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?  (Read 47439 times)

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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2005, 05:20:39 PM »
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And what was the result, surely you are not contending that the Soviet Union produced a more even playing field?


Where did you get this conclusion from my posting? Are you joking? A "more even playing field" - no, genocide. And it was only a "solution" in the sense that the "final solution" was a solution: it was an absolute evil. Period. But that's what comes of projecting one's own hopes and fears on the Other - which is what the Russian intelligentsia did, with horrendous consequences, to the Russian peasant for generation upon generation (and here I am echoing a point earlier made much more eloquently by Dashkova - although we don't agree on everything, on this point we do!).

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Despite all this, human resilience prevailed, peasants did not disappear from the face of Russian earth.  It is incorrect to suggest that the culture had been destroyed, it could still be seen and heard in the rural regions. Many still maintained their spiritual beliefs, nor did they forget their traditional learned crafts, and they were still able to sing ancient songs and be entertained by their time honored dances.
 


Peasant culture was all but destroyed. It was certainly warped and corrupted almost beyond recognition. Read the works of Solzhenitsyn, but particularly "Matryona's House," to get a picture of what this new "peasant culture" looked like. Pure desperation, if you ask me. I think Stalin's legacy to Russia was even worse than what you describe.
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Dashkova

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2005, 05:58:29 PM »
Elisabeth, we agree on much more than you probably imagine, but the issue of peasant desperation, I don't think it was in any way better before the revolution.  What good is one's culture if one is too hungry or overworked and hopeless -- they never dared hope for a better life, which is what led to the massive alcoholism and domestic abuse --  to care to participate (whether art, dance, music or even religion).

I will always maintain that life for peasants was far worse before the revolution than after, not because the soviets made everything so great (I know that they didn't) but that strides and improvements were made where none had even been attempted before.  I realize that imperial supporters like to say, "Well, if the reforms had been given a chance," but look at the Imperial and even Provisional track record! Why were they to be believed?  Especially in light of the fact that there were no *true* reforms enacted during those periods.

I think it is not only very sad, but that those who wielded power for SO long, all the while claiming to "luuuvvv" the people so much, sat on their hands and did nothing, and that the resulting revolution and tyranny was able to take place -- because it **could** and because people really were that desperate.
All because Nicky and company (and his forebearers) were asleep at the switch.

I am not a religious person, but if there is an afterlife I hope that the imperial leaders, from the tsars to all of their flunkeys, are deep in Dante's inferno, where they watch again and again what their selfish neglect wrought.  Ditto to Lenin and Stalin, but those two at least get marks for trying.  The tsar/flunkey tag team did nothing.  My Russian professors, my husband's family and millions more, who came from the peasant or "Kulak" class received higher education and have lived long healthy lives.  They would have had NONE of the above under Nikolai or any of his ilk.  These facts mean a GREAT DEAL to Russians.  Put simply, they were given hope, and for the first time.

How horrible that something so elemental and necessary to human existence had to be attained by such atrocious means.


The refrain that comes to me time and time (*endless* time) again from Russians I know of a certain age (let's say from 35 and older) is one of: the Soviet government made it possible so that we (using a direct quote here) "never no worry" about anything, jobs, medical care, food, etc... (and I am speaking of post-Stalin Russia).  And history has shown without fail that when a population is prosperous *enough* so that the basics are covered, culture blossoms.  No doubt about it, culture was not allowed to blossom the way it *could* have, but absolutely Russian culture was maintained, in fact, it was a major point with Lenin that all cultures in the vast USSR should be allowed to flourish (including language and cultural practices) albeit with a Soviet spin.

One other point with regard to survival of culture:
As for those who grew up and lived under the soviet system, for all its faults, based on what I've read and the many Russians I have interviewed and chatted with *from* that era (including even those who well remember the 1930s) that the old songs were still sung, folk practices were maintained though it is certainly understandable that such practices and beliefs were cast off willingly (just as they were during the 20th century in the west!),  the balalaika was played in nearly every home, people went to church if they wanted (as long as it was Orthodox), and folk art continued to be created.  I saw at least some physical proof of this last spring when I visited a Russian toy museum and I was not at all surprised to see the great variety of both traditional and modern toys from the Soviet era, and of the mass-produced as well as one-of-a-kind types.

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2005, 02:47:42 PM »
Dashkova, we probably do agree on much more than we both think (since we both seem to place more value on humanitarian ideals than on any particular ideology), but this is one point on which I simply cannot agree with you: even if there was more social mobility after 1917 (and I agree that this is debatable! you might very well be right), nevertheless, in my opinion, it came at the cost of too many human lives. I continue to believe that there is a major difference between authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. And if the tsarist regime was careless and negligent where the peasantry was concerned - not proactive in reforms, either as much or as soon as we would wish - I do believe that the Soviet regime was actually worse, because it regarded a sizeable portion of the peasantry as actual class enemies, and treated them as such. Usually, only the poorest or the most vengeful got a piece of the Soviet pie. And often (not always), only at the cost of their neighbors' lives. Of course, this doesn't mean that people who happened to benefit from the Soviet system were themselves evil. It simply means the system itself was designed that way. But let's agree to disagree. As usual you have argued your case cogently and well. Let's let the readers out there decide what they themselves think!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Elisabeth »
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Dashkova

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2005, 08:25:21 PM »
The tsarist regime was no less evil, it was just dressed up fancier, cloaked in religion and gifted with lip service.  Fear and awe were wielded as weapons by the imperialists very much in the soviet manner.

And the bottom line is, the dark days of Stalin would never have even had the potential to exist, were it not for the neglect and ignorance of the tsars and their minions.

Therefore, the blood of the dead millions under the soviet regime isn't only on the hands of soviet leaders.  It sickens me to contemplate how far back into time the blood flows.

Looking at the situation from that standpoint, I hardly see where authoritarian and totalitarian systems differ much.

Offline Goula

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2005, 10:10:53 PM »

As an aside, when you find the literacy rate for 1937, it should run somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20%, give or take a few points, one way or the other.  I have seen a few sources list it into the lower 20 percentiles, and a few others where it appears to have dipped down into the mid-to-high teens.  But most of the reliable sources I have seen seem to agree that around one-fifth or 20% of the population was literate in 1937.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 11:02:13 PM by Alixz »
...and of course we were all there, too.
And there we all drank mead.

rskkiya

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2005, 11:13:36 PM »
Goula
   I am curious about your sources for '20% "... I was under the impression it was a bit higher than that ah well - I may well be wrong.
   
    Regarding the question-- yes I do think that the revolution was inevitable, and I will happily explain my reasons in the next few days alas I am too tired just now (insert yawning icon here)

love to all
rskkiya
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 11:03:09 PM by Alixz »

Offline AGRBear

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2005, 10:29:26 AM »
 
Most of us do appreciate your contributions, Goula, and don't let a few chase you away because they don't seem to be able to deal with facts which are contrary to their opinions.

Evidently, the Bolsheviks / communists want to paint a rosy picture about how they made everything better for the peasants.  Through the years,  they have brain-washed people into thinking that the bodies of 20 million plus people was a necessary evil.  It was not.  

However, the only time the Russians were free was between the moment in time Michael II sent his words to the Duma and waited to be elected as head of a new govt. and when Lenin's men started to rip open the very heart of Russia.

AGRBear
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 11:05:02 PM by Alixz »
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2005, 10:44:40 AM »
Here we go again indeed- facts ?
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Offline AGRBear

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2005, 10:56:02 AM »
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I went to a book for dates and accurate information:

The First Duma met for 73 days in 1906.
The Second Duma met for 102 days.
The Third Duma held onto it's full five-year term from 1907-12.
The Fourth Duma was held from 1912 to 1917.

The duma set up a provisional committee and asked Prince Lvov to for a Provisional government in Feb. of 1917.

The new Provisional Govt. promised to form a constitutional assembly and to hold free election.  This assembly abolished the secret police. Granted freedom in religion....

The Provisional Govt. was to fall as one of the victims of the Bolsheviks.

It was the Bolsheviks who were not good for Russia.

AGRBear


Was the Revolution of 1917 inevitable.  The answer is no, because it could have been avoided by Nicholas II and all those who thought they were going to change things over night without being prepared to do so.

It was the coup lead by Lenin in Red October inevitable.  No.  It was just a bunch of  terrorists who took over a bad situation and this was the results:

Quote
Dashkova

The number of 25 million was not my own.
On p. 385 of The White General by Richard Luckert

Also go to the following URL for more information in the encyclopedia than what follows the URL:
http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Russian%20Civil%20War
" At the end of the Civil War, Soviet Russia was exhasted and ruined. The droughts of 1920 and 1921 and the frightful famine during that last year added the final, gruesome chapter to the disaster. In the years following the originally "bloodless" October Revolution, epidemics, starvation, fighting, executions, and the general breakdown of the economy and society had taken something like twenty million lives. Another million had left Russia -- with General Wrangel, through the Far East, or in numerous other ways - rather than accept Communist rule, the emigres included a high proportion of educated and skilled people. War Communism might have saved the Soviet government in the course of the Civil War, but it also helped greatly to wreck the nation's economy. With private industry and trade proscribed and the state unable to perform these functions on a sufficient scale, much of the Russian economy ground to a standstill. It has been estimated that the total output of mines and factories fell in 1921 to 20 per cent if the pre-World War level, with many crucial items experiencing an even more drastic decline. Production of cotton, for example, fell to 5 per cent, iron to 2 per cent, of the prewar level. The peasants responded to requisitioning by refusing to till their land. By 1921 cultivated land had shrunk to some 62 per cent of the prewar area, and the harvest yield was only about 37 percent of normal. The number of horses declined from 35 million in 1916 to 24 million in 1920, and cattle from 58 to 37 million during the same span of time. The exchange rate of the US dollar, which had been two rubles in 1914, rose to 1,200 in 1920."

AGRBear


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« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

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Dashkova

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2005, 02:59:54 PM »

As for your remarks about Lenin ripping the heart out of Russia, that was done WELL before Ulianov even drew breath.  If you ever bothered to step off your imperial cloud you would realize this, but since you don't won't can't, then understand that there are going to be many who disagree with you.

« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 11:07:34 PM by Alixz »

Dashkova

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2005, 03:08:56 PM »
Sunny, you do of course, include yourself in the category, correct?

If not, there are others who do!  If someone disagrees with you or other imperialistic views, then you label that person as an energy creature (don't you mean troll? It's ok, you can say it), when in reality what is really happening is that the persons who disagree with you are messing with your fantasy, which you call opinion.

rskkiya

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2005, 09:09:32 PM »
Back On Topic
    I am convinced that even if Russia had not entered WWI there would have been a revolution...without France's massive loans (thus without the mutual defence treaty) the financial situation in Russia would have gotten even more chaotic and the revolutionary situation of 1905 may have gotten even bloodier ....Of course this is a lttle bit like discussing angels on pinheads -- still there are my two kopeks worth!

rskkiya
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 11:09:33 PM by Alixz »

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2005, 10:18:43 PM »
He did say he was going to [remove his posts] in his "farewell".
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Offline AGRBear

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2005, 11:53:33 AM »
So, let's get back to the subject.

Are the following facts incorrect?

It wasn't the Revolution of 1917 that was wrong, it was the take over of Lenin and Stalin that proves what happens when the wrong people take the helm of a sinking ship.  

---
The number of 25 million was not my own.
On p. 385 of The White General by Richard Luckert
 
Also go to the following URL for more information in the encyclopedia than what follows the URL:  
http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Russian%20Civil%20War
" At the end of the Civil War, Soviet Russia was exhasted and ruined. The droughts of 1920 and 1921 and the frightful famine during that last year added the final, gruesome chapter to the disaster. In the years following the originally "bloodless" October Revolution, epidemics, starvation, fighting, executions, and the general breakdown of the economy and society had taken something like twenty million lives. Another million had left Russia -- with General Wrangel, through the Far East, or in numerous other ways - rather than accept Communist rule, the emigres included a high proportion of educated and skilled people. War Communism might have saved the Soviet government in the course of the Civil War, but it also helped greatly to wreck the nation's economy. With private industry and trade proscribed and the state unable to perform these functions on a sufficient scale, much of the Russian economy ground to a standstill. It has been estimated that the total output of mines and factories fell in 1921 to 20 per cent if the pre-World War level, with many crucial items experiencing an even more drastic decline. Production of cotton, for example, fell to 5 per cent, iron to 2 per cent, of the prewar level. The peasants responded to requisitioning by refusing to till their land. By 1921 cultivated land had shrunk to some 62 per cent of the prewar area, and the harvest yield was only about 37 percent of normal. The number of horses declined from 35 million in 1916 to 24 million in 1920, and cattle from 58 to 37 million during the same span of time. The exchange rate of the US dollar, which had been two rubles in 1914, rose to 1,200 in 1920."
 
AGRBear
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

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Re: The Russian Revolution - Causes and/or Prevention?
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2005, 12:02:55 PM »
Goula wrote me yesterday of his intentions. As of this morning, he has removed all of his postings save that last one and removed his registration as a user of the Forum.

He felt chased out for his views. I will not comment either way other than to say we ALL should feel saddened when a user feels they have no choice but to leave.