Come 2016, which means that all through the year will come the centenary anniversary of the two revolutions of February and October. Neither society nor the state has no understanding of how to relate to these dates. It was a tragedy, achievement, inevitable, step forward, step back? Why the revolution began and when they ended? It’s time to decide.
25 years ago both the revolution had unambiguous interpretation – ideological and scientific-historical. In the post-Soviet era has been the revision of all. The ideological blinkers have been discarded, the pressures on social Sciences Marxism-Leninism was ostracized, to the public he entered the literary and historical work of the white guard emigration and Western Sovietologists, disappeared prohibitions on the most daring versions of the reasons of the processes that radically changed the lives of the world’s largest state. The pendulum, however, swung in the opposite direction. And instead of objective historical knowledge we have obtained a new simple interpretation of an epoch of revolutions, but with the opposite sign of Sovietism.
“Aren’t described in their books is the monster? Is there enough armies and fortresses to curb him, to watch over him until you have an opportunity to crush him?”
Today, when not only Eastern Europe, not only the Baltic republics of the former USSR, but also our immediate culture neighbors, we personally make sure, no matter how short the path from the left to the banal Russophobia, the attitude to the events of a century ago is again subject to review. There is no doubt that on the eve of the anniversary of a century of revolutions of the controversy surrounding those events would get even worse. It is a chance, and a significant threat. A chance to finally formulate an objective picture of national history. The threat once again coming under oscillations of the pendulum and going to extremes.
To force people to forget about yourself
The way our country is today, is by no means unique. The French revolution as well as Russian, have divided society – and not all the layer thus formed was on the side of the rebels. Many intellectuals took umbrage at the third bar, which allowed itself to encroach on the rights of the aristocracy, nobility and cultural elite of the country.
The nineteenth century historian Jules Michelet appealed to contemporary intellectuals: “it is Important to find out how well France is depicted in the books of French writers, had won in Europe, using there authority. Not outlined whether some particularly ugly side of our lives, putting us in a bad light? Not carried out these works, describing only our vices and shortcomings, the strongest damage our country in the eyes of other Nations? The talent and integrity of authors, all known for their liberal principles gave them the Scriptures significance. These books were perceived as the conviction of France itself. Of course, she has flaws, is understandable intense activity of many forces, the clashes of opposing interests and ideas; but under the pen of our talented writers these shortcomings uterous so that they seem deformed. And now Europe looks at France as some kind of freak… Is described in their books is the monster? Is there enough armies and fortresses to curb him, to watch over him until you have an opportunity to crush him?..”
“For half a century, continues Michelet, – all governments keep telling him (to the people) that the revolutionary France, in which he believes, whose glorious traditions of the store, was ridiculous, negative historical phenomenon that everything about her was wrong. On the other hand, the Revolution undermined all the past of France, declared to the people that nothing in the past deserves attention. And now the former France disappeared from the collective memory, and the image of new France very pale… Do politicians want the people to forget about myself, turned into a tabula rasa? How can he not be weak in such circumstances?”
The words of the historian, written in another time and quite another matter, surprisingly relevant for modern Russia. Aren’t we made in the 90’s verdict to yourself? Isn’t that hanging over us is imposed a continuous sense of guilt, not calls to repentance? Don’t consider our state as the freak that needs to be fenced off “fortresses” of the twenty-first century? Isn’t crossed our past, which we cannot find unity, and isn’t weak we from?
France the epoch of the historical negation survived. For us, this period lasted for almost 100 years. But the chance remains.
Marx and Russian revolution
Soviet historical science was rigidly constrained by Marxist ideology and was forced to reason only in the criteria of the formational approach – step by step change socio-economic formations. This theory was well substantiated by the upward development of humanity from primitive communism to class society and the slave ranks, which gave way to feudalism, which came more progressive capitalism. Classics further suggested that the development of capitalist relations creates the basis for another change of formation – now a socialist, which would eliminate the exploitation of man by man.
Why the formations follow each other? The dominant type of economic relations in society, sooner or later reaches its natural limits. Feudalism multiplies the wealth of disparate fiefdoms, but makes it worse than free trade between cities, territories and countries. Formation inside emerging shoots of the new economy, they get stronger and eventually take down the ageing procedures.
Thus it is naive to assume that power and coercive apparatus of the ruling classes voluntarily make room, the barons will peacefully cede power to an affluent bourgeois and will not hamper them. Therefore, change of formations occurs in a revolutionary way. Vitally interested in their own development is headed by the young bourgeoisie and ideologically equips the masses, leading them into battle against the feudal lords, against the orders of the class, against the enslavement. In turn capitalism is reaching the limits of its development, should be swept away by the employees and realize their interests. Now proletarians ideologically equip and lead the masses, leading them into battle with the bourgeoisie.
Formational theory obliged Soviet social scientists to unambiguously interpret the events of 1917 as a natural a revolutionary shift from a class-feudal relations to capitalist and then socialist. Accordingly, the February revolution was called bourgeois, October – socialist. At this stage there were many issues that the studies did not provide exhaustive answers. For example: if in Russia capitalism’? Can we consider the interval from February to October 1917, a time full of capitalist formations, and if not, does the Marxist theory of the possibility of “jumps” through the formation from feudal to socialist?
Opened in 90 years, new sources, and their discussions greatly increased the number of such issues.
Socialists for bourgeois
From the USSR to Russia: how our country has changed in thirty lately the February revolution was bourgeois, then what was the Revolution of 1905? Formal – too bourgeois, but what about the fact that it was carried out by the proletariat and the peasantry, and the most effective political force, ideologically onesave mass, was the party of socialists-revolutionaries (SRS)?
The February revolution brought to power a bourgeois Provisional government? But this is not quite true, the government in February was in the hands of the Petrograd Soviet, consisting mainly of social revolutionaries and Mensheviks – socialist parties. They after the revolution was really led by – and it really was subordinate, to the extent that without the permission of the Petrograd Soviet did not set off the train. Further, the socialists, interpreting the events in the country within the framework of Marxist theory, decided that the power must be given into the hands of the bourgeoisie – the bourgeois revolution after all!
Interesting fact: the Petrograd Soviet March was holding active negotiations with the Temporary Committee of the state Duma, literally entreating MPs to take power. The bourgeois and the deputies refused, not wanting to stand at the head of the country. The Russian bourgeoisie was not a revolutionary.
“The Petrograd Soviet March was holding active negotiations with the Temporary Committee of the state Duma, literally entreating MPs to take power”
So, the February revolution was a socialist? Because it was carried out by the proletariat and the peasantry, headed and ideologically equip the socialist party – and their results got the power. De facto – so, “de jure” – it is unclear how this correlates with the theory about gradual change formations.
And the most important question – if the socialist Petrograd Soviet immediately took the power into their own hands, recognizing the de facto situation, and not rushed, and dogmatically interpreting Marx, to beg to stand at the helm of the bourgeoisie – would have evolved in our history?
Finally, the October revolution. In order to place it in a Marxist context, Lenin himself called it bourgeois. In 1918 he asserted, “Yes, our bourgeois revolution… It’s clear we knew, hundreds and thousands of times since 1905 spoke, never this necessary stage of the historical process neither to jump nor to cancel the decrees have not tried”. The leader of the world proletariat said: Yes, the bourgeoisie is not revolutionary, but bourgeois stage needs to be completed, this requires a theory, then to complete the bourgeois reforms in the country will come to power socialists. NEP with its market mechanisms, which replaced the war communism of the Civil war, was not a setback – it naturally flowed from the logic of Lenin.
To summarize: the Marxist theory does not give an exhaustive answer to the question of the nature of a series of revolutions in Russia. But you can try to understand the events of a century ago, “after listening to” the voice of the people.
“Everywhere the need, the hunger and cold”
What they are writing about the peasants who constitute the vast majority of the population of the Empire? The main question is about the earth. Malozemelja, growing on the background of population growth, coupled with taxes, fees and other payments literally puts them on the brink of survival. There is no mandate, which would bypass this issue.
Typical charge – charge peasants of Suzdal district of the Vladimir province: “As we live, so to live more… until We feel sick, sad to say, another five years is unlikely to be good citizens. The severity of the state of disorder so crushed us like a leaf to the ground: everywhere need, hunger and cold. What we live and what they eat? Live in a rotten, stinking huts, eat pig food and that is not sufficient, and dressed in rags. At our disposal we have only one allotment of land, stouse us 10 rubles for every acre yearly Income… we barely justify taxes to the Church, giving everything without reserve in the pay of the gentlemen and the priests.”
At the same time attempts to introduce capitalist relations into the village peasant community angrily rejected the kulaks and the bourgeoisie characterizes as the landlords are called bloodsuckers, they are categorically against the use in the village hired labour. Unequivocal support is the demand of the socialist-revolutionaries about the socialisation of the land, the villagers require the limitation or complete abolition of private ownership of her.
“We need to destroy private land ownership and transfer all lands at the disposal of the entire nation,” read the verdict of the village of Fofonovo Klinsky district, Moscow province. “The ground should use one who is able to handle without hired workers”, – the verdict of the farmers of the village of assumption and other assumption parish Birchanskogo uyezd, Voronezh province. “Land received by allotment, should be state owned, and the owners did not need her to pawn or sell”, is the verdict of the farmers of the village of Kosmodemianska of Poshekhonsky district of Yaroslavl province. Such orders hundreds. And they very accurately indicative of the mood of the peasants of the Russian Empire in 1905-1907. Wave rising from below, from the village, was anti-capitalist, peasant-socialist.
The revolution of 1905, covering the whole country, including the creation of a peasant republics from several villages that developed in the logic quoted above requirements. In February 1917 the power is not accidentally ended up in the hands of the socialists of the Petrograd Soviet. In October, the masses do not accidentally go over by the Bolsheviks, the bourgeoisie has shifted and joined the Mensheviks and SRS from the government.
Another interesting fact: the basis of the first decrees of the Soviet government formed the program of SRS built on the convictions and mandates of peasants of Russia – the same program that the socialist party has formulated, but did not dare to implement, treating the revolution as bourgeois. To put it into practice started by the Bolsheviks.
Therefore, there was no succession of revolutions. It was one revolution, time-consuming, the first act of which occurred in 1905. But when the revolution ended in Russia this issue deserves separate consideration.
“The Soviet “experiment” does not name a complete failure. Its main purpose was to bring to the end of the modernization process, interrupted by the revolution, and in mobilizing national resources for the survival of Russia”
The main issue of the Russian revolution was land, today fits the vast majority of historians. But buzzella was only part of a much larger problem. Another cut, not less important in the strategic development plan of the state is the issue of agrarian overpopulation compared to the very small urban population. For industrial development, the development of the state required the release of workers, was required to provide the huge masses of the peasantry unnecessary in the city (of course, provided a corresponding growth industry). Actually Russia in the early XX century was faced with two opposite requirements: on the one hand with the peasant, the land, the objective needs of development of the state, which required rozselyanyuvannya. Other methods of development, other ways to squeeze the working force of the village was not.
At the time England was radically solved this problem by fencing the masses of peasants were driven from their land, created the labour market, partly adding to the ranks of the workers, partly city bottom, partly forming a class of landless laborers.
Stolypin reform, which made a bid for his fist to the detriment of the middle class and the poor, was not raskruchivanie in full. Yes, one would expect that in the course thereof, will occur the inevitable isolation from the mass of landless rural and then the urban proletariat. But the reform, which made a bid for 10 per cent of wealthy peasants, had fallen under the revolutionary pressure of 90 percent of the poor farmers.
The failure of “soft” reforms is even more narrowed range of possible actions. In political science there is the concept of “Malthusian trap” – a situation in which in pre-industrial and early industrial societies, population growth periodically outstrips the growth of food production. There is a hunger, which “regulates” the population. And emerging at the end of the hungry years the excess provokes another demographic surge. In this situation, even the relative increase in agricultural productivity resulting from technological innovation leads only to the conclusion the problem to a new level. The use of new technologies leads to an excess, should the population growth of the village, which is ahead of the pace of technological re-equipment. The hunger begins again, which puts an end to including the wider introduction of new technologies and machines. In the long term there is no growth of food production, nor improve the conditions of human existence.
Russia, a steep rise in population in the late XIX – early XX centuries, was on the verge of a Malthusian trap. Well known from the history of the exit from this situation was exactly raskruchivanie.
This development was interrupted by the revolution. All parties, including the Bolsheviks, were forced to reckon with the demands of the peasant masses. The embodiment of these requirements became in 1917 the Bolshevik Decree on land and the subsequent law on the socialization of land. The earth has been in public ownership, the allotments were distributed to “consumers”. However, solving the “household” section of the agrarian question, the final resolution of the Bolsheviks postponed for the future. The challenge which faced the country was the need to feed all and not only the peasantry, gaining enough resources for further industrial modernization.
What a long time was not visible from the inside, accurately noted in his works, the British Sovietologist Edward Carr: “Acceptable solution of the agrarian problem in Russia could not be without increasing the appallingly low productivity; this dilemma will haunt the Bolsheviks many years later, and it cannot be resolved without the introduction of modern machinery and technology, which in turn is impossible on the basis of individual peasant holdings”.
What would be a shocking look to that conclusion, but it was Stalin, after collectivization, came to a final resolution of contradictions and extremely acute in the Russian Empire, which formed the basis of the Russian revolution. Only in the years 1930-1932 Russia to break the vicious circle in which increasing productivity and mechanization of agriculture was hindered its archaic structure. And she was not fitted, not meeting the requirements of industrial growth, without which it was not possible to implement mechanization.
This point seems to be regarded as the completion of the revolution.
Today we can have different opinion about the events, but to discuss the need for change is hardly rational. The alternative to them would be “fair” the village Pastorale with arbitrarily large plots “on consumers” in the discarded in the agricultural phase of the country. To absolutize “the idiocy of rural life” in Russia in the twentieth century would lay the foundations of a new revolution – or the inevitable loss of sovereignty.
Help from abroad
While inside their own country we can’t agree on the role of the Russian revolution, in the works of serious Western scholars (not to be confused with the pop-history) all have been laid out on the shelves.
Thus, the American historian and Sovietologist Robert Daniels, tuned not Pro-Soviet and anti-Communist standing on a firm position, says: “the System collapsed in 1991, very, very different from that which the Bolsheviks attempted to establish in 1917. She has undergone all the stages of the revolutionary process and was formed on one side of the historical heritage of Russia, with another – needs modernization.”
Daniels continues: “…If you keep in mind the real tasks assigned to it by history, the Soviet “experiment” does not name a complete failure. Its main purpose was to bring to the end of the modernization process, interrupted by the revolution, and in mobilizing national resources for the survival of Russia and its ability to compete in the world of advanced military technology… Stalinism turned peasant by nature society in the nation, mainly urban, educated and technologically sophisticated, in one word – modern. Soviet Russia was not pre-capitalist, as is often argued in the theories of post-Communist transition, post-capitalist and not, as interpreted of Marxist-Leninist doctrine, it was the alternative to capitalism that is parallel to a form of modernization carried out with different methods.”
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