Szukaj na tym blogu

czwartek, 5 listopada 2020

Why did the Bolsheviks come to power in Russia?


In 1917, the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia. The question of how a relatively small and widely hated party of Marxist sectarians could ever come to power has already been clarified in many ways. According to Umbert Eco's brilliant formula, most of the scientific and philosophical problems can be boiled down to the question: who is to blame? For Alexander Solzhenitsyn, England and France are to blame, which dragged Russia into the war. From this perspective, Russia entered the war out of loyalty to its allies. Solzhenitsyn is absolutely right to say that if it had not been for Russia's participation in the First World War, the revolution would not have broken out. He is, however, mistaken as to the motives of Russian participation in the war, which were ideological in nature.

The collapse of tsarist Russia was due to three reasons: the lack of land reform, imperial politics and the mistakes of the secret police. Contrary to popular opinion, Tsar Nicholas was a bright and righteous man. Unfortunately, he did not want or was unable to carry out the necessary reforms in Russia. The most important of them concerned the agricultural issue. Despite the elimination of the peasants' personal serfdom, the agricultural community was left behind, which prevented the formation of a layer of wealthy peasants in Russia. It was only after the mass protests of peasants who burned mansions during the revolution of 1905, on the initiative of Prime Minister Stolypin, a decree was issued introducing individual land ownership in place of communal property. The reforms to abolish common ownership of land and to build a middle class in Russia after the 1905 revolution were overdue.

It cannot be ruled out that the success of this reform could prevent the outbreak of a revolution in Russia. Lenin was well aware of this, as evidenced by the following quotation from his "Selected Works": "Stolypin's constitution and Stolypin's agrarian policy mark a new phase in the overthrow of the old, half patriarchal and half feudal system of tsarism, new measures to transform state into a middle-class monarchy [...]. It would be an empty and stupid democratic cliche to say that the success of such a policy in Russia is impossible. This success is possible! If Stolypin's policy is continued [...] the agrarian structure of Russia will become completely bourgeois. "

The immediate cause of the fall of tsarist Russia was the imperial policy, which during the reign of Nicholas II was attempted to implement without taking into account the possibilities of the state. The main directions of Russian expansion were dictated by ideological considerations that had little to do with real interests. Russia's involvement in the Balkans, which ultimately led to the outbreak of the First World War, resulted from the fact that Russia's historical mission, according to official ideology, was to unite all the Slavs and seize Constantinople.

Certainly the tsarist mistake was the tactic adopted by the secret political police, the notorious Ochrana, which did not destroy the cadre party of the Bolsheviks, despite its thorough penetration by police provocateurs. Robert Conquest writes that "agents in general were instructed to encourage and even incite Lenin and his followers to factional struggle. The assumption was made, quite correct, as it later turned out, that this was the easiest way to break up and disorganize a revolutionary movement. ". 

Ochrana's mistake, focusing primarily on actions against revolutionary groups using individual terror, was to allow Lenin to build up a group that at a decisive moment seized power in the state. The defeats of war, coupled with a staggering number of errors committed by the tsarist bureaucrats, paved the way for revolution.

Brak komentarzy:

Prześlij komentarz