I would like to start a forum topic on the Russian Revolution because I am seriously reading about it for the first time. I have previously read bits and pieces here and there, of course heard versions and perpectives about it and follwed interesting discussions on libcom.org. But finally, I will try and come to some of my own conclusions hopefully with the help of others. I have only just finished reading Reed's Ten Days That Shook The World but plan to read The History Of The Civil War In The U.S.S.R volume 2 The Great Proletarian Revolution and Trotsky's History Of The Russian Revolution. Probably in that order. Where I go from there I am not sure but Victor Serge's account seems to get recommended quite a lot.
The Goverment of the Russian Republic sometimes reads as a representative body (an elite) in the bourgeois sense. What is the difference or connection to the soviets? Especially with regard to decrees. Are they purely of the mind of the members of the government, Lenin in particularly. Or are they the result of discussion and debate within the soviets and class?
Were the soviets mostly Bolshevik and on what scale within Russia?
Apart from programmatic differences what was the main reason for opposition to the Bolsheviks from other socialists etc?
Regarding sabotage and hoarding (bourgeois, middle class etc) versus inefficiency of organisation and individual corruption (soldiers, workers, bolsheviks etc) in relation to supplying the front and beyond. Was there anything genuine in the proclamations or were they outright lies?
Lenin as dictator? Sometimes it comes across as he is using (not manipulating) the masses or directing them. Yes, there were soviets but were they superficial and simply at the command of congress and ultimately Lenin as head of state?
Right of Nations to Self Determination seems to have been a total disaster. Why does this idea and practice exist today?
Lenin tries to get peace via the bourgeoisie. Why doesn't he go directly to the workers, the class to make peace with enemy workers in uniform - though he suggests this only after his former efforts fail. Was it always his plan to go to the workers anyway?
This touches on an earlier question about decrees. Are Lenin's decrees in particular simply of his own mind or are they questions previously debated, discussed etc within the soviets, party or wider class?
Those questions basically came up in order as I was reading the book.