Russian Revolution

Russian Revolution

1918: the revolution criticises its errors

The working class is still living with the heavy consequences of the defeat of the Russian revolution. Primarily because its defeat was really the defeat of the world revolution, of the first attempt by the international proletariat to overthrow capitalism, and the result of this failure was that humanity has since been subjected to the most tragic century in its entire history. But also because of the manner of its defeat: the Stalinist counter-revolution that stifled it assumed its mantle, the mantle of Lenin and Bolshevism. This has permitted the world bourgeoisie to get away with the immeasurable lie that Stalinism is communism. This has been a factor of profound confusion and demoralisation within the working class for decades, but never more so than after the final collapse of the Stalinist regimes at the end of the 1980s.

What are workers' councils? (Part 5) 1917 – 1921: The soviets and the question of the state

 In the previous article in this series we saw how the soviets, having seized power in October 1917, gradually lost it to the point where it was no more than a facade, kept alive artificially to hide the triumph of the capitalist counter-revolution that had taken place in Russia. The aim of this article is to understand what caused this to happen and to draw lessons that will be indispensable for revolutionaries in the future.

The decadence of capitalism (viii): The age of catastrophes

Even though revolutionaries today are far from all sharing the analysis that capitalism entered into its phase of decline with the outbreak of the First World War, this was not the case for those who had to respond to this war and who participated in the revolutionary uprisings that followed. On the contrary, as shown in this article, the majority of marxists shared this point of view. Similarly, for them, understanding the new historic period was indispensable for reinvigorating the communist programme and the tactics that flowed from it.

Book review: Simon Pirani, The Russian revolution in retreat, 1920-1924

This book, based on original research in newly available Russian archives, is a serious re-appraisal of the processes that led to the degeneration of the Russian revolution, and includes fascinating information on the opposition to this degeneration by Russian workers and communists in the early 1920s. 

1918: The revolution criticises its errors, Part 1

Faced with all the conflicting arguments about the Russian revolution, it is difficult to steer an even course between the predominant view - that the revolution was a total disaster for humanity and inexorably led to the horrors of Stalinism - and the less fashionable but equally uncritical portrayals of Lenin and the Bolsheviks as superheroes who never made any errors...
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