Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Zuper on Fri May 26, 2017 1:13 pm

ostap bender wrote:
Zuper wrote:

To znaci da ljudi sa enciklopedije Britannica lazu i da su ludaci? Samo ptiam.


Constantinople Agreement
World War I
https://www.britannica.com/event/Constantinople-Agreement

Constantinople Agreement, (March 18, 1915), secret World War I agreement between Russia, Britain, and France for the postwar partition of the Ottoman Empire. It promised to satisfy Russia’s long-standing designs on the Turkish Straits by giving Russia Constantinople (Istanbul), together with a portion of the hinterland on either coast in Thrace and Asia Minor. Constantinople, however, was to be a free port. In return, Russia consented to British and French plans for territories or for spheres of influence in new Muslim states in the Middle Eastern parts of the Ottoman Empire. This first of a series of secret treaties on the “Turkish question” was never carried out because the Dardanelles campaign failed and because, when the British navy finally did reach Istanbul in 1918, Russia had made a separate peace with Germany and declared itself the enemy of all bourgeois states, France and Britain prominent among them.
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Laz?
A za ovo podebljano: to ono bese kada su Lenjin i Trocki izbacili sve tajne dogovore Antante?  Je l se to desilo ili je i to laz?

 da li ti razumes da su ciljevi boljsevika bili potpuno razliciti od ciljeva zaracenih strana?

Razumem da su Boljsevici iskorisceni od strane Nemacke. To sto se desilo sa Nemackom u drugoj polovini 1918 nema nikakve veze sa Boljsevicima, Nemacka je dobila sta je htela ranije. I to celo vreme govorim.
Kao sto su bili korisceni pre rata od strane Cara po potrebi jer su stalno pravili razdor medju levim grupama i strankama.
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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by William Murderface on Fri May 26, 2017 1:19 pm

Lenjin se kladio i pobedio, Nemci su se kladili i izgubili, it's that simple, ti samo pokušavaš da loaded terminima pretvoriš tu prostu činjenicu u tabloidni naslov.

LENJIN IZAZVAO HAOS U RUSIJI! (DAGEROTIPIJA)


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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Zuper on Fri May 26, 2017 1:21 pm

Filipenko wrote:Zuper ne razume da sporazuma ima zilion i da se isti ne pretaču u stvarnost; zapravo, stvarnost pre ili kasnije oblikuje sporazume. Ovakvi "sporazumi" najčešće i ostaju mrtvo slovo na papiru. I naravno da zapad ne bi u tri života predao Rusiji Carigrad da su ga zauzeli iskrcavanjem na Dardanelama; napravili bi se gluvi, rekli bi da su najveće žrtve podneli Australijanci, bilo bi X revizija sporazuma i slično. Pa nisu džaba vodili krimski rat da zadrže Ruse unutar Crnog Mora da bi im već u narednom velikom ratu predali izlaz na toplo more i geostrateški 1 od 2-3 najvažnijih mesta na planeti.

Verovatno će tako da citira i 50:50 dogovor Staljina i Čerčila, ignorišući da je najpre uticaj bio 100:0 u korist SSSR-a, da bi se nivelisao tek nakon sukoba sa Staljinom, ili da je 50:50 važio i za Mađarsku, pa je SSSR tamo sve čvrsto držao pod uzdom.

Ili priču o idiličnom londonskom ugovoru o širenju teritorija kraljevine Srbije, i samo da smo to prihvatili i bili manja, nebezbednija i slabija država nego što smo bili, sve bi bilo totalno drugačije

Moguce da si ti u pravu. Ali to nikada necemo saznati. Istina je da su vodili nekoliko ratova kako bi sprecili Ruse da uzmu Carigrad ali nikada nisu imali dogovor i ugovor o predaju istog kao 1915.
Ta prica oko Srbije i Londonskog ugovora je dobrim delom otisla niz vetar objavljivanjem tajnih prepiski Antante koji su napravili Lenjin i Trocki. Sta bi se desavalo da nije bilo toga ili Revolucije niko ne zna, isto kao u slucaju Carigrada. Mozda bi bilo gore, ko zna.
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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by ostap bender on Fri May 26, 2017 1:24 pm

bio bi savrsen svet bez jevreja u carigradu. ovako se ne prica ozbiljno o istoriji.


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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by William Murderface on Fri May 26, 2017 1:28 pm

Ruski scenario!


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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Filipenko on Fri May 26, 2017 1:54 pm

Ja bih išao u Rusiju na more.
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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by William Murderface on Fri May 26, 2017 2:00 pm

And now something completely different.

The Paris Commune essentially arose out of the defeat suffered by the French ruling class at the hands of the Prussians and the Germans, like many other revolutions in history. Napoleon III made a huge error in provoking a conflict with the Germans, and Bismarck and gang were waiting. After this defeat inflicted on the French army, they fled to Versailles.
The Parisians, the workers especially, and the artisans and the intellectuals, said, “We don’t accept this surrender, and let us liberate Paris, and hold it, and fight the Prussians. We don’t want to be occupied either by Napoleon or the Prussians.”

Here you see echoes of Lenin’s position during World War I: We’re not going to support either side. We first saw glimmers of that in the Paris Commune, and they took over. They defeated the reactionary armies gathered in Versailles, and you had the first big outbreak of what we can only call workers’ and popular democracy.
Not all Commune participants were workers. There were many citizens involved who were small artisans in little workshops, artists, writers. Rimbaud, for example, wrote a poem describing going through the Paris Commune, which is incredibly moving.
Then the Paris Commune electrified everyone by saying, “We’re going to elect our own representatives from below,” because democracy did not exist at that time anywhere. Germany was probably the most advanced, but here too, a powerful emergency law had been put into motion to try and keep the Social Democrats at a distance. This democracy from below excited everyone, and these representatives went to the local assembly and their All-Paris Assembly and made their voices heard.
The Vienna Consensus in 1815was not too dissimilar to the Washington Consensus of the 1990s, where they said, “We must make sure that wherever revolution rises, wherever opposition forces develop, they are crushed immediately. We can’t take these risks.”
Then 1848 erupted with revolutions and demands for national self-determination all over Europe, and then you had the outbreak of the Paris Commune. This was very close to the hearts and the minds of revolutionaries all over the world. The message went out as far as the Philippines: “Look what’s happening in Paris. Look what’s said or what they’re doing.”
From 1871 onwards, you began to see the development of a current which was proto-Marxist. Marx supported the Commune completely, but felt that a huge number of tactical mistakes had been committed due to inexperience which could have been stopped. Those people who try and differentiate Lenin from Marx will find that actually what Marx said on the Paris Commune was very similar to what Lenin was going to say later.
The other thing about Lenin and the state that was created in 1917 is that all the Western alliance — the Entente powers, the United States — consisted of the people who would run American intelligence for years to come. John Foster Dulles and Alan Dulles as twenty-somethings were present at that meeting to decide how to defeat the Russian Revolution. Britain was involved. Other European powers were involved. Twenty-two armies backed by the big powers of the Western alliance were trying to defeat the Russians. That left a very deep mark on that revolution.
You need an understanding of politics. Lenin, his generation, and Marx: these were political people. They understood that without politics, nothing could move forward. Lenin was of course in this sense a genius, as even his enemies acknowledged. Absolutely crystal clear, not painting defeats as victories, but saying that victories were possible if we did A, B, and C.
https://jacobinmag.com/2017/05/dilemmas-vladimir-lenin-tariq-ali-russian-revolution-democracy


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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Filipenko on Fri May 26, 2017 2:07 pm

Pa dobro, to je potpuno razumljivo. Protiv pariske komune su se ujedinili i budući nacisti i vazda sirožderi, to je bio jedinstven primer da se dve neprijateljske armije ujedine i udare po glavi zajedničkog neprijatelja koji se pojavio "niotkuda", to jest Parižane. Naravno da su komunisti tada izvukli pouke.
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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by William Murderface on Fri May 26, 2017 2:09 pm

Pa da, ali Zuperova cela priča je da je Lenjin radio protiv interesa carističke Rusije. Pa naravno da jeste, pobogu.


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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Zuper on Fri May 26, 2017 2:27 pm

On je radio za interese Nemacke. To je cela prica. Jer nikakvo ugledanje na komune se ne bi desilo da mu Nemci nisu to omogucili.
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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by William Murderface on Fri May 26, 2017 2:48 pm



Gluposti, i objasnili su ti ljudi zašto su gluposti. Radio je za interese boljševičke revolucije i u tome je bio izuzetno uspešan (što tebe, naravno, najviše i boli, pa zato sad i izvodiš besne gliste).  Boleo ga je kurac i za carističku Nemačku i za carističku Rusiju, kak normaljno.


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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Filipenko on Fri May 26, 2017 3:30 pm

Obaška što bi, da su mu se planovi realizovali kako je zamišljao, i Carigrad i svi ostali gradovi bili u Sovjetskoj Rusiji. Uključujući i stari slovenski grad Berlin, kao i kišno blatište zvano Pariz.


Oj Poljaci, proklete vam duše*, na komade razdrobiste Tuhačevskog!








* - ne računajući Konstantina Konstantinoviča i Feliksa Edmundoviča, logično

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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Zuper on Fri May 26, 2017 4:00 pm

William Murderface wrote:

Gluposti, i objasnili su ti ljudi zašto su gluposti. Radio je za interese boljševičke revolucije i u tome je bio izuzetno uspešan (što tebe, naravno, najviše i boli, pa zato sad i izvodiš besne gliste).  Boleo ga je kurac i za carističku Nemačku i za carističku Rusiju, kak normaljno.

A do Rusije je dojezdio kao Suri Soko uzimajuci po koju rajhs marku iz ruku postenih ljudi koji su ga hranili kada je sleteo da odmori.
Nemci su dobili sta su hteli sa Brest-Litovski sporazumom.
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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Filipenko on Fri May 26, 2017 4:00 pm

Pa dobili su i boljševici - predah za konsolidaciju i ponovno ovladavanje tim teritorijama (što su i uradili).

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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Zuper on Fri May 26, 2017 4:07 pm

A, sto se tice optuzbi da mi smeta sto je obarao Cara, tu gresis. Covek koji nije uspevao da sacuva svoje najbolje oficire koji su mu doneli velike pobede, poput Brusilova, nije mogao duze opstati.  Ali to nema nikakve veze sa time da je Lenjinov ulazak u Rusiju pomagala Nemacka za svoje interese koje je dobila 1918 i taj Lenjin je to omogucio.

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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Zuper on Fri May 26, 2017 4:09 pm

Filipenko wrote:Pa dobili su i boljševici - predah za konsolidaciju i ponovno ovladavanje tim teritorijama (što su i uradili).

Predah za konsolidaciju sa desetinama hiljadama mrtvih nakon Poljske invazije Ukrajine i Belorusije, kada ulecu u vakuum koji je nastao Brest-Litovskim sporazumom i porazom Nemacke?
Retka mudrost ostaviti 100 000-150 000 ratnih zarobljenika Crvene armije da ih muce po Poljskoj.
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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by William Murderface on Fri May 26, 2017 4:35 pm

Lupetanje level Ratibor Djurdjevic.


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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by ostap bender on Fri May 26, 2017 4:38 pm

sta ce covek bio nemacki agent pa je morao tako. ovo sto ti pricas je malo umivena prica o rokfelerima i boljsevicima.


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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Filipenko on Fri May 26, 2017 7:39 pm

Zuper wrote:
Filipenko wrote:Pa dobili su i boljševici - predah za konsolidaciju i ponovno ovladavanje tim teritorijama (što su i uradili).

Predah za konsolidaciju sa desetinama hiljadama mrtvih nakon Poljske invazije Ukrajine i Belorusije, kada ulecu u vakuum koji je nastao Brest-Litovskim sporazumom i porazom Nemacke?


Aha, verovatno je i to bio deo paklenog plana i izražavanja pokornosti Nemačkoj, pošto Lenjin nije mogao znati 1917. šta će biti 1918. ali je mogao znati 1918. šta će biti 1919. ?


Zuper wrote:A, sto se tice optuzbi da mi smeta sto je obarao Cara, tu gresis. Covek koji nije uspevao da sacuva svoje najbolje oficire koji su mu doneli velike pobede, poput Brusilova, nije mogao duze opstati.  Ali to nema nikakve veze sa time da je Lenjinov ulazak u Rusiju pomagala Nemacka za svoje interese koje je dobila 1918 i taj Lenjin je to omogucio.


Hvala što si me podsetio. Recimo, Brusilov je bio na strani boljševika i moskovske vlade.

 
Brusilov published in Pravda an appeal entitled “To All Former Officers, Wherever They Might Be”, encouraging them to forgive past grievances and to join the Red Army. Brusilov considered it as a patriotic duty of all Russian officers to join hands with the Bolshevik government, which in his opinion was defending Russia against foreign invaders.


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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Filipenko on Fri May 26, 2017 7:42 pm

William Murderface wrote:Lupetanje level Ratibor Djurdjevic.


Ne, najgore u svemu tome je što ti likovi zaista misle da su otkrili nešto novo i da će nam preneti nešto što mi (a i ostatak sveta) nismo znali. Pa onda ubace tu neko svoje tumačenje i očekuju da ga svi prihvatimo.


Kao što se danas pregovori partizana o razmeni zarobljenika posle Neretve koriste za "AHA! ZNALI SMO! I partizani su PREGOVARALI SA NEMCIMA!" uratke, gde se pregovori o razmeni zarobljenika predstave kao nekakvi autentični pregovori ili čak bolje reći dogovori i koordinacija, i onda to kao treba da ima istu onu snagu koju su imala pregovaranja kolaboracionističkih snaga o zajedničkim dejstvima, vršenja uprave na nekoj teritoriji i slično. I još to predstavljaju kao da niko živ nije znao za te pregovore.


Ili kada četnici pitaju "što partizani nisu oslobodili Jasenovac", a četnici Dražinog vojvode Rada Radića bili psi tragači u ofanzivi na Kozaru, napadali partizane sa leđe, vodali ustaše i švabe po Kozari i pokazivali gde su zbegovi, te pljačkali i ubijali zajedno sa njima 

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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Zuper on Fri May 26, 2017 8:18 pm

Filipenko wrote:
Zuper wrote:

Predah za konsolidaciju sa desetinama hiljadama mrtvih nakon Poljske invazije Ukrajine i Belorusije, kada ulecu u vakuum koji je nastao Brest-Litovskim sporazumom i porazom Nemacke?


Aha, verovatno je i to bio deo paklenog plana i izražavanja pokornosti Nemačkoj, pošto Lenjin nije mogao znati 1917. šta će biti 1918. ali je mogao znati 1918. šta će biti 1919. ?


Zuper wrote:A, sto se tice optuzbi da mi smeta sto je obarao Cara, tu gresis. Covek koji nije uspevao da sacuva svoje najbolje oficire koji su mu doneli velike pobede, poput Brusilova, nije mogao duze opstati.  Ali to nema nikakve veze sa time da je Lenjinov ulazak u Rusiju pomagala Nemacka za svoje interese koje je dobila 1918 i taj Lenjin je to omogucio.


Hvala što si me podsetio. Recimo, Brusilov je bio na strani boljševika i moskovske vlade.

 
Brusilov published in Pravda an appeal entitled “To All Former Officers, Wherever They Might Be”, encouraging them to forgive past grievances and to join the Red Army. Brusilov considered it as a patriotic duty of all Russian officers to join hands with the Bolshevik government, which in his opinion was defending Russia against foreign invaders.



Koje godine i koji dogadjaj je izazvao Brusilova da to napise?
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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Guest on Sat May 27, 2017 11:37 pm

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Re: Nešto se, drugovi, veliko dešava u Rusiji!

Post by Gargantua on Tue May 30, 2017 9:15 am

The Legacy of Vladimir Lenin


AN INTERVIEW WITH
[*]TARIQ ALI

One hundred years after the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Lenin's ideas on democracy, terrorism, and revolution still matter.






Writer, filmmaker, and journalist Tariq Ali’s new book The Dilemmas of Lenin: Terrorism, War, Empire, Love, Revolution, came out last month, in the centenary year of the Russian Revolution — and in April, exactly one hundred years since Lenin’s April Theses, the call to arms after the successful February Revolution which brought down the czar but didn’t bring the soviets to power.
Tariq’s book brings out an unknown Lenin, one who loved Latin literature and classical music, who was profoundly influenced by the political convulsions of the time that intimately affected his own family.
History sees Lenin as a ruthless dictator, so it may be surprising to hear about his commitment to democracy. In this interview with Jacobin Radio’s Suzi Weissman, Ali unravels the myths and slanders about Lenin’s role in history, helps us assess Lenin’s ideas and actions, and asks what relevance they have for today.
This transcript has been edited; you can listen to the episode here, and subscribe to Jacobin Radio on iTunesStitcher, and Blubrry

INTERVIEW BY
SUZI WEISSMAN



Suzi Weissman
In your new book, you give us a Lenin that we haven’t normally seen: his love of literature and Latin, and chess, and the impact of his brother’s death.

Tariq Ali
These are the things people don’t talk about, and for a variety of reasons. One reason is what the Soviet leadership did to Lenin after he died. This was a decision taken by the Politburo to mummify him, to display his body in public, to transform him into a Byzantine saint. It’s very much a tradition of the Orthodox Church. Even though some people on the Politburo were not in favor of it, they couldn’t fight it because it would have seemed very sectarian.
Lenin’s widow, Nadia Krupskaya, and his two sisters, pleaded with the leadership and said, “He would have hated it. He loathed all this sort of deification. Please bury him underneath the Kremlin walls where other leaders and activists have been buried. Do not do this to him.”
But they did do this to him, and it was a clever move. They could use Lenin, especially in the Stalin years — rebuild him as someone he wasn’t, forge photographs with him.
Stalin in particular did this. He of course met Lenin quite a lot at Politburo meetings, but to show that they were friends, a lot of photography was faked. Fake paintings were done to show that there’s a total continuity between Lenin, his thought, and what existed in the Soviet Union in the thirties.

Two different groups of people believed or believe this. One was the Stalinist leadership in Russia, and the second was the West.
In this, they had an unholy alliance. The Stalinists said, “What we are doing is a continuation of the work of comrade Lenin,” and what the West and its leaders and ideologues said was “Yes, Lenin is the basis of what is going on in the Soviet Union now.” These two giant state and ideological apparatuses combined to make people forget the real Lenin.
Underneath it all, there lay a very different political leader and theoretician.

Suzi Weissman
The first time I went to the Soviet Union, I was surprised to see the long lines to go to the tomb. I thought then that it will take posterity to sort out Lenin. Has enough time passed that we can bring out this unfamiliar Lenin?

Tariq Ali
There’s a great deal of hostility, of course, within the mainstream, but the viciousness is gone because the Soviet Union doesn’t exist. I was, frankly speaking, very delighted but also quite surprised that the New York Times asked me to do an op-ed on Lenin. I effectively defended my views as written in the book, and it was published without a murmur.
I hope that this indicates that serious attention is going to be paid to his thought and some of his key writings. The “April Theses,” where he dramatically changes his point of view on what is needed; State and Revolution, where he says, “What we need is a version of the Paris Communes.”
One of the key things in the Paris Commune was elections from below on every single level, so much so that the great French painter Gustave Courbet organized the artists in every quarter in Paris, who elected delegates, who were in charge of deciding how Paris was to look. It was a totally democratic process. This is the model Lenin wanted.
Some people after his death said that, “The Civil War was awful, but even during the Civil War, we had certain freedoms which reminded us of the Paris Commune. There was a sense of equality. Anyone could say what they wanted within the ranks of the army and the party. We could argue with the commissars, etc.”
That whole experience was wiped out by the Stalin dictatorship, and it created this opinion that it all originated with Lenin. The old, old debate — was there total continuity between Lenin and what came after, or none at all? You can’t say either. I think there were elements of continuity. We can’t deny that, but usually about decisions taken during emergency situations.
The most moving thing was going through his last writings, when he’s in a rage. He’s been crippled by a stroke. He’s looking suddenly at a distance, because he’s no longer allowed by doctors to attend governmental meetings or party meetings. He looks at what they’ve accomplished, and he says, “Oh my God, this is not going well.”
His big argument in State and Revolution is that a socialist republic has to destroy all the remnants of czarism, its bureaucracy, and the great Russian chauvinism. He says, “It seems to me sometimes that even though we won the revolution, the old czarist bureaucracy is still in power, and infecting Bolshevik apparatchiks and leaders with what it used to be like.”
This shocks him, so he is preparing a set of sharp documents to try and change this, changing the structure of the Politburo, giving more power to the Control Commission, saying that Stalin should be removed as general secretary of the party, saying what has gone wrong and why.
This is what we, many of us, have been saying for years. Socialism, given where it happened and took place, is always an approximation. You can’t say, “This is socialism.” You are striving towards it. Lenin writes this very quickly.

Suzi Weissman
In your book, you describe when the old anarchist, Prince Kropotkin, met Lenin when he returned to the then-Soviet Union. The anarchists were about to be banned, but he came to Moscow and met with him in May 1919 and complained about bureaucracy. Lenin answered, “We’re always against officialdom everywhere.”

Tariq Ali
He was quite found of Kropotkin, and he was quite fond of some of the anarchist militants and activists. How could he not be? They had dominated Russian politics for the whole of the nineteenth century.
It wasn’t Marxism that was dominant. It was anarchism. This was the ideology the young people liked. These were the ideas of Kropotkin and Bakunin, which they adopted and which led them to a form of anarcho-terrorism because they said, “There’s nothing left for us to do.
In some of Karl Marx’s correspondence with Russians like Chernyshevsky, and of course in his talks with Bakunin, he says that, “I am of course completely opposed to terrorism in general, because it’s a distraction from building mass movements and parties, winning over the majority of the working class. But in the Russian case,” says Marx, “there is an argument, since everything is blocked. When young people say, ‘The only way to unblock it is to blow up the oppressors,’ I understand that. You can’t build a strategy around it, but I do understand that.”
Quite a lot of the women who became active at that time were middle-class women, very well-educated, or in the case of Sophia Perovskaya — who blew up one of the czars — she was actually the daughter of the governor-general of Petersburg. These senior bureaucrats actually knew where the czar went, when he went, where he walked, so she organized everything. She was the main organizer, and of course she was hanged for it — the first woman to be hanged by the czarist autocracy.
Lenin knew this. He grew up in it. His brother had mistakenly got involved with a tiny anarchist group when anarchism itself was collapsing. He only wrote the leaflets, and the prosecutor in the court said to him, “Aleksandr Ulyanov, we know what you have done.” Lenin’s brother said, “Yes, you know that I have written the leaflets, but I take full responsibility for the entire action.” There was a nobility there. He didn’t need to do that, and had he not done that, he might well have been given the prison sentence.
Lenin, growing up in this milieu, knew it all, and one of the first things he did was go and see a lot of these anarchists and old anarchist militants. Krupskaya writes quite coyly in Memories of Lenin, “We never went through a town when Vladimir Ilyich did not say okay, I now must go and see A, B, C, D, E, because they’re still alive.” These were always old anarchist militants, so this habit remained with him.

Suzi Weissman
The earlier tactics that Lenin later turned against — the tactic of using terror — sparked a conversation worldwide. Eugene Debs and Big Bill Haywood here in the United States weighed in, and talked about how direct action is okay, but it has to be by the workers’ movement.

Tariq Ali
True.

Suzi Weissman
This is the position that Lenin of course adopted later on as well. Why did the Paris Commune mean so much to him?

Tariq Ali
The Paris Commune essentially arose out of the defeat suffered by the French ruling class at the hands of the Prussians and the Germans, like many other revolutions in history. Napoleon III made a huge error in provoking a conflict with the Germans, and Bismarck and gang were waiting. After this defeat inflicted on the French army, they fled to Versailles.
The Parisians, the workers especially, and the artisans and the intellectuals, said, “We don’t accept this surrender, and let us liberate Paris, and hold it, and fight the Prussians. We don’t want to be occupied either by Napoleon or the Prussians.”
Here you see echoes of Lenin’s position during World War I: We’re not going to support either side. We first saw glimmers of that in the Paris Commune, and they took over. They defeated the reactionary armies gathered in Versailles, and you had the first big outbreak of what we can only call workers’ and popular democracy.
Not all Commune participants were workers. There were many citizens involved who were small artisans in little workshops, artists, writers. Rimbaud, for example, wrote a poem describing going through the Paris Commune, which is incredibly moving.
Then the Paris Commune electrified everyone by saying, “We’re going to elect our own representatives from below,” because democracy did not exist at that time anywhere. Germany was probably the most advanced, but here too, a powerful emergency law had been put into motion to try and keep the Social Democrats at a distance. This democracy from below excited everyone, and these representatives went to the local assembly and their All-Paris Assembly and made their voices heard.
The Vienna Consensus in 1815 was not too dissimilar to the Washington Consensus of the 1990s, where they said, “We must make sure that wherever revolution rises, wherever opposition forces develop, they are crushed immediately. We can’t take these risks.”
Then 1848 erupted with revolutions and demands for national self-determination all over Europe, and then you had the outbreak of the Paris Commune. This was very close to the hearts and the minds of revolutionaries all over the world. The message went out as far as the Philippines: “Look what’s happening in Paris. Look what’s said or what they’re doing.”
From 1871 onwards, you began to see the development of a current which was proto-Marxist. Marx supported the Commune completely, but felt that a huge number of tactical mistakes had been committed due to inexperience which could have been stopped. Those people who try and differentiate Lenin from Marx will find that actually what Marx said on the Paris Commune was very similar to what Lenin was going to say later.
The other thing about Lenin and the state that was created in 1917 is that all the Western alliance — the Entente powers, the United States — consisted of the people who would run American intelligence for years to come. John Foster Dulles and Alan Dulles as twenty-somethings were present at that meeting to decide how to defeat the Russian Revolution. Britain was involved. Other European powers were involved. Twenty-two armies backed by the big powers of the Western alliance were trying to defeat the Russians. That left a very deep mark on that revolution.
You need an understanding of politics. Lenin, his generation, and Marx: these were political people. They understood that without politics, nothing could move forward. Lenin was of course in this sense a genius, as even his enemies acknowledged. Absolutely crystal clear, not painting defeats as victories, but saying that victories were possible if we did A, B, and C.

Suzi Weissman
The February Revolution was spontaneous, with workers pouring into the street. They overthrew the czar, but because there was vacillation, the soviets did not proclaim their power, and instead a weak provisional government came into power. It was a very free time, but on the other hand, the revolution was not yet finished. What happened when Lenin came back from exile and landed at the Finland Station?

Tariq Ali
When Lenin got there, the soviets were just being assembled. Some existed. Not all over the country, but in all the main centers, this was the model. There was no parliament. The Duma was not respected at all, and because of the experience of 1905 — a dress rehearsal for the revolution, as Lenin called it — when soviets first sprang up spontaneously and none of the parties were strong in them. They were genuinely spontaneous and liberatory. Many people realized that this should be the model of democracy — a soviet democracy — which had a very different meaning to what was later ascribed to it.
When Lenin arrives, he’s greeted by an official delegation from the soviet, led by the liberal and moderate parties, and effectively Chkheidze, a right Menshevik, says, “We welcome you back, comrade Lenin, on behalf of the Petrograd Soviet, but we urge you to understand that this is a very broad revolution and that you must unite with everyone else to take the movement forward.” Lenin shakes hands with him indifferently, and then moves forward to address the workers’ and soldiers’ delegates waiting. He says, “We have to make a revolution, and this revolution has to be a socialist revolution. We have to end the war, and the chance to go after land, peace, and bread.”
This is one of Lenin’s old bitty slogans. Underneath each word, land, peace, and bread, there is an iron pillar, which is Bolshevik tactical and strategic policy. That’s what these pillars encompass, and these are very popular slogans.

The officials moan. They think, “God, nothing changes. The guy is still the same. He hasn’t changed,” because some of the Bolsheviks gave them to understand that we were all together now, and nothing much was going to happen. Lenin understood that if this moment is lost, there will be no revolution, because these jokers who were in power refused to take Russia out of the war, which was a hugely popular demand. They couldn’t or didn’t have the power to transform the social situation.

Suzi Weissman
It’s here that Victor Serge says that Lenin was a revolutionist at the time of revolution, and that defines a leader. He knew the moment, could see what it held, and grasp it and move forward with it.

Tariq Ali
Exactly. Lenin drafted the “April Theses.” One shouldn’t mystify these too much. He liked writing in the form of theses. They were condensed. They were very clear. There were no extra words in them, just mapping out and pointing what needed to be done. Lenin said that the proletariat has to take power.
Orthodoxy says that all we are permitted to have at this moment is a bourgeois democratic revolution. That means we ourselves shouldn’t participate in it because we’re against the bourgeoisie. Let them do the revolution, and we will wait, and when they’ve accomplished it and developed it, then we will come out and make a different socialist revolution. Lenin said, “This is complete and utter nonsense.”
As the weeks pass, two things are obvious. Lenin’s views are extremely popular in the factories, not just the Putilov factories but quite a large number of other subsidiary factories that surround Petrograd. They are very popular with the women, working-class women and women confined to the home. Making sure that people in his own party understand that, he first wins over the Bolshevik rank and file.
The working class is ahead of the party, then the rank and file is ahead of the party leadership, and then Lenin finally stands up and tells the party leaders, “Okay, what are we going to do?” By this time, most of them have agreed that the April Theses have to be adopted, though when Lenin first came in, they said, “Lenin has gone mad. What’s going on?”
Importantly, the adoption of the “April Theses” opens the door for Trotsky and his small group of extremely gifted intellectuals, who’ve been arguing along these lines themselves for many years, to now come in and join the Bolshevik Party — thus strengthening the intellectual culture of the Bolsheviks, which was not at its highest level.

Suzi Weissman
Let’s talk from April to October and the excitement of the revolution.

Tariq Ali
There are ups and downs. At one point in July 1917, the workers — or the most militant section of the workers, unorganized by any party but quite a lot of them were Bolshevik sympathizers — decide that, “Enough is enough, and we’ve got to take power now.” Lenin, of course knowing the situation extremely well by now, is convinced that this is premature, because they still don’t have a majority in the key soviets, and tries to stop it. But once the workers come out, the Bolsheviks go out with them. There’s no question of staying at home, no question of passivity, and this is crushed.
Then you have a counterrevolutionary response. Trotsky’s arrested. Other Bolshevik leaders are picked up. Lenin is forced by his own party to go into exile, so disguised as a railwayman and wearing a wig (in which he looks very cool, by the way).
He crosses the border, and from there he carries on pummeling the leadership, saying, “This is a temporary setback. Nothing fundamental has changed.” By September, as the front is totally disintegrating, there are mutinies, there are large-scale desertions, and the peasants in uniform are coming home — and very vulnerable to Bolshevik agitation. It is this Bolshevik agitation politics, that wins them over.
It becomes very difficult for Kornilov and the right-wing generals to rely on their own soldiers to carry out massacres. When Kornilov’s troops are marching towards Petrograd to try and bump off everyone and take power Pinochet-style, Bolshevik agitators go out and say, “Look, do you know why you are being brought into Petrograd? You’re being brought in to crush your fellow workers, to help crush other soldiers.” The army begins to drain away.
By this time, Lenin is back in Moscow, secret meetings of the leadership take place, and they decide, “This is the day, the seventh of November, when we are going to actually take power.”
People say this was a conspiracy, but this was the most openly proclaimed revolution in world history. There was no secret. When Lenin was even in the minority, someone said to him in the Petrograd soviet, “People talk of taking power. Is there any party in this assembly that is prepared to take power now?” This short, bald man raises his hand, is recognized, gets up, and says, “The Bolsheviks are ready to take power now.” There’s laughter and merriment and jokes.
By the end of September, something key happens. The Bolsheviks have a majority in the workers’ and soldiers’ soviets of Moscow and Petrograd. When Lenin learns that this has happened and the situation has changed, then he decides, “Okay, the time is right,” and they plan the takeover, which happens without any violence at all.
One footnote here. The great Menshevik historian N. N. Sukhanov, who has written one of the best histories of the revolution — quite critical of Lenin in some ways but a wonderful history — says that he rang up his wife to tell her he’d be a bit late, and his wife said, “I’d rather you didn’t come home tonight. There are lots of people staying. Stay in the office tonight.” The next day, Sukhanov finds out that the reason he was chucked out is that the Bolshevik Central Committee was meeting at his house to make the decision to launch the insurrection.

Suzi Weissman
Trotsky once said not just that revolutions are the mad inspiration of history, but that a revolution is a fight for the army, and the side that gets the army wins. Whole garrisons were supporting the Bolsheviks, but the revolution was fairly peaceful.

Tariq Ali
Completely. There were very few casualties. Eisenstein’s film October exaggerated the affair. He felt he had to make a movie of it, but it was a relatively calm affair. There was great joy in the streets.

Suzi Weissman
What is the legacy of the revolution?

Tariq Ali
Socialism plus democracy. This was a socialist revolution made before its time, isolated in Europe through massacres in Germany of the German leaders of the working class, Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebnecht, etc. All the Bolsheviks agreed that if they were isolated, there would be trouble. Of course, there was trouble — both internally and with external powers, and the rise of fascism in Germany.
Had the revolution taken place in Germany, in the 1920s, the whole history of Europe would have been different.


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