4 Comments

  1. Alex Apollonio
    8 September, 2014 @ 10:24 pm

    Oftentimes when this period is described, revolutionaries are made out to be exactly the same – all throwing in with Lenin and the Bolsheviks. I like how the focus of this post is less so about conflict between revolutionaries and the government as it is about conflict between different rebel groups. It’s interesting that even some who described themselves as Marxists stepped forward and said, “We’re not ready for this.”

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  2. Jimmy Jewett
    8 September, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

    I thought this was a great short summary on the state of Lenin and Marxism at this time. I would love to hear your thoughts on whether you think the Mensheviks just did a poor job at articulating their political ideology to the masses or if the Bolshevik’s were just better at it or just got their message out faster. I feel that peasants would be partial to improving their condition in generally and would not be quick to jump on the movement that essentially completely changes the entire makeup of Russia’s political and economic system. It would also be interesting to learn what tactics the Bolsheviks used in spreading their propaganda, as I am sure it had strong political influence and perhaps fictional aspects.

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    • A. Lengyel
      11 September, 2014 @ 10:57 am

      I have no secondary sources to back this up, so take it all with a grain of salt, but I feel that the main problem faced by the Mensheviks was that their solutions were not radical enough for many of those who felt disenfranchised in Russia, meaning that their solution (a gradual evolution into capitalism, then socialism, etc.) did not offer any form of short-term relief to the everyday Russian. Their proposed route to socialism would take decades if not generations to finish, while the Bolsheviks said that a socialist government was attainable in the short-term, without the populace being ground through the cogs of capitalism. Even today, most people value short-term gratification over long-term prosperity. I feel that this was also the case with the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.

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  3. Kelly Cooper
    8 September, 2014 @ 12:08 pm

    This was a very informative post. I like how you emphasized that Marxism was different in different areas and states. It was helpful for me to read your reevaluation the conflict over whether Russia should go through capitalism although it was not desired or whether they should jump right over capitalism and enter into a socialist economy. However, I was wondering where you came to the conclusion that Lenin approved of terrorism before 1905? It is well known that Lenin approved of it later, but in “What Is To Be Done?” I found a passage in which Lenin describes “excitative terror” as an obstacle in forming a party. I am not saying you are wrong, I was just wondering if you found something in his work that supports that Lenin approved of terrorism, for maybe this reveals an inconsistency in his ideas.

    Citation:
    “Lenin’s What Is To Be Done?: The Primitiveness of the Economists and the Organization of the Revolutionaries.” Marxists Internet Archive. Accessed September 7, 2014. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1901/witbd/iv.htm.

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