Saturday, 22 October 2011

Learning from the past

The Social Democrats, Liberals, the Kadet party, the Russian SDLP, the Socialist Revolutionary Party, Bolsheviks, Mensheviks, Anarchists and the Constitutional Democratic Party perhaps had little in common with each other in St Petersburg in 1917, but all were absolutely united in opposition to the Tsar and the ruling political class. Russia was suffering from stagnant earnings and high inflation, had committed her armed forces to two disastrous wars in a decade and the concentration of wealth and power in the same tiny minority that also dominated politics had alienated the vast majority of the population. 


The Russian Revolution was not a single incident, not 'the Russian Revolution 1917'. Rather it was a process that started at the beginning of the twentieth century and culminated with the deposition of the ruling political class almost two decades later. The Revolution was iterative. Popular pressures and demands rose in a series of waves that were temporarily assuaged and defused or that didn't have the inertial energy to overtop the breakwater, but each time a wave retreated yet another political movement grew, more of the populace became militant and antipathetic to the ruling class, and the inevitable overturning-mass grew in scale until eventually the regime was swept away not in the mighty storm of later Soviet poster art but with a feint shove. 


Russia's political class had chance after chance to avert the Revolution; had they implemented land reform, had they ceded power to a truly democratic Duma, had the Grand Dukes who ruled the Court and owned the factories been divested of their obscene wealth, then Russia might still be a constitutional monarchy. But time after time they couldn't bring themselves to effect change that would deprive themselves of wealth and power, and so the iterative Revolution proceeded to its final and inevitable outcome. 




Over the next month Britain's beleaguered ruling political elite will face the force of the next wave of popular discontent. On Monday they will fight desperately for Euro-Federalism in the face of the nation's antipathy, and in November they will attempt to push through recommendations from the Committee on Standards in Public Life that hundreds of millions of taxpayers' money be stolen to pay for the failing and moribund State political parties. The bankers' bonus pool  of some £8bn will be announced at a time when the poor and elderly are freezing in homes they can longer afford to live in, and the Winter soup-kitchens on London's embankment see long queues. This won't be the wave, but it will see more popular discontent, greater popular engagement with anti-political class movements, a more entrenched popular opposition to a corrupt and sleazy regime, and Britain will take one more step forwards towards fundamental reform.   

13 comments:

Greg Tingey said...

Exactly.

We want a moderate revolution, lest we get a soviet one.

Funny that Camoron and the other traitors can't see that, isn't it?

English Pensioner said...

Following Monday's vote, Cameron will have a clearly split Conservative Party, and be even more in thrall to the LibDems.

Kerching said...

If those Grand Dukes had had any sense they would have buzzed off to London with the loot - just like their present lot of crooks have done.

Blue Eyes said...

England has managed to avoid widespread violence in constitutional reform for quite a long time now and there is no reason to believe it can't avoid violence in constitutional reform now.

The Occupy people, for example, have pointed out some of the problems we have in this country. Great, well done them. What they haven't done is provide any proposals for getting us out of this mess. Putting tents up in Central London is not a movement for change.

The real problem will come for all of us if even people on the "right" start calling for the state to be the only solution for pensioner poverty and unemployment.

TrT said...

revolutions cement the current system, they dont remove it.
The soviets further concentrated land ownership and effectivly stripped the populace of what little freedom the tsar had allowed.

Elby the Beserk said...

If they go for state funding of politic al parties, that will only reinforce my intention to remove myself from the electoral register when we get the next "sign up" form.

Enough.

Sean said...

Elby is on the right track, we need an organised "No Vote" party. A mass spoiling of ballot papers with red bingo pens will be my kind of revolution. Take away their legitimacy.

outsider said...

Great post but I wonder if you have got it the right way round. The complacent rulers who put off change time and again, who ignore endless warnings and do not know what is building up to destroy their power and their way of life are, I think, England's electors and institutions, including the rudderless C of E, trade unions seduced by Delors, the "modernising" BBC et al. For us it may now be too late.

More surprising is that nine EU members (especially 3 eurozone and 2 ERM2 countries) that won their independence from one bureaucratic autocracy and hegemony within most of their voters' lifetimes would willingly hand it over to another bureaucratic autocracy.

Anonymous said...

Go on - most of th inhabitants of the UK are dependent on the government. It is still bread and circuses.

Autonomous Mind said...

The problem we have is an ignorant population.

The uneducated masses (I don't mean in academic terms) are in ignorance because they have not been taught the reality of our situation.

A clear example of this is the EU referendum debate. Renegotiation is not an option, yet is continually pushed as something people could vote for in a referendum.

Before reform can take place people need to understand these things. Otherwise we risk replacing one sickening elite with another.

Greg Tingey said...

Oh dear.

The “occupy” protestors, in London and elsewhere turn out to be entirely correct, but for completely the wrong reasons.

An impartial scientific study, based on methods used for studying ecological and biological systems has turned up some very disturbing results.
See here:
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1107/1107.5728v2.pdf
and here, for a summary:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228354.500-revealed--the-capitalist-network-that-runs-the-world.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

What is really worrying is that all these small number of companies all appear to own each other.

In other words, it’s a closed, unelected Oligarchy.

Now what?

Edward Spalton said...

As Lenin & Co rightly surmised, you need a dedicated cadre of disciplined people, agreed on methods and aims, to make a revolution or to steer one that is already happening.

Where is there such a group to lead a democratic, decent revolution. Otherwise we could end up with the horrors of a French or Soviet revolution. Of the latter, Robert Conquest wrote -

There was an old Marxist called Lenin
Who did one or two million men in.
That's a lot to have done in,
But where he did one in,
That old Marxist Stalin did ten in.

anon anon said...

So...
The steps to the Communist destruction of the West are, as Bezmenev told us:
1. Demoralization (via subversion in education and on to politics, religion, law, education..)

2.Destabilization
(Continuation of the above, leading to political and economic difficulty, hence beginning the unrest)

3. Crisis... Here we are. Funny, isn't it: these protesters (worldwide!?!) are commie based; our puppet governments are all chock full of commies. The Church has a lot of commies in it, too.

So, they incite the Revolution against every traditional institution.

Now, how much communism has infiltrated the corporate banks, or what the relationship might be, I don't know. But I do know that Communists can make superb capitalists (see Hong Kong).

So... they feed the protests, encourage them....

4. Normalization: Bring in the troops and establish military control of the masses: under Communist leadership, of course.

So how soon will the euSSR have control of our forces? When will they start calling our children into service? We'll soon see...