- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Some more thoughts on October

Posted by: Stoller on February 23, 19100 at 12:03:44:

In Reply to: Reaction is always bloodier than revolution posted by NJ on February 22, 19100 at 10:30:46:

: Barry, your examples have NOTHING in common with each other. The Paris Commune tookj hostages when they were fighting for their very life against an evil and imperial state. It was quite literally 'us or them'.

: The Trotsky/Stalin/Beria bunch of Bolsheviks, on the other hand (i don't know too much about Lenin) killed everyone- peasants, communists, religious people- who they thought was undesirable in a perfect society. Their exterminationist terror has NOTHING in common with the reluctatnt, defensive violence committed by the paris commune.

I'm not sure what you're basing this on but the October Revolution was certainly a life and death, 'us versus them' struggle between socialism and the restoration of capital (especially peasant capital).

I hope I have stated enough times that I consider the October Revolution to have been a failure---based primarily on the immaturity of industrial development and the inability of other revolutionary movements in other (more industrially developed) countries to flourish. Obviously, the October revolution devolved into a spiralling cold civil war requiring more and more concessions to bureaucratic centralism (which eventually strangled the worker's autonomy altogether).

This admission should not, however, be construed as a right-wing criticism / disavowal of the first attempt in history to form a worker's state. Far from it: a heroic first attempt was made by the Bolsheviks to wrest capital from the hands of the imperialist forces. Often all too forgotten is how horrible the First World War was, how shocking it was; this itself gave a great deal of legitimacy to the Bolsheviks' struggle (and tactics).

Speaking of right-wing, to include Trotsky with Stalin, as you do above, only shows your ignorance and / or susceptibility to anti-communist propaganda. Some 'peasants' hoarded grain so monopoly profits could be extorted from starving workers; some 'communists' were, in fact, quasi-socialist quacks devoted to the restoration of capital; and some 'religious people' were equally devoted to the restoration of capital. It's not the label that counts, its the class affiliation. You were either with the revolution or you were against it; it was not---repeat, NOT---like Dr. Zhivago.

If the October revolution demonstrated anything, it was that Marx and Engels were unduly optimistic about the peasant's support for the proletarian cause. Luckily, this time around, capital is eradicating the world of peasants, making it easier for communists in the future, as it were...

Workers of the World Unite!

Follow Ups:


The Debating Room Post a Followup