- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Of course the revolutionaries had support.

Posted by: septimus ( Aus. ) on October 14, 1999 at 16:23:15:

In Reply to: Ever heard of the 'February' Revolution? Cuba? posted by Stoller on October 13, 1999 at 12:25:23:

: : Popular revolutions have only ever happened in Marxist imaginations.

: There were two revolutions in 1917.

: Both were popular revolutions. The second had leadership while the first not. Only difference.

: Now what about Cuba? Did only 12 men with 6 rifles actually take over the government---or did they receive some popular support?

: Get serious.

Of course the revolutionaries had support. But the revolution was no spontaneous explosion of action on the part of the wider populace. It was a war of attrition carried out by a handful of guerillas over a number of years. In the end it was a just a transfer of elites. Only those who had been living in the mountains with Che and Castro held power after the victory. I happen to believe that the vast majority of Cubans were probably better off as a result of all this, but the Marxist revolutionary romanticism which goes with it shits me.

If you'd done your reading you'd know that the split between the Russian Bolsheviks and Mensheviks was due to exactly this debate. The Mensheviks wanted to sit around and wait for the popular mood to be just right for an explosion of universal revolutionary fervour. The Bolsheviks wanted to take things into their own hands whether the populace was ready or not. This they did. They were right.

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