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Jan 23, 2021
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Sergey Kara-Murza: Now we are reaping the fruits of the revolution from above in 1991

Photo: Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor Sergey Kara-Murza

In the photo: Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor Sergei Kara-Murza (Photo: Free Press)

Today they prefer not to remember the Civil War, and if they do, then as a senseless fratricidal bloodshed.

The organizers of the Socialist Revolutionaries (SRs) and Mensheviks were part of the cohort born in 1840-50. – here are the years of their birth: Breshko-Breshkovskaya – 1844, Axelrod – 1849 Zasulich -1849, d. Plekhanov – 1856. They took the ideas and attitudes of Marxism almost directly from the hands of Marx and Engels. And the cohort of famous Bolsheviks: Lenin – 1870, Trotsky – 1879, Stalin – 1879, Kalinin – 1875, Molotov – 1890, Dzerzhinsky – 1877. Philosophers and leaders of the February and October revolutions belong to different generations – with a gap of 20-25 years. This is a very large gap.

After 1905, Lenin began to reject dogma Marx one by one. The April Theses, which defined the project of the October Revolution, were the core of a completely different paradigm of the anti-capitalist revolution. This paradigm, which claimed to be Marxist, did not grow out of the teachings of Marx, but out of reality. The intellectuals of February and Western Social Democrats tried to follow the canon of Western bourgeois-democratic revolutions, developed in the teachings of Marx, and the novelty of their innovation was only in the fact that it took place in a different place and culture. They thought in the framework of modernity of the nineteenth century, in the paradigm of the science of being. And Lenin and the Bolsheviks, his followers, thought in the logic of the science of becoming. Different paradigms mean different communities of two different revolutions see different pictures of the world (including a person, society, states etc.). They see, study and evaluate different facts, different processes and phenomena. They understand space and time in different ways, follow different ways and norms of thinking and explanation, when solving the outwardly the same problem, they make different decisions.

Sociologist and culturologist L. G. Ionin writes: “Let’s turn to traditional society … The ideal of equality was opposed to actual inequality, and from that time – from the age of the Enlightenment – the struggle for equality became one of the main motives of modern culture. Subsequently, in the second half of the 19th century, the discovery of social inequality and the demand for equality was understood as part of the grandiose spiritual revolution of that time ” [50]…

The Russian revolution of 1917, as a revolution in the main, not bourgeois, but peasant, was inextricably linked with the revolt, and it is impossible to separate them. The February Revolution, which swept away tsarism and the Empire, seemed so powerful only because it blew up the dam of the monarchy. The results were astounding, but she herself was just ripples on the ocean wave of riot. Weber called this “communal peasant communism.” When Lenin supported the peasants in April 1917, the enlightened Social Democrats considered him insane. After all, “All power to the Soviets!” – this is the slogan of anarchy, the peasant utopia “Land and Freedom”. Only the Bolsheviks managed to master the Russian revolt: they led it – and pacified it.

Thus, Russia became the arena of a chain process of conflicts. The invasion of Western capitalism with its innovations has exacerbated this crisis. The monarchical government and the elite were not ready for such a drastic worldview shift.

A huge burden fell on both of our revolutions, and it must be said about it. Any revolution is a catastrophe that shakes the entire life of the population and the structure of the state. It is the duty of the revolutionaries to pay off this catastrophe as soon as possible. This task is not only difficult, it is almost the antipode of the revolution, like the counter-man fell to extinguish a forest or steppe fire. P. A. Sorokin, who left very valuable observations about the sociology of revolution, even singles out a special stage in the revolutionary process – “curbing”.

In his understanding of the revolution, which went along “two corridors”, Lenin developed a complex concept: the period of society without a state – the transition “order-chaos”, and the period of building and strengthening the state – the transition “chaos-order”. Chaos would have become complete if the elements of the matrix of Soviet power had not been created (Soviets, factory committees, the Red Guard and the police, as well as party cells with “fellow travelers”). This is a different picture of the world of Russia and Eurasia.

This noted A. Denikin: he wrote that none of the anti-Bolshevik governments “failed to create a flexible and strong apparatus capable of swiftly and quickly overtaking, forcing, acting. The Bolsheviks were infinitely ahead of us in the pace of their actions, in energy, mobility and ability to coerce. We, with our old methods, old psychology, old vices of the military and civil bureaucracy, with the Peter’s table of ranks did not keep up with them “[1]…

Today it would be reasonable for our social scientists to discuss this judgment of Denikin – after all, the fundamental difference in the methodology of the power and administrative structures of the February and October revolutions has been clearly revealed.

The Red Army, which operated throughout the territory of the future USSR, was the force that pulled the peoples of the former Russian Empire back into a single country – and it was nowhere perceived as foreign. The reunification took place quickly, before the separatists could legitimize their “states”. In the 1990s, their grandchildren had to create historical myths about “lost independence.”

As soon as the ruling circles of the West were convinced that the whites would not be able to master the situation in Russia, they stopped supporting them. The wrong assessment by the top of the Whites pushed them to war. Official Soviet history made heroes of the civil war and created a number of simplifying myths. Today, in the context of a general cultural crisis, it is easier to overcome these myths. Easier does not mean easy, but it must be done.

I must say that in the Russian Empire there were outstanding scientists, military men, writers and poets who already saw the world and social processes in a non-linear paradigm, felt the dynamics of unstable structures. For example, the Minister of War, General A.I. Verkhovsky, who demanded urgent action, trying to prevent the collapse of the February Revolution regime. The same was the outstanding military and organizer A.A.Manikovsky, head of the Main Artillery Directorate, and ran the War Ministry after the resignation of Verkhovsky.

Read the proclamation “To all former officers, wherever they are,” which was addressed by a large group of former generals of the Russian army, headed by A. A. Brusilov. “To what extent this appeal made a terrible and overwhelming impression on the irreconcilable,” wrote the White Guard publicist Y. Arbatov– to the same opposite extent, it had a strong effect on the wavering masses … On the very first day of the appeal on the streets of Moscow, thousands of officers, who had previously evaded service in the Red Army, and tens of thousands of intellectuals came to the military commissariat … [Архив русской революции. Берлин. 1923. Т. 12. С. 113.]… The captured officers also responded to this appeal.

A group of former Kolchak officers, employees of the economic administration of the Priuralsky military district, appealed to the military commissar of this administration on June 8, 1920, in which it was said that in response to the appeal of the Special Conference and the decree of June 2, 1920, they were experiencing “deep desire by honest service “to redeem their stay in the ranks of the Kolchakites and confirm that there will be no more” honorable service for them than service to the motherland and the working people “, to whom they are ready to give themselves entirely to serve” not only in the rear, but also at the front. ” [ЦГАСА. Ф. 33987. Оп. 1. Д. 372. Л. 7. Копия заявления была направлена комиссару Всероглавштаба Д. Н. Курскому и в газету «Уральский рабочий”]…

After a series of calls in 1920, including those born in 1901, the total number of the Red Army increased to 5.5 million people, which again raised the issue of providing it with command personnel. It was not possible to compensate for its shortage only by completing short-term courses (although the number of the latter had reached 107 by January 1920). In addition, the red commanders were intended to fill positions, as a rule, at the level of platoon and company commanders. [Спирин Л. М. В. И. Ленин и создание советских командных кадров // Воен.-ист. журн. 1965. № 4. С. 14.]…

By the spring of 1920, as a result of the defeat of the main White Guard groupings (in Siberia, in the South, North-West and North of the country) by the Red Army, tens of thousands of officers were taken prisoner or voluntarily sided with the Soviet regime.

In conclusion of the article, the author writes that “nothing could bind them (former white officers – AK) to the unit as much as the trust placed in them”; many officers, “without becoming adherents of Soviet power, got used to their unit, and some strange, inconsistent sense of honor forced them to fight on our side” [Гаазе Г. Ю. Белые офицеры и солдаты в наших рядах // Сборник воспоминаний к 4-й годовщине РККА. М., 1922. С. 83.]…

By the beginning of 1921, the Central Committee of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party ceased its activity. In 1923, the All-Russian Congress of former members of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party was held in Moscow, which decided to dissolve the party. In October 1918, the Menshevik Central Committee recognized the “October coup” as historically necessary, since it expressed the desire of the working people to direct the course of history entirely in their interests.

Why did the idea of ​​the Social Revolutionaries push the workers to pour blood over the Kama region and go to Kolchak under the red flag (!) – to kill and die? For such a step, they did not have any religious insight, nor class hatred. But were they counter-revolutionaries? Quite the opposite, the workers of these factories at some point became exalted revolutionaries.

P. A. Sorokin in his “Causes of War and Conditions of Peace” (1944) writes: “Civil wars arose from a rapid and radical change in the highest values ​​in one part of a given society, while the other either did not accept the changes or moved in the opposite direction. … In fact, all civil wars in the past stemmed from a sharp discrepancy between the highest values ​​of revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries. “

Kolchak’s forces controlled a vast territory of Siberia and the Far East. Soviet power in this territory was liquidated in the summer of 1918, so that the Soviets did not have time to turn around. This is how the partisan resistance of Kolchak’s army arose – from different groups of peasants (middle peasants and poor peasants), many workers left for partisan detachments. By the spring of 1919, the partisan movement had expanded to almost the entire territory of Siberia, and in the summer and autumn it turned into an insurrectionary war, so large formations became partisan armies.

The decisive battle with the Red Army took place on November 7, the Izhevsk-Votkinsk division in December 1919 was defeated by the 51st Ural division of the Red Army. After the defeat of the uprising, the Izhevsk and Votkinsk units (about 25 thousand) became part of Kolchak’s army and took part in hostilities until 1922.

Readers will have to make an effort to share the facts and moral assessments that today’s authors provide from the height of the welfare and democracy of the 21st century.

The Soviet government waged a struggle against the detachments of red bandits, sometimes in court, and sometimes with the use of armed force. In some localities, this danger for the Soviet power was even considered the main one.

It is almost certain that at that time in the reports of the Cheka, the Siberian Bureau, and even in the discussion at the Plenum of the Central Committee of the RCP (b), there was no factor in the state of mind of this mass of people who received cultural trauma. Their values ​​were exaggerated, and their goals were messianic. But the Cheka and the Central Committee of the RCP (b) did not know this, although they felt it.

But our present problem is that our humanitarians ignore the valuable knowledge of this problem – they do not know and do not feel it.

A digression is required here. The majority of the population of Russia did not want capitalism and a bourgeois-liberal state at a specific historical moment – the beginning of the 20th century. And at the end of the twentieth century, influential groups of the Soviet elite and urban youth wanted both capitalism and a bourgeois-liberal state. These groups (let’s forget the crime for now) even come out to the squares with protests: “the corrupt government is slowing down”! 2017 is not 1917 at all! We are now reaping the fruits of the successful 1991 “revolution from above”. Try to understand why in 1917 your grandfathers followed the October Revolution and not the February Revolution. The grandfathers who followed February had their reasons, they also need to be understood, but our picture is rough, the main thing is to see catastrophic changes.

After 1955, the picture of the world of the USSR and other countries changed rapidly. But we all did not know where this picture had gone – and “perestroika” and the social revolution burst forth. And now we must think and study the pacts. Both Russia and Eurasia need this. While it is possible, but dialogue is needed.


[1] The latest history of the Fatherland: XX century. T. 1.M .: VLADOS. 2002.

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