Prostokvasha

[07 November, 2007]

Coup d'Etat

Ninety years ago today, Russia's fate was changed forever. One crazy guy decided it would be a good idea to overthrow the existing monarchic system, and with that, he made history. Here is what the Writer's Almanac has to say about it:

It was on this day in 1917 that the Russian Revolution took place. In the years leading up to it, hundreds of thousands of Russians had died in World War I, there'd been a series of food shortages, and prices of available goods had risen by more than 700 percent in just three years.

The revolution was led by Vladimir Lenin, who had been in exile in Switzerland, plotting to overthrow the Russian government. In April 1917, he crossed the border back into Russia for the first time in 10 years and went underground. He had to sneak through the streets in a disguise to attend a meeting of the Bolsheviks in late October of that year, but he persuaded a majority of his party to launch an armed takeover of the country. The coup met almost no resistance on this day in 1917, and the next day, Lenin was elected chairman of the Council of the new Soviet Government. Overnight, he had gone from a fugitive in hiding to the leader of the largest country in the world.

Lenin believed that a Communist country would need to be ruled at first by a military dictatorship, but that once Communism took hold, people would be so happy with the new system that the police state would wither away, and society would become a classless stateless paradise. But Russia remained a totalitarian police state for more than 70 years.


One dictatorship exchanged for another. Шило на мыло, so to speak. It's interesting to think that until the 1980s, theoretically, Russia has never functioned under a democracy. Western societies wonder why it has taken so long to adjust to this new political scheme, but just think. Figuring out voting rights, the stock exchange, and trade? It didn't come easy to the pilgrims either. You have to work for your Capitalism. And who is to say that it's the answer to the world's problems, really.

Communism, I think, is actually a fascinating philosophy. I mean, it's based solely on the goodness of the people (which I have my doubts about), and what can be more beautiful than that (minus the religion being the opium for the people bit)? A society where everyone shares the resources and "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs"? Nice optimism there, Mr. Marx. Too bad experience has shown that we are incapable of such idealism.

And with that, I'll leave you with my favorite Земфира song (how crazy is her site, btw). As well as another really sweet Zemfira song. Ok, this is pretty cool too.

1 sighs or salutations:

Jeremy | 09 November, 2007

i can't believe it's been 90 years. and also it is a good philosophy if everyone was a good person and trustworthy it would work, but sadly our world is not such. but we can dream :)

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