The history of the Soviet Union is the subject of many large volumes written by highly recognized historians. As a result, this can be only the briefest of summaries. However, while the facts are important and can be read in those many volumes, it is the lessons from it that I find important. You may be surprised to learn that the lessons are applicable to the recent events of today.
There is no question that Tsars Alexander II and Alexander III enslaved the people of Russia. As a matter of fact, you could take the later horror stories of Soviet Russia and apply them to their reign. The people finally assassinated Alexander II in 1881. Tsar Nicholas II was weak. People were starving and Russia was being brutally beaten in war. The environment was ripe for revolution.
Marx taught, as I mentioned in my last essay that communism must evolve from capitalism. The stages are Capitalism -> Socialism -> Communism. But even he saw Russia’s condition as so bad that he advocated skipping right to the last step.
Let’s now make that skip to 1917.
Contrary to popular belief, the communists did not take over Russia in the 1917 October Revolution. Lenin was still in exile in Finland when the citizens of Russia finally staged a national strike and revolution followed. However, and here is where things get interesting, the revolutionaries were promoting a provisional democratic government coupled with some real economic reforms that promoted capitalism.
Lenin, from Finland, hated this idea and directed his followers (especially Leon Trotsky), called the Bolsheviks, to start forming an army which came to be known as the Red Army. The revolutionaries were forming their own army called the White Army. In 1918 civil war broke out between the two armies and the Red Army far outmanned the White Army and, after winning the civil war, Lenin returned to Russia and dissolved the provisional government. Once he did that, the new order put the teachings of Karl Marx into action to the letter.
The results were a brutal failure.
It was so bad that a couple of years before his death in 1924 Lenin declared Marxism a complete and total failure and started working toward democratic and capitalistic reforms.
Yes….you read that right!!!
No less a figure than Vladimir Lenin, after 6-years of trying to make it work, announced that Marxism, the very same system that today’s Left wants to compel us to accept, was a complete and utter failure that left Russia a destitute mess. Unfortunately, after Lenin, a brutal dictator came along who Lenin feared and warned the people against: Joseph Stalin. However, even the brutal tactics of Stalin and his successors couldn’t save Marxism in Russia and, from 1988 – 1991, we saw the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Early on, the Bolsheviks used an easily compliant media of the day to grow their following. They also manipulated history and language to help achieve their end.
If one wants to learn about the events of 2020 and now 2021, just pick up a book about Revolutionary Russia. You will learn a lot. You will see that communism was not voluntarily accepted by the citizens of Russia but foisted on them against their will. And, after being told that it was for their own good, proceeded to throw them into poverty, imprisonment, torture, and horror at a level previously unimaginable.
If only the American Left would do a serious study of history. I wonder if they would advocate what they do.
History must be learned, so the horrific failures aren’t repeated…or the strong-arm tactics of the past used by totalitarians on an unsuspecting citizenry…