Workers and Peasants: A Periodical of Soviet History.
“The proletariat should not ignore peaceful methods of struggle — they serve its ordinary, day-to-day interests, they are necessary in periods of preparation for revolution — but it must never forget that in certain conditions the class struggle assumes the form of armed conflict and civil war; there are times when the interests of the proletariat call for ruthless extermination of its enemies in open armed clashes. This was first demonstrated by the French proletariat in the Commune and brilliantly confirmed by the Russian proletariat in the December uprising.”
Quote of the day, October 16th, 2020V.I. Lenin
Workers and Peasants Periodical by De’Vonte Tinsley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
- Each week I will do a concentrated historical analysis on a certain topic in Soviet history.
- I will upload a “quote” of the day each day, it will always be in relation to contemporary Soviet Politics or Soviet history.
- I am also studying and am in the process of reading many works by our Revolutionary forefathers, so once I finish a book I will publish my opinions on the piece here.
- I will frequently post links to news articles I feel enrich the readers Perspective and knowledge on the Soviet Union and post Soviet society.
Наша История: Создание CCCP
Lenin’s Bolsheviks’s: A party of a new type
The Russian Social Democratic labour party was formed in Minsk on March 1st 1898. Following its second congress in Prague on January 1912 the party split into two factions, the counter revolutionary Menshiviks and the revolutionary Bolsheviks headed, by Vladimir Lenin. Lenin would go on to transform the party in just a few decades into the Revolutionary Vanguard of the Russian Proletariat. Lenin’s leadership saw the party achieve the Socialist Revolution, repel western capitalist intervention against the young Soviet Republic, and then consolidate this victory in a Fraternal Union of Soviet republics.
Великая Октябрьская социалистическая революция/ Great October Socialist Revolution
On October 25th(old style) (November 7th, new style), the workers and peasants headed by the Bolshevik Party overthrew the reactionary petty bourgeoisie provisional government headed by Alexander Kerensky and paved the way for Socialist development in Russia, ushering in a new epoch.
Гражданская Война/Civil War
After the establishment of Soviet power in Russia the counter revolutionary forces rallied under a splinter banner known as the White guard. They included such diverse members as Monarchist, Right wing socialist, and Menshiviks. Also aggravating the situation was the intervention of Britain, France, Japan, and The United States into the Russian Civil War. However, the Russian Communist Party(B)(recently renamed at the 7th Congress party) had a concrete plan in repelling the foreign interventionist and defeating the counter revolutionary forces. The first and most urgent task at hand was to make peace with the German Imperialist, which was done at the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, a difficult but necessary concession. This allowed the young Soviet Republic a brief period of respite which paved the way for Trotsky’s creation of the Workers and Peasants Red Army. This Army along with the policy of war communism, the alliance between the workers and peasants, and most importantly the leadership of the party, allowed the Republic to achieve victory in the Civil War. However, the country was devastated, the White terror unleashed by the White guards was a systematic repression of Communist and their allies which ultimately accumulated in the assassination attempt on Comrade Lenin himself( Note: Fanny Kaplan who attempted to kill Lenin was a socialist revolutionary who were at the time allying with the counter revolutionary forces against the Bolsheviks), forced the Bolsheviks to respond with the Red Terror, which cost thousands of lives on both sides. Additionally, while the policy of War Communism, which entailed the forceful requisition of grain from the peasantry, allowed the Bolsheviks to successfully allocate resources to the Red Army and to the major cities, it caused major friction with the peasantry and contributed to the Povolzhye famine, both of which greatly threatened Soviet Power. In response Vladimir Lenin said that it was time for the Communist to make a “Strategic retreat” into capitalism in the New Economic Policy, or N.E.P.
“If the retreat turns out to be correct tactics, we must link up with the peasant masses while we are in retreat, and subsequently march forward with them a hundred times more slowly, but firmly and unswervingly, in a way that will always make it apparent to them that we really are marching forward.”Vladimir Iylich Ulyanov
By the time 1922 arrived the gains of the revolution had been consolidated enough to form the Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics on December 30th 1922, a union between the Socialist Republics of Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, and Transcaucasia (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan). The country had been utterly ruined by the Civil War, millions lay dead, starving, and destitute, the small industrial base Russia had was all but destroyed during the War(which threatened the power base of the party), and the Soviet Union found herself completely internationally isolated. However, with the victories gained in the Russian Revolution and the Civil War, Lenin was confident in the country’s survival.
“Even if our machinery of Government is very faulty, the fact remains that it has been created; the greatest invention in history has been made; a Proletarian type of state has been created. Therefore, let all Europe, let thousands of bourgeois newspapers, broadcast news about the horrors and poverty that prevail in our country, about suffering being the sole lot of the working people in our country; the workers all over the world are still drawn towards the Soviet State.”Vladimir Iylich Ulyanov
To Be continued…
Below are links to additional websites to offer the reader more information on Russian and Soviet history, politics, and culture.
This is an amazing podcast by Sean Guillory a professor at Pittsburgh University. His podcast offers thoughtful and insightful commentary on Russian history, politics, and culture.
Virginia Tech Professor Dr. Amy Nelson’s website on Soviet history where she encourages students to do their own research on Soviet history and publish their work. She is the professor that encouraged me to start this periodical.