"WHY RUSSIAN DEMOCRACY FAILED IN 1917" - azov's thread
Posted 30 January 2006 - 02:21 AM
Posted 03 March 2006 - 03:08 AM
Originally posted by xagversum
azov posted 12-20
Having done much research on this subject, I offer this as convincing an hypothesis as any. Of course there may never be any definite answer - no such things exist in life - but I'll stack my insights up against anyone's. Here goes:
The Russian "Democrats" of WW I were overwhelmingly pro-Allied. While Nicholas II had gotten into the war for reasons of empire, he was by 1916 threatened with the collapse of his army, the rising tide of domestic democracy, and the loss of his Throne, a rerun of 1905-1906 but carried, this time, to full term. Thus he began to have second thoughts, together with his German-born wife, who wished peace at any price to save Nicky's throne and protect her original Fatherland from the Allies. Their unofficial go-between to Berlin was Rasputin.
For this reason Rasputin was despised and assassinated. The suspected peace sentiments of the Tzarina gave the Duma Democrats grist for their mill, allowing them to use the war to advance a liberal democratic platform and gain the sympathy of the Allied embassies. They were also able to propagate fear of the Tzar as "infected" by his wife's peace bug, and not without reason. The Russian Democrats at last saw an opportunity.
A conspiracy for an anti-Tzarist coup was gradually evolved by the Russian Democrats, military, and Allies. The war had to go on, and Nicholas and Alexandra had to go out. Removing them hit a couple of birds with the same rock: because the Eastern Front was collapsing under the German onslaught, it was imperative to get America into the war to save the Allied cause. A collapsed East meant the spectre of German troops marching through Paris, and the key to Paris lay through Petrograd, as German General Ludendorff acknowledged. Yet to get U.S. involvement meant catering to President Woodrow Wilson's democratic sensibilities. Wilson needed overwhelming proof that the war was being waged "to make the world safe for democracy," in his famous phrase, before he could put the case for joining it before the American public. He could not do this with the Tzar of Russia as an ally, for even then Russia was painted as the "prison of nations" and the Tzarist regime had no credibility in U.S. public opinion: "A Kaiser with a beard instead of a mustache."
Although the British were at first reluctant, they had to read the handwriting on the wall and finally acquiesced with the idea of a coup. Riots and strikes were instigated by democratic groups against the Tzar - likely funded, if not directly led, by the Western embassies. The deterioting domestic strife allowed the Allies, the Russian Democrats and Russian General Staff to proposition Nicholas with an offer he could hardly refuse: abdicate, or they would publish the German contacts made by his wife and Rasputin for a seperate peace. The revelation of this would have destroyed the Romanov family's last shred of credibility. Thus faced with a choice of "execution" or "suicide," the Tzar gracefully bowed to the latter. He was also "advised" to abdicate for his son. Grand-Duke Michael was also prevailed upon by the pro-war party to refuse the offered Crown. This put the Liberal faction of the Duma in charge of a so-called Provisional Government of Public Confidence.
With the pro-war Democrats in charge the ewar effort, at first, seemed to receive a new lease on life. Alexander Kerensky, co-founder and Vice-President of the Petrograd Soviet, was made Minister of War in a coalition government of both Duma and Soviet. The problem remained, however, of Russia's technical inability to fight a modern war against an industrial power like Germany. Many common folks were already going in an opposite direction of the pro-war Democrats, seeing in the overthrow of the Tzar a new beginning - the end of the Tzar's war and the beginning of a social revolution. The Soviet's Order Number One, for instance, countermanded the orders of the Army General Staff in favor of the Soviet's executive Committee - long before there was a Bolshevik majority in the Soviet. To arrest this development, Kerensky was finally appointed acting Head of State, in a vain effort to keep the public mood in the pro-war "defensist" camp.
The lack of serious commitment to domestic democracy in favor of the war effort turned the masses away from Kerensky. Kerensky in turn kept postponing the scheduled elections to the Constituent Assembly, stalling until "democracy won the war." This did not sit well with the peasants - some 70% of the population - whose idea of democracy was measured in land and bread, not demagogic phrases or words on paper. Workers wanted an end to wartime shortages, soldiers were tired of fighting, and the national minorities wanted some of this self-determination at home, advocated by the Allies. The Russian Democrats, who depended on liberal landowners, industrialists, the Russian military - all of whom had deep contacts with the Allied Powers - could not give in to this pressure from below without losing their usefulness to those above. They hoped a war victory would resolve the contradiction, but the rotten fence they attempted to straddle simply crumbled from beneath them.
By this time Lenin had come along with his slogan of "land, peace, bread and all power to the Soviets!" As things descended from bad to worse this call proved irresistable, because it was based on concrete solutions to problems and not mere idealistic platitudes. The Russian Democrats, in being so pro-Allied, had forgotten to be pro-Russian; and that democracy, like any other virtue, begins at home. The October Revolution followed. The Provisional Government fell, with no one to run to its rescue.
As a result of this sad story, the Russian Democrats of 1917 remain to this day a disgrace in Russian history. Virtually no one has tried to resurrect their memory in post-Soviet times, in contrast to the flowering interest in the Imperial Era.
As a postscipt, when the Soviet government under Lenin finally allowed the Constituent Assembly to be elected and convene - something the "democrat" Kerensky had refused to do - the dominant party of Social Revolutionaries emerged as victors. But not the Party's leaders; rather, the same discredited pro-war claque had gerrymandered the party's delegation against the will of their own SR Committee. These folks could not recognize that they had long ago blown whatever credibility they possessed in February of 1917. The Constituent Assembly, too, was folded without a fight.
The moral of the story? Thank St. Tatiana that Yeltsin's revamped Provisional Government took power in peacetime . . .
azov posted 01-03
fighterpilot posted 01-04
Are you refering to the Socialist Democratic Party? If so, I totally agree.The USA, is at the present time almost 50% just that.
european posted 01-04
Fighterpilot - this thread is supposed to be about revolutionary Russia.....is it really necessary to start on about the USA??? Can't you go to the politics forum to indulge your obsession?
Azov: in my last post before they all got deleted I asked if we were going to continue this thread with some thoughts about Stalin's collectivisation, industrialisation and 5 year plans.
azov posted 01-05
Well, european, we can . . .
Or we can stick to the topic.
I'd prefer the latter, as it's fairly new historical ground.
european posted 01-07
OK well I haven't got much time now, but one very interesting book I read which uses the new archival stuff coming out is by J Arch Getty 'The Road to Terror'. A lot of previous stuff centred on work by Conquest which is very easy to read because of its awfulness. But his figures of death by famine have largely been discredited in recent years.
azov posted 01-07
As they deserve to be! Using Conquest's figures, as I explained on another post, leaves not enough free adult Soviet males to do the work or sire the next generation. Conquest is also a patron of far-right Ukrainian nationalists, whose untruthfulness regarding the 1930's famine is legendary - because the British Establishment hoped to use these old UPA/Bandera people in cold war operations, they were special pets of MI6, which helped peddle their nonsense through academics like Conquest.
Of course, I don't want to belittle what really happened. It was bad enough, without being distorted for political agendas.
azov posted 01-09
Up and running!
More to follow!
Stay tuned, tovarishchi!
european posted 01-11
yeah will do - will write some stuff tomorrow. Be nice to have a conversation with a lucid person!
Boogiedog posted 01-11
I believe was Lenin who said that the power was just laying around to be picked up. That is to say that Kerensky had failed to get his act together and Lenin was the better politician.
Russian democracy never had a chance to begin with. Never has and never will, Russians don't know what democracy is, they will always live in their own squalor...
Posted 23 March 2006 - 09:36 PM
Originally posted by shaukat
Russian democracy was murdered by Jewish fascim - Which can only breath under dictatorships:
to szawkat :::::::::::::::::
your website is full of information about ;;; poland, italy, germany, nazis, fascists, zionists, and more; but nothing about russia. AND you posted that link to provide information relating to russia.
the failure of the so called "attempt" at so called "democracy" by the karensky government is only a part of the success of lenin's leadership of the russian worker. and it is also something which in no way can be realy and easily understood by those of us who are posting on this forum RIGHT-NOW. ??? do you underestand what i mean ??? you are not able to relate to this topic because you are not russian, and/or, you are not educated in this topic.
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