Toronto: Celebrate the Russian Revolution

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blake 3:17
Toronto: Celebrate the Russian Revolution

 

blake 3:17

Happy 90th!

The IS thing is

quote:

Bolsheviki: Celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Russian Revolution
Saturday, November 3
featuring a new play written and performed by
DAVID FENNARIO

Doors open at 6:30pm
International Student Centre
33 St. George Street (just north of College) University of Toronto

7:00pm Voices of Revolution
8:30pm BOLSHEVIKI written and performed by David Fennario
9:30pm DJ Lexicon performs

Cost:
$10 student
$15 advance
$20 at the door

Tel: 416.924.9042
Email: iscanada@on.aibn.com
Organized by the Toronto District IS


& The Bolshevik Tendency's event

quote:

The Toronto branch of the IBT will be holding a public meeting where Bryan D. Palmer, author of a new biography on James P. Cannon will speak on "The Russian Revolution & the North American Left." Saturday, 3 November, 7pm. Room 2-295, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), 252 Bloor Street West (near St. George subway).

Fidel

Viva La Revolucion!

[ 03 November 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Free_Radical

An ironic topic, in light of Ken Burch's thread about communists on-line . . . and the denials therein.

CMOT Dibbler

Where is this thread?

Free_Radical

quote:


Originally posted by CMOT Dibbler:
[b]Where is this thread?[/b]

Right amongst the active topics.

[url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic&f=5&t=002425]Th...

Just something I found amusing.

Fidel

[url=http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/lin291007.html]On the Ninetieth Anniversary of the Russian Revolution: Why Socialism Did Not Fail[/url]

I have a number of reservations about what is typically a Trotskyist POV that socialism did not fail in the FSU "because it was not socialism" Fine, it wasn't socialism, and the workers failed to consolidate the worker's state and socialist democracy. What they fail to mention each and every time is that democracy was under attack around the world with the crises of capitalism leading to two world wars. The object of the western capitalist's disaffections was obviously revolutionary Russia with not just one but two major military incursions into Russia to put down the revolution. By 1945, there were an estimated 50,000,000 to 83,000,000 dead and missing across Europe and Asia. More Liberal commentators condemned the Russians for not "opening up" to democracy after Russia suffered the largest losses of life in both world wars and 25 international armies invading from all geographic directions from 1918-1922. And most displeasing to the Soviets was the general direction from which came pleas for democratization of Russia and Eastern Europe turned into a layer of defence as a deterrent to further western aggression during the cold war.

Of course they did not have socialism. And it's for exactly the same reason that the last standing nuclear enabled superpower claims that it might be able to afford European levels of social democracy ... if it didn't have the expense of being a global police force with over 730 military bases in more than 130 countries around the world.

As we well know today, the Soviet Union was an important deterrent to western aggression around the world. Since Boris Yeltsin engineered dissolution of the USSR after a revolution from above by aspiring robber barons and state capitalists within the FSU, western imperialists have undertaken military bombings of several countries and now maneuevering to install what has been described as offensive missile "defence" capabilities in Eastern Europe. And now the U.S. military and Republican cabal are contemplating bombing Iran. There are high level talks happening to avert Dick Cheney and company's operation shock and appall, the sequel.

The USSR is no more, and yet world peace remains elusive. In fact, western aggression seems to be as prevalent now as it was during the cold war when more than 21 countries were bombed by the U.S. military and without any real democratic surplus to show for it today. How can anyone have social democracy when their resource-rich nations are targeted for either military aggression or corporate takeover by western interests as it was in Russia in 2003? We know now that Vlad Putin intervened to stop Mikael Khordokovsky and western interests from buying votes in the Duma and putting a grab on Russia's vast oil and mineral wealth. So much aggression from 1918 to today still. And yet the left says creating a social democracy could have avoided all of this. I think that was and continues to be naive and highly improbable as long as a real democratic deficit continues to exist in our own hemisphere. After observing the experience in FSU and that country's history soaked in blood, I think global socialism is the only way forward.

The Wizard of S...

I bet when the Berlin Wall came down and the East German people started toasting freedom with Coke & Pepsi, you were totally bummed. I actually have a little piece of the wall in my collection of weird political whatnot. It looks unremarkable, but it feels weird to hold it. Very somber. Like it's posessed by some of the negative energy of all those who died trying to cross it and escape what you seem to think was some kind of "worker's paradise." It really puts things in perspective.

[ 03 November 2007: Message edited by: The Wizard of Socialism ]

Fidel

I hope you choke on your Coca Cola someday, Wiz. It's a symbol of imperialist oppression. Hopefully the same day Ottawa nationalises the oil. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

The Wizard of S...

Just wait til castro dies. I'm gonna go to cuba, piss on his grave, and post it on Youtube. I've already started trimming my pubes in anticipation.

Unionist

Make sure you sober up first, comrade.

Erik Redburn

Brave man. But you better be standing behind some US marines first or some locals are likely to kick your redneck butt before you have time to zip up. Course this planned celebration isn't likley to draw much of a crowd either but que sara sara.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by The Wizard of Socialism:
[b]Just wait til castro dies. I'm gonna go to cuba, piss on his grave, and post it on Youtube. I've already started trimming my pubes in anticipation.[/b]

Right. And I can only try to be there and present and recording for UTube posterity's sake the dragging of your body thru the backstreets of Havana behind a coco taxi just before they stuff your camera up your wazoo sideways for you. Seriously I wouldn't try it. You would be welcome to visit the regulars though, like Plaza de la Revolution Square. And make sure to call up friends in the USA and brag to them about your owning the personal freedom to travel anywhere in the world you damn well please. They won't have a clue as to what you're talking about anyway, so scratch that last travel tip.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

What a silly sort of waste of your time, TWOS. You're antagonistic to such a leader and yet you spend all this time on this website where you would expect to run into such views. Why? The pleasure of arguing? Macho bravado?

Maybe babble is more important than I imagine. Perhaps I should be paid. Ha ha ha ha!

RosaL

ok, I can't get that to work.

[ 03 November 2007: Message edited by: RosaL ]

Fidel

html interpreter is turned off for this particular thread, RosaL. Look to the immediate left of the edit window under the heading "Message:" before hitting the "Edit Post" button. I miss it all the time too.

[ 03 November 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]html interpreter is turned off for this particular thread, RosaL. Look to the immediate left of the edit window under the heading "Message:" before hitting the "Edit Post" button. I miss it all the time too.

[ 03 November 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ][/b]


Thanks, Fidel.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

So. html is sometimes on and sometimes off?

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by N.Beltov:
[b]So. html is sometimes on and sometimes off?[/b]

Well I wasn't right either. The decoding of html is actually done by each of our web browsers running on our own machines. When rabble-babble moderators decide to turn those features off, the rabble/babble server does not respect the html tags which you upload along with your message to be appended to the thread. Your tags are scrambled at the server end so as nobody's browser can interpret them properly.

[ 05 November 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Fidel

bump bc I misled some people as to what in heck happens when HTML code is not enabled.

John K

I'm wearing black on Wednesday to remember the tens of millions who were oppressed, wrongfully imprisoned and executed under the Bolshevik dictatorship.

I'll save my celebrating til December 10, 2008, the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly. This declaration is still visionary and inspirational after almost sixty years.
[url=http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html]http://www.un.org/Overview/rights...

[ 06 November 2007: Message edited by: John K ]

Fidel

They had to get rid of the Tsar. And as revolutions go, there will always be those who remain loyal to the ruling regime. Historians estimate that number to be anywhere from a few thousand artistocrats to several million loyalists in blood-soaked Russia.

Doug
aka Mycroft

There are still people in France who argue against the French Revolution and for the ancien regime. Of course, they are generally viewed as eccentrics.

I suspect in another 100 years the Russian Revolution will be seen much like the way the French Revolution is seen now.

Fidel

Laissez-faire capitalism failed all on its own in 1929 after a 30 year-long experiment.

The new Liberal capitalism failed again in 1985 Chile in half the time it took before. His fellow economists said that Milton Friedman's economics and democracy are incompatible.

There have been experiments in capitalism as far back as 14th century Italy.

Soviet communism lasted 70 years under less than optimal conditions. There will be more experiments in communism.

Fidel

oops

[ 06 November 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Doug

quote:


Originally posted by aka Mycroft:
[b]
I suspect in another 100 years the Russian Revolution will be seen much like the way the French Revolution is seen now.[/b]

A series of good ideas that somehow caused a disaster? Seems about right.

aka Mycroft

quote:


Originally posted by Doug:
[b]

A series of good ideas that somehow caused a disaster? Seems about right.[/b]


That left a legacy of progressive reforms that were consolidated by subsequent revolutions over the following century.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Doug:
[b]

A series of good ideas that somehow caused a disaster? Seems about right.[/b]


By 1919, Russia was entombed by more than 20 international armies and mercenaries in the hire of royalty, western democracies and the Kaiser. Nobody or anything was allowed in or out of Russia. Western imperialists intended to strangle a revolution in its cradle. Marauding bands of White Russians drove into the heart of Russia and slaughtering willy nilly. Ukrainian and Polish mercenaries participated in laying siege to Moscow but were driven back by the Bolsheviks.

Free_Radical

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]They had to get rid of the Tsar.[/b]

Except that the communists didn't overthrow the Tsar at all. That had already been done for them by the provisional government more than six months earlier.

All the Bolsheviks actually did was overthrow Kerensky's relatively liberal and democratic government.

Nanuq

quote:


All the Bolsheviks actually did was overthrow Kerensky's relatively liberal and democratic government.

We're not supposed to remember that there were [i]two[/i] Russian revolutions in 1917. It was only the glorious November one that was meant to count.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Free_Radical:
[b]
Except that the communists didn't overthrow the Tsar at all. That had already been done for them by the provisional government more than six months earlier.[/b]

By what I have read, the umpteen some odd international armies which invaded Russia were there to restore Nicholas II to the throne. The Bolsheviks realized that they had to eliminate the Tsar and his offspring, because they represented a possible return to further imperialist dictatorship and tyranny.

quote:

[b]All the Bolsheviks actually did was overthrow Kerensky's relatively liberal and democratic government.[/b]

They tried to work with Kerensky's provisional government and realized they weren't getting anywhere. There were western "advisors" to Kerensky's government guiding them. Stalin, a Pravda news editor at the time, didn't think the revolution would amount to any real significant change. Lenin returned from Germany and gave a rousing speech in Petersburg. One Russian said to another, He sounds like a German. Let's stick our bayonets in him. Lenin called on workers to takeover the factories and mills, and so they did.

Nanuq

quote:


Lenin called on workers to takeover the factories and mills, and so they did

If it was truly a populist revolution, the Bolsheviks wouldn't have needed the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheka]Cheka[/url], would they?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Nanuq:
[b]If it was truly a populist revolution, the Bolsheviks wouldn't have needed the Cheka, would they?[/b]

Why?

Was the Cheka populist? [img]confused.gif" border="0[/img]

Nanuq

quote:


Was the Cheka populist?

I was being sarcastic, work with me here.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Nanuq:
[b]

If it was truly a populist revolution, the Bolsheviks wouldn't have needed the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheka]Cheka[/url], would they?[/b]


There were opponents of the American and French revolutions. Tens of thousands died.

And apparently the American civil war wasn't all that civil over the course of four years. Both sides accused each other of acts of barbarism, torture and extreme acts of cruelty. Some say southerners hold grudges to this day.

Why couldn't the western world simply let Russia get on with the business of shedding its imperialist shackles as was so badly needed in their own countries? Where would America have progressed to under control of Crazy George ?

Russians were tired of being conscripted to fight Tsarist battles over land grabs with Nicholas' cousins ruling Germany. They were tired of marching in snow and bone chilling weather for weeks and months without any winter boots. Nicholas would often stop the battle and ride off to catch a train back to Moscow to spend time with his wife and family. They were so self-important in those days. The Tsar and his entourage were immennensely wealthy, partying and living lives of grand opulence in any of their 30 plus summer and winter palaces.

There were millions of Russians homeless and hungry leading up to the Russian Revolution. Starving Russians didn't believe the Tsar knew about their situation, and so they marched to the palace to tell Nicholas himself. The imperial guards were ordered to shoot them to death. It was the last straw.

Nanuq

quote:


There were millions of Russians homeless and hungry leading up to the Russian Revolution. Starving Russians didn't believe the Tsar knew about their situation, and so they marched to the palace to tell Nicholas himself. The imperial guards were ordered to shoot them to death. It was the last straw.

Would you judge the atrocities committed in the years that followed 1917 to be a reasonable reaction to the Tsarist years? Stalin was a monster and Lenin was hardly a saint either. Blaming the evil West for trying to undermine the glorious Russian revolution stops working after a while.

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Nanuq:
[b]

Would you judge the atrocities committed in the years that followed 1917 to be a reasonable reaction to the Tsarist years? Stalin was a monster and Lenin was hardly a saint either. Blaming the evil West for trying to undermine the glorious Russian revolution stops working after a while.[/b]


As I've mentioned before, historians put the numbers loyal to any particular outgoing regime at a few thousand to several million, depending on what century and which country was at the turning point of revolution. I think you have to understand the level and degree of oppression and tyranny that was endured by millions of people over the course of that many generations. Perhaps the bloodiness of the Russian revolution was pent up anger for three centuries of Romanov family rule. And they did not rule alone. There were tens of thousands of people who prospered imperialist dictatorship: aristocrats, financiers and upper echelons of military hierarchy. Millions Russian-Jews suffered during Tsarist pogroms and spent a large part of their lives in Siberian gulags, particularly the political opponents of imperial rule.

So in the same way there were so many people loyal to the Tsar and his powermongers, Lenin and Stalin had their willing executioners. They believed in what they were doing. In their minds, I believe, they were cutting out the rot and decay that had taken hold in Russia for too long.

There have been ethnic and political purges throughout the cold war era. Ten million Congolese were slaughtered by Belgian imperialists. The first democratically-elected Prime Minister of the Congo was murdered by the Belgians with CIA complicity.

How can a quarter million indigenous people just disappear in Guatemala and only a fraction of the numbers killed in what has been described as a Latin American holocaust? How can several million people be murdered in SE Asia over the course of a ten thousand day war on poor people?

In the 1970s, the doctor and the madman bombed Cambodia and Viet Nam to smithereens. Millions died from imperialists bullets, aerial bombing, napalm, the effects of Monsanto's Agent Orange and sometimes-used flamethrowers in destroying whole villages.

And more recently, an estimated four million Congolese were slaughtered, mostly by U.S. proxies Rwandan and Ugandan armies and mercenary forces from the 1990's and ongoing.

The Evil West you say? It's mind boggling. The struggle for democracy continues.

[ 07 November 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]

scooter

quote:


Originally posted by Nanuq:
[b]Blaming the evil West for trying to undermine the glorious Russian revolution stops working after a while.[/b]

You're no fun. [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img]

aka Mycroft

quote:


Originally posted by Nanuq:
[b]

Would you judge the atrocities committed in the years that followed 1917 to be a reasonable reaction to the Tsarist years? Stalin was a monster and Lenin was hardly a saint either. Blaming the evil West for trying to undermine the glorious Russian revolution stops working after a while.[/b]


Initially the Bolsheviks not only abolished capital punishment but they had the habit of letting White Army officers go after they promised to behave. The initial "Red Terror" was a response to violent attacks on the revolution including the almost successful assassination attempt on Lenin. The Bolsheviks' mistake was not revoking what were supposed to be temporary security measures once the Civil War ended but given the state of seige Russia was subjected to in its first few years that's not very surprising. The ban on internal factions at the tenth party congress was also a serious mistake since it made it much easier for Stalin to squelch debate several years later.

Anyway, I think there's a significant difference between the oppression exercised under Stalin and the measures employed under Lenin though had the limited measured employed under Lenin been curtailed after 1923 the door would likely not have been open for Stalin to take things up several levels.

[ 08 November 2007: Message edited by: aka Mycroft ]

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by Nanuq:
[b]
We're not supposed to remember that there were [i]two[/i] Russian revolutions in 1917. It was only the glorious November one that was meant to count.[/b]

Yes, there were two.

The first one got people the kinds of political rights that exist in liberal democracies. But it wasn't a social revolution - it wasn't fully democratic because though people could vote and speak, real power was held and exercized by those with wealth and property. But if this is the kind of society you believe in - and it's the kind we live in - then the second revolution is not only negligible but wrong-headed, misguided and probably evil.

The second revolution was a fully democratic revolution - a social revolution that took property, wealth, and power and gave them over to democratic control. "All power to the soviets!" If this is the kind of society you believe in, then this is the revolution that matters to you. (I'm not talking about things that went wrong later. I'm talking about the October revolution.)

[ 08 November 2007: Message edited by: RosaL ]

Fidel

Good post, RosaL. I'm sure these posters appreciate your tutoring them on the subject.

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]Good post, RosaL. I'm sure these posters appreciate your tutoring them on the subject.[/b]

heh [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Doug

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]
Lenin called on workers to takeover the factories and mills, and so they did.[/b]

Though how they got from that to bureaucrats instead telling the factories what to do is itself an interesting story.

Doug

quote:


Originally posted by RosaL:
[b]
The second revolution was a fully democratic revolution - a social revolution that took property, wealth, and power and gave them over to democratic control. "All power to the soviets!" If this is the kind of society you believe in, then this is the revolution that matters to you. (I'm not talking about things that went wrong later. I'm talking about the October revolution.)

[ 08 November 2007: Message edited by: RosaL ][/b]


The first revolution was incomplete...but the second was not this - in effect, if not in intention - and mainly for a reason Fidel mentions. You can't run a war democratically.

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by Doug:
[b]

The first revolution was incomplete...but the second was not this - in effect, if not in intention - and mainly for a reason Fidel mentions. You can't run a war democratically.[/b]


War?? [just kidding [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img] ]

It was a socialist revolution as opposed to a liberal revolution. I am not saying that it was ever fully realized.

[ 08 November 2007: Message edited by: RosaL ]

[ 08 November 2007: Message edited by: RosaL ]

Fidel

I think Doug is harkening back to threads which discussed Lenin-Stalin's war communism. And that's very astute of Doug to realize this. There was western aggression against the revolution part one. And later, Stalin guessed correctly that it was only a matter of time before part two took place. There were secret munitions factories in Russia as well as Nazi Germany. Churchill was said to have warned the Conservative government that Hitler was violating the Treaty of Versailles by rearming for war. By the start of war, Western leaders did not believe Russia could be a meaningful military ally against Nazi Germany, or so they said was the reason for capitulating to Hitler over Czechoslovakia, the incredibly swift surrender of France and later Nazi invasion of Poland etc, instead of allying the west with Stalin's Russia immediately. I don't believe Stalin was a great military leader either, as if that means anything to people like me. What he did do was industrialize Russia in a record amount of time. And they churned out massive amounts of steel for farm equipment, munitions, and the machinery to make more. Some of the munitions factories would have to be dismantled and carried on horeseback and foot over the frozen landscape East away from what appeared to be the Nazi's pending siege of Moscow. Some say there are secret research labs burrowed into mountains in China today.

"Truth is so precious that she must often be attended by a Bodyguard of Lies" Churchill to Stalin at Teheran

[ 08 November 2007: Message edited by: Fidel ]

RosaL

quote:


Originally posted by Fidel:
[b]I think Doug is harkening back to threads which discussed Lenin-Stalin's war communism. And that's very astute of Doug to realize this. There was western aggression against the revolution part one. And later, Stalin guessed correctly that it was only a matter of time before part two took place.... [/b]

Ah! I didn't follow that thread very closely. (Sometimes I get kind of tired of talking about Stalin. heh.) Anyway, yeah, I agree, if that's what he's saying. (And of course there was economic aggression, too.)

Interesting about the (possible) secret labs in the Chinese mountains ....

[ 08 November 2007: Message edited by: RosaL ]

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I can celebrate the original ideals of the Revolution. They were, and are, transcendent and beautiful.

And I can mourn the fact that the USSR never returned to those ideals.

I could attend the event if allowed to do so on those terms.

What I can't understand now is why the rump CP's in various countries insist on defending the betrayals and corruptions of the Revolution, instead of recommitting themselves to the ORIGINAL ideals.

Nobody wants to create a bigger East Germany, guys.

[ 10 November 2007: Message edited by: Ken Burch ]

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by Ken Burch:
[b]Nobody wants to create a bigger East Germany, guys.

[ 10 November 2007: Message edited by: Ken Burch ][/b]


There could never be another East Germany because there are no more former Nazis to run the spy ops out of West Germany. Unless Blackwater has some people we don't know about.

The Wall's down. Lech Walesa's union membership lapsed years ago, and Gdansk shipyard is mothballed. There are still more than 730 American military bases around the world and U.S. nukes on foreign soil, supposedly to protect Europeans from a cold war threat that doesn't exist anymore. And writer Robert Ludlum said that he sensed the western world losing certain freedoms since the end of the cold war. Extreme ways are back again.

The Wizard of S...

I'd like to buy the world a home
And furnish it with love.
Grow apple trees and honey bees
And snow white turtle doves.

I'd like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony.
I'd like to buy the world a Coke
And keep it company.

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