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Alexander Kerensky

Book Review: Ten Days That Shook The World


FROM A CORRESPONDENT IN AMERICA.

Under the above title John Reed has written his experience in Russia during the Bolshevist rise to power in November, 1917. It is to be followed by another called “From Kornilov to Brest-Litovsk,” covering a later period.

 We are flooded with books on the Russian uprising, but still lack a story of the events in Russia written by a Socialist. In other words, we have no book written with an understanding of the relation of actions and movements in Russia to the principles and policy of Socialism.

Russia 1917: As We Saw It

By the time the piece on General Korniloff was published, he had staged, in August, a failed putsch to overthrow Kerensky who by then was Prime Minister.

The tit-bits that appear in the newspapers here regarding Russia and the revolution are of a very contradictory nature. However, some very interesting quotations do occasionally creep into the columns of the Press, as instance the following:

'The organ of the Council of Soldiers and Workmen's Delegates, after quoting two English newspapers to the effect that the declaration of the Provisional Government and the pronouncements of the revolutionary leaders show that the Russian peace formula coincides with the British and French war aims, says:

Russia 1917: As We Saw It

The Socialist Standard described the Council of Soldiers' and Workers' Deputies as a 'broken reed' for supporting the continuance of the war.

That we have due justification for refusing to slap the Russian on the back, with expressions of sickly sentiment, congratulating him upon having achieved his emancipation (sic !) is clearly shown by the fact that the Council of Soldiers' and Workers' Deputies despatched a congratulatory message to the Leeds conference in which an invitation to Stockholm was embodied.

Despite the dearth of news from Petrograd and other centres we are in a position to know that the Russian capitalist class still hold the field, both economically and politically. If it were not so, then M. Kerensky, clearly an agent of the Russian ruling class, would have been removed long ago. Indeed, his election could never have been even mooted by the victorious proletariat.

Russia 1917: As We Saw It

The 'usurper of the Socialist name' who was made Minister of War was Alexander Kerensky.

The position as we conceive it is as follows. The capitalists of Russia, long squirming under the irksome restrictions placed upon their expansion by the feudal nobles, found in the conditions arising out of the war, a situation full of promise and they proceeded to exploit it. The Russian Army, they calculated, essentially an army in arms under duress, could have no love for the powers that drove them to the shambles, while the people at large, groaning under the misery of the universal chaos, would accept the overthrow of the nobility with acclamation. So far they appear to have calculated correctly. They accomplished their coup d'état.

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