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Bolsheviks

The Russian Revolution in Retreat 1920-24

A talk by guest speaker, Simon Pirani

Head Office

Recorded: 
Sunday, 21 July 2013

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The Revolution in Russia: Where it Fails

By far the most important event in the social sense, which has occurred during the world war has been the upheaval in Russia, culminating in the revolution of March and November, 1917. For the working class these events are of supreme interest and worthy of close and deep study, not only for the purpose of keeping in touch with events as they occur, but also for learning the lessons these may impart.

Just here, however, the working class of Great Britain are faced with a most formidable obstacle in the way of their gaining even a slight knowledge of the happenings, or reaching a position where a full consideration could be given to the facts of the revolution. This obstacle is the Defence of the Realm Act.

Russian Imperialism

If, in 1918, the words and deeds of the Bolsheviks inside Russia stirred the imaginations of workers everywhere, so also did their abrupt reversal of their foreign policy. They preached “no annexations, no indemnities,” called on all workers to repudiate the aggressive policies of their governments, and demanded the ending of the war. They published the sordid treatise in which the Allied Governments had secretly agreed to dismember Turkey and divide up the rest of the spoils of war. They renounced Czarist Russia’s century-old aim of controlling the Dardanelles, and voluntarily gave up the Russian “spheres of interest” in China and Persia extorted by force from governments too weak to resist. They proclaimed the right of “self-determination” and allowed Finns, Poles, Esthonians, Latvians and Lithuanians to secede and become independent states.

Martov and the Anti-Bolshevik Approach to Revolution

Part of the series 'Socialist Thinkers: People Who History Made'

Islington Branch

Recorded: 
Sunday, 26 December 1982

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