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Russian Peasants

The Real Russia: Its Present Position and Tendencies


After Lenin, by Michael Farbman. 280 pages. 7/6. Published by Leonard Parsons, 24, Devonshire Street, W.C.1.

Bolshevism and Marxism

Russia had lagged behind the western nations in the development of industry and commerce despite Peter the Great’s reforms. The crucial factors in the Russian Revolution were the low degree of capitalist development, the role and aspirations of the peasantry, and the international situation at the time of the Bolshevik coup.

Editorial: Where Bolshevism Fails

Ten Years that prove our case.
It may appear paradoxical to write of the failure of a movement which has controlled the political machinery in the largest country in Europe for a decade. Success or failure, however, must be measured in relation to the avowed object of the movement. In England we have had, for generations, a movement (known as the Co-operative) which claimed to supersede capitalism. In fact, it has developed into a department of capitalist society. Similarly the Soviet Government employs wage slaves (like any other State), produces commodities for sale at a profit and arranges concessions with other capitalist concerns, private or national; at one time feared and execrated by capitalist politicians it is now treated on level terms at World Councils of the Powers. Why?
 
The Bolshevist coup of November, 1917, was no miracle.

Bolshevism and the Russian Peasants

 In the early days of the Bolshevik regime, when we were giving Bolsheviks full credit for the magnificent efforts they were making on behalf of the working class, we met with violent abuse from many 100 per cent. revolutionaries, who, fresh from supporting the war, had just discovered that Kerensky whom they hailed was no better than President Wilson whom they hailed before him.

 They were unable to understand that it is not wise, nor even helpful, to credit men with actions which are in the nature of the case impossible. We said then that, with the best will in the world, the Bolsheviks could not establish Socialism in Russia; certain other things they could do and did do. In particular we said that the peasants, the great majority, did not understand Socialism, and did not want it. It was also quite apparent that nothing fundamental could be done without their consent.

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