100 years since the Russian Revolution

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks

Was the Russian Revolution a "good" thing?

Да!
5
45%
Нет!
6
55%
 
Total votes: 11

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Samoan
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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Samoan » 08 Nov 2017, 10:21

Diamond Dog wrote:In which way do you think that negates my assertion re the Tsar fiddling with his Faberge eggs whilst St Petersburg burned?

:o
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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Toby » 08 Nov 2017, 10:26

Well, as all with historical perspectives, I suspect that there is a bit of crafty dualism at play with the narratives. It is easy to couch the Russian Revolution as "oppressed workers" vs "autocratic monarchial tyrant". No doubt there is some truth in that, but remember that Marxism essentially articulates its entire ideology as "someone is oppressed somewhere and someone is doing the oppressing".

As Peter Hitchens put it in the video that Samoan posted - there is the view that the Russian Revolution was a putsch created by Imperial Germany to bring about the end of the Eastern Front. The Russians had a revolution in February 1917, but the Bolsheviks didn't like that one and went a bit further.

I've no doubt that Tsarist Russia wasn't a walk in the park for the vast majority of its inhabitants, but to idly dismiss potential evidence that the state wasn't entering a crucial modernism phase and that the First World War, which for all states involved was a fundamental catalyst for their futures, just seems myopic. No doubt Nicholas II was, I suspect, the classic example of a paralysed monarch, but I think we have to understand that Russia is a terrifically difficult country to govern as the evidence has shown throughout its existence.

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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Diamond Dog » 08 Nov 2017, 10:51

I was going to be flippant and just post this again :

Diamond Dog wrote:In which way do you think that negates my assertion re the Tsar fiddling with his Faberge eggs whilst St Petersburg burned?


But I guess you'd like a more considered response.

The problem is, I'm struggling to find one. The article you post itself says "‘In 1914, it was possible’, Lieven argues, ‘to envisage either a brilliant or a catastrophic future for Russia’... how that translates to (your words) "but to idly dismiss potential evidence that the state wasn't entering a crucial modernism phase....., just seems myopic. " I'm really not too sure.

Where is the evidence you talk of?
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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Toby » 08 Nov 2017, 11:06

I guess it's in the book Peter. I've not read it, but History Today is a pretty rigorous publication and I take its reviews seriously. From Beer's review it seems that Lieven feels that the country could have gone either way in terms of its future and that the War had a catastrophic effect on Russia.

You are making the assertion - the classic perspective taught at schools - that Russia was dreadfully backwards, had tyrannical monarchs who didn't give a flying fuck about their populace, thus the image of Faberge eggs juxtaposed against the mass poor and as such the Russian Revolution was a necessary thing to bring Russia into the 20th century. This is classic Hobsbawm, whose views on the Russian Revolution permeate academic thinking.

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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Diamond Dog » 08 Nov 2017, 11:43

So you're prepared to state that Russia was on the brink of a positive modernism phase, based on a book you've not read?

I should be so informed Toby.
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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Toby » 08 Nov 2017, 11:49

No, I'm suggesting that there might be evidence for the fact that Russia wasn't quite as backwards as has been thought.

We have accepted the Hobsbawmian position on the Russian Revolution for a long time, but now it appears that this might not quite be the case.

I would never make such a concrete assertion personally.

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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Moleskin » 08 Nov 2017, 12:07

Do you mean Hobsbawn?
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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Toby » 08 Nov 2017, 12:09

Moleskin wrote:Do you mean Hobsbawn?


No.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/ ... c-hobsbawm

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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Moleskin » 08 Nov 2017, 12:13

Ta. For some reason always been in my head with an 'n' at the end. Should have looked closer at his books.
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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Diamond Dog » 08 Nov 2017, 12:19

Toby wrote:No, I'm suggesting that there might be evidence for the fact that Russia wasn't quite as backwards as has been thought.



So in reality, no evidence exists of the Russian state entering a period of positive modernism at all.

Excellent.
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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Toby » 08 Nov 2017, 12:27

I'm more prepared to take Lieven's position, as an academic with a grounded view of the subject over yours, Peter. I think that's a reasonable assertion.

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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Diamond Dog » 08 Nov 2017, 12:48

Toby wrote:I'm more prepared to take Lieven's position, as an academic with a grounded view of the subject over yours, Peter. I think that's a reasonable assertion.



This one ?

‘In 1914, it was possible’, Lieven argues, ‘to envisage either a brilliant or a catastrophic future for Russia’ .

I'm not sure but that doesn't read the same as ' but to idly dismiss potential evidence that the state wasn't entering a crucial modernism phase" but I'm sure you'll suggest it does Toby.
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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Toby » 08 Nov 2017, 13:02

The sentence "to envisage either a brilliant or a catastrophic future for Russia’" indicates to me at least, that something was possible, surely?

Otherwise the historian would simply say "In 1914 it was only possible to envisage a catastrophic future for Russia."

I'm not going to get too bogged down in semantics but this is blatantly obvious.

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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Geezee » 08 Nov 2017, 13:16

Toby wrote:No, I'm suggesting that there might be evidence for the fact that Russia wasn't quite as backwards as has been thought.


It’s a conspiracy of course, of false news driven by mainstream academia who are just dumb and don’t understand that Russia was great and the revolution was for losers.

I love this idea that there’s this ruthless uncritical orthodoxy that has rested for over 100 years, and nobody has ever thought that of the possibility that actually Russia was modernising, and all it ever needed was someone on the internet not reading a book that didn’t say that Russia was modernising to get to the bottom of all this and everyone else is just lame for not understanding the possibilities.
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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby The Modernist » 08 Nov 2017, 13:18

It's saying it's one possibility, it isn't saying it's the most likely. And it hardly qualifies as "increasing evidence" either.
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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Goat Boy » 08 Nov 2017, 13:22

Carla Breakthrough-Lark wrote:If you have an hour to spare - this is the first part (of three). Really enjoyable BBC series.



I enjoyed that and will watch the other ones too.

I thought it tried to squeeze a lot into one hour but I love seeing the old footage etc

Still looks grimmer than a long weekend in Cumbernauld mind
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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby John aka Josh » 08 Nov 2017, 20:19

Carla Breakthrough-Lark wrote:
Geezee wrote:
Except for that little invasion of Czechoslovakia.


68. Then came 'normalisation'. So they had eight years.





In that magical summer of '67 my cousin & her husband, a lecturer in the university of Prague stayed with us for their honeymoon. One of my abiding memories is of how astonished they were at the shops. Pretty much the first shop we went in was a Marks & Spencer. Their jaws dropped & Oscar got our his camera and took a series of shots from a central point so he could make a complete circular montage. He took them because 'They won't believe us at home if we tell them what's it like here'. They were used to empty shelves, queuing and buying anything when it became available, either because it was unlikely to be available when needed or for its bartering value. Marvellous times indeed.
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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby The Modernist » 08 Nov 2017, 21:57

John aka Josh wrote: Oscar got our his camera and took a series of shots from a central point so he could make a complete circular montage. He took them because 'They won't believe us at home if we tell them what's it like here'. .


Well he is from Barnsley.

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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Geezee » 09 Nov 2017, 06:55

The Modernist wrote:
John aka Josh wrote: Oscar got our his camera and took a series of shots from a central point so he could make a complete circular montage. He took them because 'They won't believe us at home if we tell them what's it like here'. .


Well he is from Barnsley.


Communist Barnsley.
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Re: 100 years since the Russian Revolution

Postby Dr. E. PLATE » 09 Nov 2017, 08:44

Goat Boy wrote:
Carla Breakthrough-Lark wrote:If you have an hour to spare - this is the first part (of three). Really enjoyable BBC series.



I enjoyed that and will watch the other ones too.

I thought it tried to squeeze a lot into one hour but I love seeing the old footage etc

Still looks grimmer than a long weekend in Cumbernauld mind


There are only three. They're all excellent, but the one on Romania is especially gripping. Ceaucescu was a monster but it's fascinating to see how quickly and how dramatically things turned against him.
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