Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do not go gentle into that socialist dream

I have been waiting to hear who obama will appoint as director of NASA, and vacillating between feelings of dread and feelings of horror. I am slowly coming to the realization that who ever is appointed, they will be given explicit direction by obama, “Prove global warming exists.” Forget about space flight, after all what does NASA? I don’t know but it defiantly doesn’t have anything to do with space anymore. What NASA does mean to the incoming administration is this, give the people a global threat to keep them occupied (recycle or die) while we take over the banks, industry, redistribute wealth, and seize religious properties. It’s simple, make it big enough and scary enough and people will do anything, follow anyone, pass any law, to feel safe. I bet obama is hoping scientist find an asteroid is heading our way, he ought to be able to turn that into a law that see him being installed General Secretary of the Democratic Party of the United Socialist States (no elections allowed).

Well this thinking made me sick and upset so I looked up the history of the Soviet Union and was amazed at what I found. Take a read, and let me know what you think. I’ve highlighted a few passages for you.

The Bolshevik revolution was part of the Russian Revolution that began with an armed insurrection in Petrograd as a coup d'├ętat by the worker and soldier masses. It was the second phase of the overall Russian Revolution of 1917. The Bolshevik Revolution overthrew the Russian Provisional Government and gave the power to the Soviets dominated by Bolsheviks. It was followed by the Russian Civil War (1917–1922) and the creation of the Soviet Union in 1922.

The revolution was led by the Bolsheviks. Bolshevik armed forces began the takeover of government buildings on 24 October when the Winter Palace, the seat of the Provisional government located in Petrograd (modern day St. Petersburg), was captured.

The mounting frustration of workers and soldiers erupted in July with several days of rioting on the streets. This event was sparked by the June offensive against Germany, in which War Minister Alexander Kerensky sent troops in a major attack on the Germans, only to be repelled. The rioting was also sparked by the workers' anger at their economic plight. A group of 20,000 armed sailors from "Red Kronstadt", the naval base on the island of Kronstadt located near St.Petersburg, marched into Petrograd and demanded that the Soviet take power. The high density of Industrial workers in the cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow, also provoked the revolution adding to the scale of the event. The capital was defenseless for two days. After suppressing the riots, the government blamed the Bolsheviks for encouraging the rebellion and many Bolshevik leaders, including Lenin and Grigory Zinoviev, were forced to go into hiding. Although the Bolshevik party had to operate semi-legally throughout July and August, its position on the far left end of the political spectrum was consolidated. Radical anti-war social democrats, who had joined the Mezhraiontsy earlier in the year, merged with the Bolsheviks in August. Many of them, particularly Trotsky, inspired the mass of workers and soldiers.

The Kornilov Affair was another catalyst to Revolution. Alexander Kerensky, who held positions in both the Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet, felt he needed a trustworthy military leader. After appointing Lavr Kornilov, Kerensky soon accused Kornilov of trying to set up his own military dictatorship. It is still uncertain as to whether or not Kornilov did engineer a plot of this kind or not. Kornilov, convinced Kerensky was acting under duress of the Bolsheviks, responded by issuing a call to all Russians to "save their dying land!" Unsure of the support of his army generals, Kerensky was forced to ask for help from other quarters- including the Bolshevik Red Guards, even providing them with arms. Kornilov's supposed attempt to seize power collapsed without bloodshed as his Cossacks deserted him. Kornilov and around 7,000 of his supporters were arrested.

The social and economic changes in Russia also produced a new educated middle class of professionals and industrial managers such as doctors, lawyers, engineers and other white collar jobs. The presence of this new class also contributed to the revolution, as citizens began to see that life could be better. World War I also had a large impact on the society of Russia. Russia had huge losses during the war that plunged its citizens into deep poverty. The citizens put their anger upon the current regime. This attitude set the stage for the rise of the Bolsheviks who promised change and presented themselves as strong leaders.

The Second Congress of Soviets consisted of 670 elected delegates; 300 were Bolshevik and nearly a hundred were Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, who also supported the overthrow of the Kerensky Government. When the fall of the Winter Palace was announced, the Congress adopted a decree transferring power to the Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, thus ratifying the Revolution. The following day, the Congress elected a Council of People's Commissars as the basis of a new Soviet Government, pending the convocation of a Constituent Assembly, and passed the Decree on Peace and the Decree on Land. This new government was also officially called "provisional" until the Assembly was dissolved.

The Decree on Land ratified the actions of the peasants who throughout Russia seized private land and redistributed it among themselves. The Bolsheviks viewed themselves as representing an alliance of workers and peasants and memorialized that understanding with the Hammer and Sickle on the flag and coat of arms of the Soviet Union.

Other decrees: The Russian banks were all nationalized. Control of the factories was given to the government. Private bank accounts were confiscated. Religious properties (including bank accounts) were seized. Wages were fixed at higher rates than during the war and a shorter, eight-hour working day was introduced. All foreign debts were repudiated.

The success of the October Revolution transformed the Russian state from parliamentarian to socialist in character.


1 comment:

MikeNahorniak said...

Thanks for an excellent article and history lesson. I am going to spend quite a bit more time researching Russia's chaotic past.
I found this article by Googling "feelings of dread, Socialism", (and I am an avid sci-fi reader, primarily 1950-70's)...
I can hear the warning drums, but for me (the common man), nobody is telling me what to do to stop it. It will be years before any meaningful elections. Organized political parties serve their constituants when it serves them.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the past and today is our ability to communicate. Will that be enough to ward off a bloody revolution, or even a peaceful transfer of freedom away from the citizenry? I really have my doubts.