Saturday, 17 June 2017

Essay Notes: "Is the Russian Revolution a Bourgeois Revolution? A Keen Analysis of the Situation in Soviet Russia" by Karl Radek

Is the Russian Revolution a Bourgeois Revolution? a Keen Analysis of Situation in Soviet RussiaIs the Russian Revolution a Bourgeois Revolution? A Keen Analysis of the Situation in Soviet Russia by Karl Radek

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Karl Radek photographed in Berlin, 1919. Radek travelled
in the sealed train across Germany with Lenin in 1917, but
remained in Stockholm. He was an Austrian citizen
and would not have been allowed entry to Russia.
This photograph of Karl Radek from 1919 depicts the quintessential communist intellectual (see right). I am convinced he set the fashion for left-wing university students through the ages! This pamphlet is an attempt to counter critics of the Bolsheviki. Trotsky says it best, in effect, that Russia was not ready for "socialism, the lowest form of communism", and it could only set up a level somewhat lower than that. The Internationale was meant to break out in France, be advanced by Germany, and then be established by England. But instead, it all began in Russia. By 1921, it was clear that there was no real dictatorship of the proletariat, and the Bolsheviki were becoming the new ruling elite. I was hoping for more from Radek, but it would seem that Trotsky was the real intellectual of the Soviet Union. That Radek was part of the bureaucracy while Trotsky was not speaks volumes. Yet even Radek would succumb to Stalin's tyranny. It really is a tragic story but as I delve more into the original documents, I am pleased to see that my education is holding up. It is a mere facsimile of the primary documents, but it would seem to be helpful to grasp the basic story before diving into Bolshevik ephemera!



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