We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

One Hundred Years Ago: ‘The Revolution is not over; it is just Beginning!’

Click here to access article by Michael Jabara Carley from Strategic Culture Foundation.

This professor of history at the University of Montreal provides a very accurate review of the initial stage of the Russian Revolution of 1917, the most pivotal event of the 20th century, which occurred precisely 100 years ago. The event spread panic among the ruling capitalist classes across continental Europe, the US, and the entire British Empire. You can't have a reasonably accurate understanding of major subsequent events if you don't have an understanding of this revolution. Carley provides that in his description of the first stage of the revolution in this scholarly, but concise article. 

(The scholarly features include showing dates from both our calendar and the Julian calendar, and using several foreign or more obscure words/expressions to which I've offered translations: "koshmar", "flagging", and "calendes grecques" became a colloquial expression for postponing something forever.)
This was the beginning of the period of so-called "dual power". The Petrograd Soviet would not take power directly, but in effect would govern indirectly, acting as a sentinel of the revolutionary masses and "usurping" government authority, as western diplomats saw it. Dual power was a formula for chaos especially since the Provisional Government represented  traditional tsarist elites, and the Soviets, the revolutionary masses. In fact, the Provisional Government had no popular base at all. Not even the Imperial Duma could buttress it, Ambassador Paléologue reported, for the Duma "had disappeared". The Petrograd Soviet is now "the parliament of all Russia". Hence, if there was "dual power" in Russia, it tilted heavily to the side of the new Soviets.

The two big issues in the spring of 1917 were peace and land redistribution.

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