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, November 7, 2017

Russian Revolution: Soviets in Action

Click here to access article by the American journalist John Reed from the archives of Marxists.org. (Note: I erred in not placing this article before those of Rosa Luxemburg. Because reporting on the Russian Revolution has taken so much time and energy for me, I will be winding up this series in the next few days.)

One of our own from the Pacific Northwest (Portland, OR) of the United States of America covered the revolutionary events in Russia as an eye-witness for American workers. Like most all of his reports immediately after the successful conclusion of the revolution, this article was published in 1918 in The Liberator  (not to be confused with the abolitionist newspaper leading up to, and during, the American Civil War) which was a radical newspaper for American workers.
Through all the chorus of abuse and misrepresentation directed against the Russian Soviets by the capitalist press there runs a voice shrill with a sort of panic, which cries: ‘There is no government in Russia! There is no organisation among the Russian workers! It will not work! It will not work!’

There is method in the slander.

As all real socialists know, and as we who have seen the Russian Revolution can testify, there is today in Moscow and throughout all the cities and towns of the Russian land a highly complex political structure, which is upheld by the vast majority of the people and which is functioning as well as any newborn popular government ever functioned. Also the workers of Russia have fashioned from their necessities and the demands of life an economic organisation which is evolving into a true industrial democracy.