Voices from Russia

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Many of Those Condemned in the Trials of the 1930s WERE Guilty

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Some of the “best people”, that is, our intelligentsia, turned on the FSB’s director because he pointed up that some of the people convicted in the trials of the 1930s were actually guilty, as they wish to do nothing more than condemn what they call the “crimes” of the Bolshevik authorities. What he said was:

Although many say that this period saw a massive fabrication of charges, the archival material shows objective evidence in a large proportion of criminal cases, including famous “show” trials. That the group around Trotsky wanted to overthrow or even eliminate I V Stalin and his colleagues in the VKP (b) leadership wasn’t fiction, as were the ties of these conspirators with foreign intelligence services. In addition, many of the defendants in those trials were members of the nomenklatura and officers of the security organs long involved in corruption, arbitrariness, and official injustice.

https://www.rg.ru/2017/12/19/aleksandr-bortnikov-fsb-rossii-svobodna-ot-politicheskogo-vliianiia.html

Are you telling me that all the repressed Old Bolsheviks were innocent? On the other hand, is it just because a part of the intelligentsia sees these people as their historical predecessors, and is afraid of a similar verdict by the court of history and in the verdict of the people? In fact, the only true innocents were those few people who didn’t betray the tsar and their faith, who suffered for their allegiance to them. Many of the New Martyrs were amongst them. However, the collective sins of many Russian classes are obvious to me… as is the justice of the punishment that struck them. By the way, only Protestant rationalists, contrary to Scripture and Tradition, believe that sins can only be personal.

Was the peasantry, who seized land from the manors, perfectly innocent? Who was innocent amongst the clergy, who only protested when it affected their corporate interests… or, the aristocracy, many of whom donned red cockades… or, the Duma Deputies, industrialists, and party leaders who plotted against the tsar in wartime… or, the Red commanders who shot down their own people? The Lord God isn’t mocked. True is His justice. He metes out according to our just desserts. This isn’t just about the past.

24 December 2017

Vsevolod Chaplin

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Friday, 27 October 2017

Revisiting the 1917 October Revolution

Although it didn’t live up to all of its ideals, the world was a better place for the USSR. After all, the USA didn’t live up to all of its ideals, either…

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To some the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia still stands, a hundred years on, as the single most important emancipatory event in human history. For such people, it commands greater importance than the Reformation or the American and French Revolutions preceding it, in that it went further than religious or political emancipation to engender social emancipation; and with it, an end to the exploitation of man by man that describes the human condition fashioned under capitalism. Meanwhile, to its detractors, October ushered in a dark night of communist tyranny that, per Marx, profaned all that was holy and all that was solid melted into air. This rendering considered October, along with fascism, to have been part of a counter-Enlightenment impulse, one that arrived as the harbinger of a new dark age. However, the attempt to place communism and fascism in the same category is facile in the extreme; it fails the test of history. The real and historically accurate relationship between both of those world-historical ideologies is that fascism was responsible for starting the Holocaust, but communism (in the shape of the Soviet Red Army) ended it.

That Russia in 1917 was the least favourable country of any in Europe for socialist and communist transformation is indisputable. Marx averred in his works that the starting point of communism is when a society’s productive forces have developed and matured to the point where existing forms of property relations act as a brake on their continuing development. By then, the social and cultural development of the proletariat incubated a growing awareness of their position within the existing system of production, thereby effecting its metamorphosis from a class “in itself” to a class “for itself” and, with it, its role as the agent of social revolution and transformation. Marx wrote:

No social order ever perishes before all the productive forces for which there is room in it have developed; and new, higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society itself.

The error in Marx’s analysis was that rather than emerge in the advanced capitalist economies of Western Europe, communism emerged on the periphery of the capitalist centres (Russia, China, and Cuba et al) under conditions, not of development or abundance, but under-development and scarcity. From a vantage of exile in Switzerland, Lenin saw with uncommon clarity how the First World War presented revolutionaries across Europe with a clear choice. They could either succumb to national chauvinism, fall into line behind their respective ruling classes, and support their respective countries’ war efforts, or they could use the opportunity to agitate among the workers of said countries for the war to be turned into a civil war in the cause of worldwide revolution. It was a choice separating the revolutionary wheat from its chaff, leading to the collapse of the Second International, as (with few exceptions) former giants of the international Marxist and revolutionary socialist movement succumbed to patriotism and war fever. Lenin observed:

The war came; the crisis was there. Instead of revolutionary tactics, most of the Social-Democratic [Marxist] parties launched reactionary tactics, went over to the side of their respective governments and bourgeoisie. This betrayal of socialism signifies the collapse of the Second (1889-1914) International; we must realise what caused this collapse, what brought social-chauvinism into being and gave it strength.

The ensuing chaos, carnage, and destruction wrought by four years of unparalleled conflict brought the so-called civilised world to the brink of collapse. The European continent’s ruling classes unleashed an orgy of bloodshed in the cause not of democracy or liberty, as the Entente powers fatuously claimed, but over the division of colonies in Africa and elsewhere in the undeveloped world. From the left, or at least a significant section of the international left, the analysis of October and its aftermath is coterminous with the deification of its two primary actors… Lenin and Trotsky… and the demonisation of Stalin, commonly depicted as a peripheral player who hijacked the revolution upon Lenin’s death, whereupon he embarked on a counter-revolutionary process to destroy its gains and aims. Isaac Deutscher wrote in the second volume of his magisterial three-part biography of Trotsky, The Prophet Unarmed:

The Bolsheviks were aware that only at the gravest peril to themselves and the revolution could they allow their adversaries to express themselves freely and to appeal to the Soviet electorate. An organised opposition could turn the chaos and discontent to its advantage even more easily because the Bolsheviks were unable to mobilise the energies of the working class. They refused to expose themselves and the revolution to this peril.

The harsh reality is that the cultural level of the country’s nascent and small proletariat, whose most advanced cadre perished in the Civil War, was too low for it to take the kind commanding role in the organisation and governance of the country Lenin had hoped and anticipated. He had to admit:

Our state apparatus is so deplorable, not to say wretched, that we must first think very carefully how to combat its defects, bearing in mind that these defects are rooted in the past, which, although it’s been overthrown, hasn’t yet been overcome, hasn’t yet reached the stage of a culture, that has receded into the distant past.

Stalin’s victory in the struggle for power within the leadership in the wake of Lenin’s death in 1924 was, if we believe conventional wisdom, due to his Machiavellian subversion and usurpation not only of the party’s collective organs of government but the very ideals and objectives of the revolution itself. However, this describes a reductive interpretation of the seismic events, both within and outside Russia, that were in train at this point. Despite Trotsky’s determination to hold onto the belief in the catalysing properties of October with regard to European and world revolution (which he shared with Lenin), by 1924 it was clear that the prospect of any such revolutionary outbreak in the advanced European economies was over, and that socialism in Russia would have to be built, per Bukharin, “on that material which exists”. Trotsky and Lenin’s faith in the European proletariat proved wrong, while Stalin’s scepticism in this regard proved justified. Returning to Isaac Deutscher:

After four years of Lenin’s and Trotsky’s leadership, the Politburo couldn’t view the prospects of world revolution without scepticism… Stalin wasn’t content with broad historical perspectives that seemed to provide no answer to burning, historical questions… extreme scepticism about world revolution and confidence in the reality of a long truce between Russia and the capitalist world were the twin premises of his [Stalin’s] “socialism in one country”.

The five-year plans introduced by Stalin, beginning in 1928, took place under conditions of absolute necessity in response to the gathering storms of war in the West. Stalin declared in 1931:

We’re fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this lag in ten years. Either we do it or they crush us.

When it comes to those who cite the human cost of October and its aftermath as evidence of its unadulterated evil, no serious student of the history of Western colonialism and imperialism could possibly argue its equivalence when weighed on the scales of human suffering. Here, Alain Badiou reminded us:

The huge colonial genocides and massacres, the millions of deaths in the civil and world wars through which our West forged its might, should be enough to discredit, even in the eyes of “philosophers” who extol their morality, the parliamentary regimes of Europe and America.

Ultimately, no revolution or revolutionary process ever achieves the ideals and vision embraced by its adherents at the outset. Revolutions advance and retreat under the weight of internal and external realities and contradictions until they arrive at a state of equilibrium that conforms to the limitations imposed by the particular cultural and economic constraints of the space and time in which they are made. Although Martin Luther advocated the crushing of the Peasants Revolt led by Thomas Munzer, can anyone gainsay Luther’s place as one of history’s great emancipators? Likewise, whilst the French Revolution ended not with liberty, equality, fraternity, but Napoleon, who can argue that at Waterloo the Corsican general’s Grande Armée fought for the cause of human progress against the dead weight of autocracy and aristocracy represented by Wellington? In a similar vein, Stalin’s socialism in one country and resulting five-year plans allowed the USSR to overcome the monster of fascism in the 1940s. This is why, in the last analysis, the fundamental metric of the 1917 October Revolution is the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942. Moreover, for that, whether it cares to acknowledge it or not, the world will forever be in its debt.

26 October 2017

John Wight

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201710261058554269-october-revolution-1917/

Monday, 22 July 2013

22 July 2013. Did Lenin Order Tsar Nikolai’s Death?

01j Early Red Poster

“We’re not slaves!” THIS is what the Revolution did… bear this in mind when you hear the woollier ROCOR elements spout their lies. They do have an interest in so doing… Uncle Sugar does pay so many of them… 

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Editor’s Foreword:

The following is from a longer debate between a muddled member of Maria Vladimirovna’s household and a KPRF leader. The whole debate is here. However, this statement is where the rubber hits the road for 99.9 percent of all people. Lenin did NOT order the death of Tsar St Nikolai… neither did Sverdlov… nor did the all-Russian Central Executive Committee (VTsIK). It was a local action of the Ural Soviet. I’ll have more to say, afterwards.

BMD

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Now, the question arose as to if there is at least some indirect documentary evidence incriminating Lenin and Sverdlov in the planning of the execution of the former Tsar and his family. According to RF SKP investigator Solovyov, there’s none. Many refer to a doubtful journal entry by Trotsky. He supposedly wrote that he came from the front, learned of the death of the royal family, and asked Sverdlov, “Who decided that?” Sverdlov allegedly replied, “Ilich decided”. However, such a conversation couldn’t have happened at the time for the reason that in the minutes of the meeting at which Sverdlov announced the execution of the former king, Trotsky’s name appears among those present. So, how could he allegedly write about a conversation after arriving from the front with Sverdlov and Lenin? Trotsky had already started to play with the facts. There’s nothing surprising here, there’s nothing to refute…

After all, the situation in July 1918 was terrible. The war with Germany was lost, so, Lenin “resolved” the situation, trying to stop the entry of German troops into Moscow. It started with the signing of the Brest peace. The Left SRs in the government were terribly displeased. That led to a revolt of the Left SRs. Then, there was a provocation against Lenin and the Soviet government… the murder of Graf Mirbach.  On top of that, the Soviet government was beset by foes on all fronts, and there was yet another provocation… the murder of the German princesses. Understand, this was extremely disadvantageous to Lenin and Sverdlov, to Soviet power in those conditions. It was yet another provocation in order to provoke a war with Germany, from which the Soviet government strongly denied Lenin’s involvement…

The RF SKP stated that neither Lenin nor the Soviet government were involved in the lawless execution of the royal family. Lenin and Sverdlov insisted on a trial, and no one raised the issue of murdering them. It’s only a contemporary opinion that they were guilty of a criminal offence. This act was against the will of the central government. It was an excess of the Civil War. This fact, the KPRF admits.

17 July 2013

KPRF Official Website

http://kprf.ru/history/date/120724.html

Editor’s Afterword:

Victor Potapov and his ilk are known quantities. Potapov was (or is) a paid propagandist of the US government, paid to undermine the Orthosphere. If “he who pays the piper determines the tune”, then, its clear that any statement on his part concerning Russian society, politics, or history reflects the Russophobic views of his paymasters. His statement on Stalin on the official ROCOR website must be taken in that spirit. Of course, he attacked Stalin… he’s the obedient lapdog of pro-Free Market forces, who’re the enemies of all decent people. All other similar statements by those of like-mind should be likewise given short shrift. Do note that they’re silent on the White Terror and on Russian collaboration with the Nazis (many of them do have family ties to KONR and SS traitors).

Sad, ain’t it? A bunch of opportunistic First Families has hijacked Christ’s Church, and they accept a “mess of pottage” from its foes. Nevertheless, it won’t last forever… it’ll only seem that way…

BMD

 

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin Said We Should Assess Lenin’s and Trotsky’s Works for Extremism

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin (1968- ), at a meeting discussing common action with KPRF leaders, including Gennady Zyuganov (1944- )… Fr Vsevolod does NOT hobnob with oligarchs and their political lickspittles… don’t read into his words what isn’t there.

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On Friday, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the MP Department of Church and Society, said that we should examine works by leading Communist ideologues, including Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, for extremism, going on to say that we could compare some works by the founders of Bolshevism, which contain passages justifying mass repressions and promote “red terror”, to Nazi propaganda, which is banned in Russia. Actualcomment.ru reported that he said, “We need to have a serious discussion on… how to treat the reproduction of these texts and those who use their most radical elements to construct political practices and propaganda”. He named no names, but said his criticism does not include the Communist Party or “the new left”. On Friday, no state agency commented on the proposal. Prosecutors or police usually request such extremism assessments.

Chaplin himself has a reputation of a radical thinker, having promoted controversial ideas including a nationwide dress code for women and a ban on “gay propaganda”. He’s also attacked Communism in the past, saying that “destruction of as many Bolsheviks as possible was… a moral thing to do for a Christian” in the 1920s. The Bolshevik regime, which came to power at the time, separated the church from the state and cracked down heavily on believers. Russia has an extensive list of extremist materials banned for production and distribution. As of Friday, the list had more than 1,100 entries, the majority being radical Islamist, anti-Semitic, and neo-fascist publications. Russian extremism legislation is notoriously vague, which prompts political oppositionists, especially nationalists, to denounce it as a tool of political persecution.

30 March 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/society/20120330/172487804.html

Editor’s Note:

Fr Vsevolod has a reputation as a “devil’s advocate”… he’ll put something out there for discussion, using incendiary language to “prime the pump”. NEVER forget that he’s the closest confidant to His Holiness, and that HH uses him to put things out into the public square that he can’t advance, because they’re inherently divisive or controversial. Note well that he’s not criticising contemporary communists or leftists. The Church has NO problem with the Left… it DOES have many problems with the Greedy Capitalist Laissez-faire Liberals on the Right. Don’t forget… Our Lord Christ grew up in the family of a modest carpenter… NOT in the family of a moneybags plutocrat. That blows godless jackanapes like Pat Robertson and Rick Santorum all to hell, doesn’t it?

BMD

Some Welcome Vox Pop Department:

A friend sent me this:

I’d feel more comfortable if he’d also mention the White Terror of the same era….

I quite agree. Both sides spilled buckets of blood in the Civil War. No one’s guiltless or innocent. NO ONE…

BMD

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