The story of the October Revolution of 1917 is as much one of the masses of Russia taking their future in their own hands as it is of Lenin and the Bolsheviks.
Few talk of the greatness of ideas that sprung in the beginning of the revolution – pluralism in literature, poetry, linguistics, mathematics – that is sheer genius.
Even as Lenin staunchly opposed Russian imperialism, his successor Stalin remained its strong advocate.
As long as the great dream of human freedom remains unextirpated, the spirit of the October Revolution will live on.
At a time of rising income and wealth inequality, the egalitarian goals of socialism seem quite compelling. But if the production system is allowed to remain capitalist, socialism will face formidable challenges. How then can we square the circle?
Avant-garde artists of the time were primarily concerned with projecting different kinds of future work spaces.
Red flags with the hammer and sickle fluttered in the hands of school children, and millions of people arrived from every corner of the vast USSR to celebrate the milestone anniversary.
To learn from October is to learn from and about its defeat, about why a truly workers’ state never emerged and developed in the years when it should have, and what went wrong to preempt that from happening.
The Soviet dream to “catch up and overtake,” was not about economic prosperity. They wanted to “catch up” on national power. That dream lives on.
Most Russians are simply indifferent to the 1917 revolution as a topic of interest and as a political event worthy of commemoration.
Antonio Gramsci, the Italian Marxist leader, welcomed the Russian revolution for straying from Marx’s blueprint for overthrowing the system.
Perceptions of the Russian Revolution today are firmly linked to the the triumph and decline of brands of official communism in the 20th century – at the cost of complex aspects of the original event.