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Week 7 grenville notes

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Neville Panthaki

1. War and revolution in the East, 1917 birth of communist power was seen by Lenin, its founder, as the means by which not only the vast lands and peoples of Russia would be transformed, but also world; for 7 decades Lenin was revered by half the world as its spiritual guide despite the bitter dissensions among communist countries as to which was rightful heir; his vision of communism as world force was realized less than 25 years after his death success of Lenins revolution, and the birth and growth of Soviet power, exercised great appeal as well as revulsion Lenins achievement was that he gave concrete expression to the theories of Karl Marx Russian Revolution appeared at the beginning of the fulfilment of Marxs scientific prophecy that capitalist society was heading for its inevitable collapse and that the proletariat, the workers hitherto exploited, would take over and expropriate the exploiters in Germany, where Marxs teachings had the largest political following, and where a powerful Social Democratic Party emerged, the lot of the working man was improving, not getting worse as Marx had predictedcollapse of capitalism did not after all seem imminent; some German socialists asked whether the party should not concentrate on securing practical benefits for the workers and accept the policy of the majority; this became the policy of the majority of the party the British Labour movement was clearly taking this direction too in France the doctrine of industrial and class strife leading to revolution had limited appeal outside the towns Lenins views were so extreme, ran so much counter to the world in which he lived, that the majority of socialists ridiculed him when they were not accusing him of seeking to divide the socialist movement; those who were not socialists did not take him seriouslyhis following, even among Russian socialists right up to the revolution of November 1917, was only a minority one except for few months in Russia after outbreak of revolution in 1905, Lenin spent years before his return to Russia in April 1917 mainly as exile in Switzerland, where he developed organisation of his revolutionary party based on his own uncompromising ideology his faction, which at the Second Party Congress in Brussels and London in 1903 managed to gain a majority, became known as the majority or Bolsheviks, and the minority took the name of Mensheviks, although soon the fortunes were reversed and until 1917 the Mensheviks constituted the majority of the party Lenin hoped for the defeat of Russia and the exhaustion of the imperialists, then he would turn the war between nations into a civil war that would end with mass of peoples united in their aim of overthrowing their rulers and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat Lenins view of the war and of the role of the socialists did not persuade even the left wing of the socialists who met in conferences in Switzerland at Zimmerwald in 1915 and Kienthal in the following yearmajority wished to bring the war to a compromise end, with international friendship and no annexations, and so espoused a pacifist stand rioting that spontaneously broke out in Petrogradformerly St. Petersburgearly in March (23 February by Russian dating) 1917 was not due to the leadership of the socialist exilestheir organisation within the country had suffered severely when early in the war the tsarist government smashed the strike movement, yet, unrest in Petrograd and Moscow had been growing revolution in March 1917 succeeded because the garrison troops of the swollen army were not loyal and would not blindly follow the command of the tsar as they had done in peacetime for Lenin the mass upheaval taking place in Russia was m
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