Weekend Reading: James M. Buchanan: The "Social" Efficiency of Education

Live from "My Kronstadt was the Dissolution of the Constituent Assembly": WTF, Tony Barber?! The "masses" did not "seize the initiative" in 1917. The Bolshevik Faction of the RSDP did. The "masses" were, as Lenin said, vacillating, and needed to be led by the halter and driven by the knout:

Let's give the mic first to Comrade Ulyanov:

Vladimir Lenin: The Constituent Assembly Elections and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1919/dec/16.htm: "The Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks formed a bloc during the whole period of the revolution from February to October 1917...

...Those two parties together represent petty-bourgeois democracy, which mistakenly imagines it is, and calls itself, socialist, like all the parties of the Second International.... In the Constituent Assembly elections, we get the following total: Party of the Proletariat (Bolsheviks)... 25%; Petty-Bourgeois democratic parties (Socialist-Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, etc.)... 62%.... Landowners and Bourgeoisie (Cadets, etc.)... 13%.... [In] the Constituent Assembly elections the Bolsheviks were the party of the proletariat and the Socialist-Revolutionaries, the party of the peasantry.... How ridiculous, in face of such facts, is the talk about the Bolsheviks having only a “minority” of the proletariat behind them!... The town cannot be equal to the country. The country cannot be equal to the town under the historical conditions of this epoch. The town inevitably leads the country. The country inevitably follows the town. The only question is which class, of the “urban” classes, will succeed in leading the country, will cope with this task, and what forms will leadership by the town assume?...

The Bolsheviks had behind them not only the majority of the proletariat, not only the revolutionary vanguard of the proletariat which had been steeled in the long and persevering struggle against opportunism; they had, if it is permissible to use a military term, a powerful “striking force” in the metropolitan cities. An overwhelming superiority of forces at the decisive point at the decisive moment—this “law” of military success is also the law of political success, especially in that fierce, seething class war which is called revolution....

The petty-bourgeois democrats, their chief present-day representatives, the “socialists” and “Social-Democrats”, are suffering from illusions when they imagine that the working people are capable, under capitalism, of acquiring the high degree of class-consciousness, firmness of character, perception and wide political outlook that will enable them to decide, merely by voting.... It is a mere illusion. It is a sentimental story invented by pedants and sentimental socialists of the Kautsky, Longuet and MacDonald type.... This is the circumstance that is constantly lost sight of by those who worship “consistent democracy” and who imagine that extremely important political problems can be solved by voting. Such problems are actually solved by civil war....

the vacillation of the non-proletarian working people on such a question is quite natural, even inevitable, but not in the least frightful for the proletariat.... The party of the revolutionary proletariat must take part in bourgeois parliaments in order to enlighten the masses; this can be done during elections and in the struggle between parties in parliament. But limiting the class struggle to the parliamentary struggle, or regarding the latter as the highest and decisive form, to which all the other forms of struggle are subordinate, is actually desertion to the side of the bourgeoisie against the proletariat...

Tony Barber: 1917—the year Vladimir Putin would rather forget: "there is a deeper reason why 1917 is not one of Mr Putin’s favourite years... https://www.ft.com/content/00e90c14-7056-11e7-aca6-c6bd07df1a3c

...It was a time when, for once, the Russian masses seized the initiative. During the cold war, many western historians depicted the Bolshevik revolution as the illegitimate coup of a fanatical political sect. Extremists they certainly were, but the Bolsheviks drew in summer and autumn 1917 on ever wider circles of support in Russia’s armed forces and factories. Ultimately, the February and October revolutions expressed the deep-seated discontent and radicalisation of Russian society. They are historical hot potatoes for Mr Putin, for whom social unrest, political opposition and spontaneous dissent are anathema...

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