A History of the Russian Revolution for the Twenty-first Century

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017

100 years ago, Russian workers and peasants rose up and shook off one of the world’s most repressive dictatorships, attempting to build a society based up the direct democracy of the exploited and oppressed. It has often been portrayed as a coup led by a tiny cabal of elitist revolutionaries, but it was in fact, as Trotsky wrote in his masterful History of the Russian Revolution, the “forcible entrance of the masses into the realm of rulership over their own destiny.” This talk will take us from the mass strikes and protests that brought down the Tsar in February 1917, to the October insurrection that handed “all power to the soviets,” making the case that this event remains—in what it can teach socialists today about organization, politics, and the potential that lies within ordinary people to remake society—a watershed event.

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