My colleague at the Ukrainian Institute of the Future Anatoly Amelin wrote a big post on his Facebook page about the October Revolution of 1917, where there were several theses that, in my opinion, belittle both the scale of the event and the scale of the figures of the leaders of the revolution, and, as a result, lead us aside from understanding and the reasons for 1917, and its consequences, as a result, the lessons that we can learn for Ukraine.
Therefore, I will go through the main theses of Amelin:
1. Organization of the October Revolution cost Germany $ 333 million in modern prices.
Answer: A revolution cannot be organized and carried out from the outside, it matures as a result of internal contradictions and, yes, it can be catalyzed by external factors. But they are not the reason.
The Bolsheviks were one of the key participants in the unfinished revolution of 1905-1907, when there was no smell of Germany. But Japan smelled like it was trying to finance the opposition to the Romanovs in the context of the Russo-Japanese war. The Finnish nationalist Koni Tsilliacus played the main role in relations with the Japanese. Through him, the military attaché in Stockholm, Colonel of the Japanese General Staff, Akashi Motojiro, maintained direct communication. The money in the amount of $ 40 million in modern prices went to various political forces. The Socialist-Revolutionaries got the most, but Lenin broke off after he saw that he could not use the priest Gapon, who for several months was a cult figure of the events of 1905. And, by the way, he also enjoyed Japanese money. But in general, among the motley opposition, the attitude towards Japanese money was negative. Therefore, even the most militant Socialist-Revolutionaries concealed such "cooperation."
Thus, it is normal practice to finance the enemies of your enemies. The French financed, armed and advised Americans during the American Revolution in the third quarter of the 18th century. From the point of view of the British crown, this was exactly the same activity that the German General Staff was engaged in using motley revolutionaries against the Romanov dynasty.
Later, the USSR used the Communist Parties around the world to form a configuration that was beneficial for itself. For example, it supported the Kuomintang, then Mao against the Kuomintang, then Vietnam against Mao. We will not even talk about the use of the European left by the Soviets.
As for the Americans, let's take the last example of Afghanistan. First, they set the mujahideen against the USSR, then they fought with the Taliban, then they merged the country with the Taliban based on strategic interests.
In short, it is a common practice in world history to use one or another counterversion figure and force for the sake of securing one's victory.
Second, the October Revolution was a consequence of the February one. And in February, the Bolsheviks played a minimal role. If played any at all. A month before February 1917, Lenin said a well-known phrase, they say, not we veterans, but our young comrades will see the revolution. And a month later it happened. It happened because there was no food in Petrograd, and there was no food, because the economy was very overstrained. For example, food could not be delivered to the cities on time along a railway clogged with military trains. In the summer of 1916, the first elements of surplus allocation began to appear, because less grain was produced, and the cities and the front needed to be fed. Therefore, Nicholas II reasonably considered the option of withdrawing Russia from the war through a separate peace. The assassination of Grigory Rasputin in December 1916 in the context of his influence on the empress in the context of her kinship with the family of Wilhelm II was a reflection of the internal struggle between the "imperial Germanophilic Oppositional Platform For Life" and the pro-Western hawks "For the Entente, for the war to a victorious end and the return of Poland, Courland and other primordially Russian lands ”. And also getting the Black Sea straits. This implies a completely logical conspiracy theory that against the background of the throwing of Nicholas II, Great Britain and France had every reason to push Russia to a coup, where Russian Masons played a key role. Together with British Ambassador George Buchanan and other Western comrades. So, if we consider the conspiracy traces in the October Revolution, then it is worth starting with the February events.
But the funny thing, and this is the third, is that a separate peace was considered not only in Russia, but also in Great Britain and France , because their economies were also monstrously overstrained. The riots in the rear and at the front became so threatening that in Paris and London all hopes were pinned on Washington, as the only source of aid that could keep their economies from collapse, and the Western Front from collapse. Without US support, the collapse of France and Germany could have become a reality as early as 1917.
However, the United States was in no hurry to enter the war, reasonably believing that it is better to make money on this. Plus, isolationist sentiments were strong in American society. Therefore, US President Woodrow Wilson negotiated through mediators with Wilhelm II on the "peace without victory" format. Thus, the Americans with one hand gnawed the French and British, who were suffocating from the burden of the war, and at the same time tried to push the Germans towards peace. If Wilson succeeded, then one can only fantasize what the world would be like after the end of hostilities.
But the catastrophic situation of the German and Austro-Hungarian economies (the population was really starving there) pushed Kaiser Wilhelm into various adventures, such as attacks by German submarines on American ships in the Atlantic. The last straw was information about the negotiations between Germany and Mexico about the latter's involvement in the war on the side of Berlin and the attack on the southern states of the United States, which were to retreat to Mexico City in case of victory. The Germans also hoped to drag Japan to this adventure. This did not leave Wilson a chance to wander further from the war, and on April 2 he appealed to the Senate. Therefore, before the United States entered the war in April 1917, its outcome was far from a foregone conclusion. Therefore, Russia had its chances to win the same as Germany, until the February Revolution opened the Pandora's box, which finished off the Russian Empire.
And here we come to the role of Vladimir Lenin, whom Amelin calls an extra, "who tricked his puppeteers." Whoever Lenin was definitely not, so an extra. He was a cynical, calculating leader who not only fearlessly stood up against the mainstream, but also against the sentiment within his party. At the same time, Lenin was able to radically change his own ideological dogmas. This provided such a monstrous effectiveness of political decisions that no leader in the vastness of the former Russian Empire could boast. Hetman Pavel Skoropadsky very accurately noted this in his memoirs:
“The biggest person who has been promoted by our era is, to our horror, Lenin. There are no people. Now that I have nothing to do, I have subscribed to newspapers of all shades and all countries of importance. How all these calculations of our various speeches of major statesmen and public figures are impressively beautiful on the columns of newspapers, how they soothe the nerves of the uninitiated into the secrets of politics and how disheartening they are for a person who has tasted the poison of state rule. How untimely the decisions of those in power. When they finally, after long doubts, decide to take on something, life has already gone ahead, and they again remain in front of a broken trough. What falsehood sounds in everything that these people say. No, there are no people! "
Therefore, it was not Gelfand Parvus who was the real organizer of the October Revolution, but Lenin and his associates. Yes, Parvus used the Bolsheviks based on the goals of Germany, as its elite realized them in the face of an obvious threat of defeat in an all-out war. Here all the means were already used. And the Bolsheviks, starving in exile and emigration, were interesting.
But the Bolsheviks also used Parvus for their own purposes, where the proletarian revolution not only in Russia, but also in Germany, in general throughout the world, was a key element of their worldview. And in case of the victory, the Bolsheviks hoped to overthrow not only the capitalists in Russia, but also in Germany. Together with the General Staff, the Emperor, and even Parvus. And in the hot events of the late 1918 - winter 1919, and in 1920, when they climbed into Poland, they showed that they were not joking. The Bolsheviks weren't joking at all when they talked about the world revolution. And they tried to implement what they believed. And this faith rested on the most powerful theoretical basis of Karl Marx, which the Bolsheviks were able to embroider to simple truths and embroider them to the peasants, to involve them in their struggle for power, to organize, arm and emerge victorious in an essentially catastrophic situation.
Therefore, reducing the October Revolution to intrigues behind the scenes, without understanding the role played by the land question, class contradictions, national contradictions, the gap between the countryside and the city, the gap between the estates, means not understanding why these lovely and even funny people who tried to make the proletariat happy, were able to receive such a huge and terrible power, which for more than 70 years had a colossal impact on the development of human civilization.
The story of the victory of the Bolsheviks in 1917 is a vivid example when the enormous Will, put on the projection of the Idea, can literally turn the world upside down. Forgetting this, we are not only doomed to be hostages of conspiracy theories, petty leaders and passions, but we will repeat the mistakes of the leaders of the Ukrainian revolution of 1917-1920, whose pettiness and microscopic scale led the country to disaster and yet another yoke. It is the threat of a new yoke that should compel us to face the truth in cold blood and do what not only the heart, but also the mind requires.