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The February Revolution (which actually took place in March) began as a series of riots protesting food shortages and the ongoing unpopular war. Czar Nicholas II ordered the Dumas (the Russian Parliament) disbanded. Members of the Dumas refused to obey the dissolution order.On November 6th, the Bolsheviks, led by the Military Revolutionary Committee, captured most of the government offices and stormed the Winter Palace, arresting members of the interim government. The Soviets were now in control.
The Russian war effort against the Germans was faltering badly. Lenin's return to Russia had strengthened the view of the Bolsheviks that the war needed to end. By the end of October 1917, over a million railroad and other essential workers were on strike. It became harder and harder to order Russian troops into battle, with many just refusing to fight. On November 3, Russian troops on the Baltic front threw down their gun and began friendly interactions with the German forces. On November 4, the Prime Minister of the Russian provisional government, Alexander Kerensky ordered the Petrograd garrison to the front, they refused. The next day he ordered troops he thought were loyal from outside the city to enter it; they too refused.
On November 6, the Women's Death Battalion, which was loyal to the Provisional Government, marched through the streets only to be met with jeers. Kerensky tried to take action against the Bolsheviks, and he ordered their printing presses seized and phone lines to their headquarters cut.
The Bolsheviks sent armed units to recapture the printing press and seize the Central Telegraph Office.
Overnight the Bolsheviks occupied the principal buildings such as the railroad station, the banks, the bridges, and the post office. In the morning, Lenin releases a proclamation announcing the overthrow of the provisional government.
To the Citizens of Russia!
The Provisional Government has been deposed. Government authority has passed into the hands of the organ of the Petrograd Soviet Workers and Soldiers Deputies, the Military Revolutionary Committee, which stands at the head of the Petrograd proletariat and garrison.
The task for which the people have been struggling - the immediate offer of a democratic peace, the abolition of landlord property in land, worker control of production, the creation of a Soviet Government this task is assured.
Long Live the Revolution of Workers, Soldiers, and Peasants!!
On November 7, 1917 the Provisional Government met in the Winter Palace, stating that only they had the right to rule. Thousands gather outside the Palace. Sailors aboard the Russian cruiser Aurora revolted and announced they supported the revolution. They threatened to fire on the Palace unless the Bolsheviks were allowed in. They fired blanks shells to show their seriousness. That night the Bolsheviks stormed the Palace, and the Provisional government fled.
The next morning November 8, Lenin was elected Chairman of the People's Commissars.
ut that was not to be.
The Russian Revolution took place in 1917 when the peasants and working class people of Russia revolted against the government of Tsar Nicholas II. They were led by Vladimir Lenin and a group of revolutionaries called the Bolsheviks. The new communist government created the country of the Soviet Union.
The statement that explains how the Russian Revolution affected American neutrality in World War I is: the revolution led to Russia’s withdrawal from the war, encouraging many Americans to join the Allies to take Russia’s place. More than 1,198 people were killed, including 129 Americans.
Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.
Russian Revolution, also called Russian Revolution of 1917, two revolutions in 1917, the first of which, in February (March, New Style), overthrew the imperial government and the second of which, in October (November), placed the Bolsheviks in power.
What caused the Russian Revolution of 1917?
Corruption and inefficiency were widespread in the imperial government, and ethnic minorities were eager to escape Russian domination. Peasants, workers, and soldiers finally rose up after the enormous and largely pointless slaughter of World War I destroyed Russia’s economy as well as its prestige as a European power.
Why is it called the October Revolution if it took place in November?
By the 18th century, most countries in Europe had adopted the Gregorian calendar. In countries like Russia, where Eastern Orthodoxy was the dominant religion, dates were reckoned according to the Julian calendar. In the early 20th century, the difference between these two calendars was 13 days, so the Julian (also called Old Style) dates October 24–25 correspond to the Gregorian dates November 6–7.
How did the revolution lead to the Russian Civil War?
The October Revolution saw Vladimir Lenin’s Bolsheviks seize power at the expense of more moderate social democrats (Mensheviks) and conservative “Whites.” Russia’s former allies, who were still fighting in World War I, soon identified the Bolsheviks as a threat equal to that of Germany, and they dispatched troops to Russia. The Allies could not agree on their aims in Russia, however, and Lenin took advantage of their war-weariness. After two years of fighting, the Bolsheviks emerged victorious.
What happened to the tsar and his family?
On March 15, 1917, Nicholas II abdicated the throne. Nicholas, his family, and their loyal retainers were detained by the provisional government and were eventually moved to Yekaterinburg. On July 17, 1918, when White army forces approached the area, the tsar and his entire family were slaughtered to prevent their rescue.
By 1917 the bond between the tsar and most of the Russian people had been broken. Governmental corruption and inefficiency were rampant. The tsar’s reactionary policies, including the occasional dissolution of the Duma, or Russian parliament, the chief fruit of the 1905 revolution, had spread dissatisfaction even to moderate elements. The Russian Empire’s many ethnic minorities grew increasingly restive under Russian domination.
But it was the government’s inefficient prosecution of World War I that finally provided the challenge the old regime could not meet. Ill-equipped and poorly led, Russian armies suffered catastrophic losses in campaign after campaign against German armies. The war made revolution inevitable in two ways: it showed Russia was no longer a military match for the nations of central and western Europe, and it hopelessly disrupted the economy.
Riots over the scarcity of food broke out in the capital, Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg), on February 24 (March 8), and, when most of the Petrograd garrison joined the revolt, Tsar Nicholas II was forced to abdicate March 2 (March 15). When his brother, Grand Duke Michael, refused the throne, more than 300 years of rule by the Romanov dynasty came to an end.
A committee of the Duma appointed a Provisional Government to succeed the autocracy, but it faced a rival in the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. The 2,500 delegates to this soviet were chosen from factories and military units in and around Petrograd.
The Soviet soon proved that it had greater authority than the Provisional Government, which sought to continue Russia’s participation in the European war. On March 1 (March 14) the Soviet issued its famous Order No. 1, which directed the military to obey only the orders of the Soviet and not those of the Provisional Government. The Provisional Government was unable to countermand the order. All that now prevented the Petrograd Soviet from openly declaring itself the real government of Russia was fear of provoking a conservative coup.
Between March and October the Provisional Government was reorganized four times. The first government was composed entirely of liberal ministers, with the exception of the Socialist Revolutionary Aleksandr F. Kerensky. The subsequent governments were coalitions. None of them, however, was able to cope adequately with the major problems afflicting the country: peasant land seizures, nationalist independence movements in non-Russian areas, and the collapse of army morale at the front.
Meanwhile, soviets on the Petrograd model, in far closer contact with the sentiments of the people than the Provisional Government was, had been organized in cities and major towns and in the army. In these soviets, “defeatist” sentiment, favouring Russian withdrawal from the war on almost any terms, was growing. One reason was that radical socialists increasingly dominated the soviet movement. At the First All-Russian Congress of Soviets, convened on June 3 (June 16), the Socialist Revolutionaries were the largest single bloc, followed by the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks.
Kerensky became head of the Provisional Government in July and put down a coup attempted by army commander in chief Lavr Georgiyevich Kornilov (according to some historians, Kerensky may have initially plotted with Kornilov in the hope of gaining control over the Petrograd Soviet). However, he was increasingly unable to halt Russia’s slide into political, economic, and military chaos, and his party suffered a major split as the left wing broke from the Socialist Revolutionary Party. But while the Provisional Government’s power waned, that of the soviets was increasing, as was the Bolsheviks’ influence within them. By September the Bolsheviks and their allies, the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, had overtaken the Socialist Revolutionaries and Mensheviks and held majorities in both the Petrograd and Moscow soviets.
By autumn the Bolshevik program of “peace, land, and bread” had won the party considerable support among the hungry urban workers and the soldiers, who were already deserting from the ranks in large numbers. Although a previous coup attempt (the July Days) had failed, the time now seemed ripe. On October 24–25 (November 6–7) the Bolsheviks and Left Socialist Revolutionaries staged a nearly bloodless coup, occupying government buildings, telegraph stations, and other strategic points. Kerensky’s attempt to organize resistance proved futile, and he fled the country. The Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets, which convened in Petrograd simultaneously with the coup, approved the formation of a new government composed mainly of Bolshevik commissars.
First World War
At the outbreak of the war, political upheaval in Russia softened due to the rallying cry of national unity. Hence, the Bolsheviks faded to the background of politics.
This Russian recruitment poster reads “World on fire Second Patriotic War.”
However, after numerous crushing defeats of the Russian army, this soon changed. By the end of 1916 Russia had suffered 5.3 million deaths, desertions, missing persons and soldiers taken prisoner. Nicholas II left for the Front in 1915, making him a figure of blame for the military disasters.
The Russian Second Army were annihilated by German forces at the Battle of Tannenberg, resulting in swathes of captured Russians taken as prisoners.
Meanwhile, Tsarina Alexandria and the notorious priest Rasputin remained in charge of home affairs. This duo mishandled the situation terribly: they lacked tact and practicality. Non-military factories were being closed down, rations were introduced and the cost of living rose by 300%.
These were the perfect pre-conditions for a proletariat-based revolution.
– “…One of the greatest myths of contemporary history is that the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia was a popular uprising of the downtrodden masses against the hated ruling class of the Tsars. However, the planning, the leadership and especially the financing came entirely from outside Russia, mostly from financiers in Germany, Britain and the United States. Furthermore, the Rothschild Formula played a major role in shaping these events”
Who Financed Bolshevik Revolution?
The top Communist leaders have never been as hostile to their counterparts in the West, as the rhetoric suggests. They are quite friendly to the world’s leading financiers and have worked closely with them, when it suits their purposes. The Bolshevik revolution actually was financed by wealthy financiers in London and New York. Lenin and Trotsky were on the closest of terms with these moneyed interests both before and after the Revolution. Those hidden liaisons have continued to this day and occasionally pop to the surface, when we discover a David Rockefeller holding confidential meetings with a Mikhail Gorbachev in the absence of government sponsorship or diplomatic purpose.
One of the greatest myths of contemporary history is that the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia was a popular uprising of the downtrodden masses against the hated ruling class of the Tsars. However, the planning, the leadership and especially the financing came entirely from outside Russia, mostly from financiers in Germany, Britain and the United States. Furthermore, the Rothschild Formula played a major role in shaping these events.
Jacob Schiff – the Financier
Jacob Schiff was head of the New York investment firm Kuhn, Loeb and Co. He was one of the principal backers of the Bolshevik revolution and personally financed Trotsky’s trip from New York to Russia. He was a major contributor to Woodrow Wilson’s presidential campaign and an advocate for passage of the Federal Reserve Act.
The Russo-Japanese War
This amazing story begins with the war between Russia and Japan in 1904. Jacob Schiff, who was head of the New York investment firm Kuhn, Loeb and Company, had raised the capital for large war loans to Japan. It was due to this funding that the Japanese were able to launch a stunning attack against the Russians at Port Arthur and the following year to virtually decimate the Russian fleet. In 1905 the Mikado awarded Jacob Schiff a medal, the Second Order of the Treasure of Japan, in recognition of his important role in that campaign.
The Manufactured Revolutionaries
During the two years of hostilities thousands of Russian soldiers and sailors were taken as prisoners. Sources outside of Russia, which were hostile to the Tsarist regime, paid for the printing of Marxist propaganda and had it delivered to the prison camps. Russian-speaking revolutionaries were trained in New York and sent to distribute the pamphlets among the prisoners and to indoctrinate them into rebellion against their own government.
When the war was ended, these officers and enlisted men returned home to become virtual seeds of treason against the Tsar. They were to play a major role a few years later in creating mutiny among the military during the Communist takeover of Russia.
Leon Trotsky – the Triple Agent
One of the best known Russian revolutionaries at that time was Leon Trotsky. In January of 1916 Trotsky was expelled from France and came to the United States. It has been claimed that his expenses were paid by Jacob Schiff. There is no documentation to substantiate that claim, but the circumstantial evidence does point to a wealthy donor in New York.
He remained for several months, while writing for a Russian socialist paper, the Novy Mir (New World) and giving revolutionary speeches at mass meetings in New York City. According to Trotsky himself, on many occasions a chauffeured limousine was placed at his service by a wealthy friend, identified as Dr. M.
The doctor’s wife took my wife and the boys out driving and was very kind to them. But she was a mere mortal, whereas the chauffeur was a magician, a titan, a superman! With the wave of his hand he made the machine obey his slightest command. To sit beside him was the supreme delight. When they went into a tea room, the boys would anxiously demand of their mother, “Why doesn’t the chauffeur come in?” (Leon Trotsky: My Life, New York publisher: Scribner’s, 1930, p. 277)
It must have been a curious sight to see the family of the great socialist radical, defender of the working class, enemy of capitalism, enjoying the pleasures of tea rooms and chauffeurs, the very symbols of capitalist luxury.
Overthrow of the Tsarist Regime
On March 23, 1917 a mass meeting was held at Carnegie Hall to celebrate the abdication of Nicolas II, which meant the overthrow of Tsarist rule in Russia. Thousands of socialists, Marxists, nihilists and anarchists attended to cheer the event. The following day there was published on page two of the New York Times a telegram from Jacob Schiff, which had been read to this audience. He expressed regrets, that he could not attend and then described the successful Russian revolution as “…what we had hoped and striven for these long years”. (Mayor Calls Pacifists Traitors, The New York Times, March 24, 1917, p. 2)
In the February 3, 1949 issue of the New York Journal American Schiff’s grandson, John, was quoted by columnist Cholly Knickerbocker as saying that his grandfather had given about $20 million for the triumph of Communism in Russia. To appraise Schiff’s motives for supporting the Bolsheviks, we must remember, that he was a Jew and that Russian Jews had been persecuted under the Tsarist regime. Consequently the Jewish community in America was inclined to support any movement, which sought to topple the Russian government and the Bolsheviks were excellent candidates for the task.
However, there were also strong financial incentives for Wall Street firms, such as Kuhn, Loeb and Company, of which Schiff was a senior partner, to see the old regime fall into the hands of revolutionaries, who would agree to grant lucrative business concessions in the future in return for financial support today.
When Trotsky returned to Petrograd in May of 1917 to organize the Bolshevik phase of the Russian Revolution, he carried $10,000 for travel expenses, a generously ample fund considering the value of the dollar at that time. Trotsky was arrested by Canadian and British naval intelligence, when the ship, on which he was traveling, the S.S. Kristianiafjord, put in at Halifax. The money in his possession is now a matter of official record. The source of that money has been the focus of much speculation, but the evidence strongly suggests, that its origin was the German government. It was a sound investment.
Trotsky was not arrested on a whim. He was recognized as a threat to the best interests of England, Canada’s mother country in the British Commonwealth. Russia was an ally of England in the First World War, which then was raging in Europe. Anything, that would weaken Russia – and that certainly included internal revolution – would be, in effect, to strengthen Germany and weaken England.
In New York on the night before his departure Trotsky had given a speech, in which he said: “I am going back to Russia to overthrow the provisional government and stop the war with Germany.” (A full report on this meeting had been submitted to the U.S. Military Intelligence. See Senate Document No. 62, 66th Congress, Report and Hearings of the Subcommittee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 1919, Vol. II, p. 2680.) Trotsky therefore represented a real threat to England’s war effort. He was arrested as a German agent and taken as a prisoner of war.
Trotsky’s mysterious release
With this in mind we can appreciate the great strength of those mysterious forces both in England and the United States, that intervened on Trotsky’s behalf. Immediately telegrams began to come into Halifax from such divergent sources, as an obscure attorney in New York City, from the Canadian Deputy Postmaster-General and even from a high-ranking British military officer, all inquiring into Trotsky’s situation and urging his immediate release.
The head of the British Secret Service in America at the time was Sir William Wiseman, who, as fate would have it, occupied the apartment directly above the apartment of Edward Mandell House and who had become fast friends with him. House advised Wiseman, that President Wilson wished to have Trotsky released. Wiseman advised his government and the British Admiralty issued orders on April 21st, that Trotsky was to be sent on his way. (“Why Did We Let Trotsky Go? How Canada Lost an Opportunity to Shorten the War”, MacLeans magazine, Canada, June 1919. Also see Martin, pp. 163-164.) It was a fateful deecision, that would affect not only the outcome of the war, but the future of the entire world.
President Woodrow Wilson – the Fairy Godmother
It would be a mistake to conclude, that Jacob Schiff and Germany were the only players in this drama. Trotsky could not have gone even as far as Halifax without having been granted an American passport and this was accomplished by the personal intervention of
President Woodrow Wilson was the fairy godmother, who provided Trotsky with a passport to return to Russia to “carry forward” the revolution… At the same time careful State Department bureaucrats, concerned about such revolutionaries entering Russia, were unilaterally attempting to tighten up passport procedures. (Antony C. Sutton, Ph. D.: Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, published by Arlington House in New Rochelle, NY, 1974, p. 25)
Robert Minor’s Deelighted
In 1911 the St. Louis Dispatch published a cartoon by a Bolshevik named Robert Minor. Minor was later to be arrested in Tsarist Russia for revolutionary activities and in fact was himself bankrolled by famous Wall Street financiers. Since we may safely assume, that he knew his topic well, his cartoon is of great historical importance. It portrays Karl Marx with a book entitled Socialism under his arm, standing amid a cheering crowd on Wall Street. Gathered around and greeting him with enthusiastic handshakes are characters in silk hats identified as John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, John D. Ryan of National City Bank, Morgan partner George W. Perkins and Teddy Roosevelt, leader of the Progressive Party.
Deelighted – This cartoon by Robert Minor appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1911. It shows Karl Marx surrounded by enthusiastic Wall Street financiers: Morgan partner George Perkins, J.P. Morgan, John Ryan of National City Bank, John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. Immediately behind Marx is Teddy Roosevelt, leader of the Progressive Party.
What emerges from this sampling of events is a clear pattern of strong support for Bolshevism coming from the highest financial and political power centers in the United States from men, who supposedly were “capitalists” and who according to conventional wisdom should have been the mortal enemies of socialism and communism. Nor was this phenomenon confined to the United States.
The British Betrayal
Trotsky in his book My Life tells of a British financier, who in 1907 gave him a “large loan” to be repaid after the overthrow of the Tsar. Arsene de Goulevitch, who witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution firsthand, has identified both the name of the financier and the amount of the loan.
“In private interviews”, he said, “I have been told that over 21 million rubles were spent by Lord Alfred Milner in financing the Russian Revolution… The financier just mentioned was by no means alone among the British to support the Russian revolution with large financial donations.” Another name specifically mentioned by de Goulevitch was that of Sir George Buchanan, the British Ambassador to Russia at the time. (See Arsene de Goulevitch: Czarism and Revolution, published by Omni Publications in Hawthorne, California, no date rpt. from 1962 French edition, pp. 224, 230)
It was one thing for Americans to undermine Tsarist Russia and thus indirectly help Germany in the war, because Americans were not then into it, but for British citizens to do so was tantamount to treason. To understand, what higher loyalty compelled these men to betray their battlefield ally and to sacrifice the blood of their own countrymen, we must take a look at the unique organization, to which they belonged.
The Round Table Agents
In Russia prior to and during the revolution there were many local observers, tourists and newsmen, who reported, that British and American agents were everywhere, particularly in Petrograd, providing money for insurrection. One report said, for example, that British agents were seen handing out 25-rouble notes to the men at the Pavlovski Regiment just a few hours, before it mutinied against its officers and sided with the revolution. The subsequent publication of various memoirs and documents made it clear, that this funding was provided by Lord Alfred Milner and channeled through Sir George Buchanan, who was the British Ambassador to Russia at the time.
Round Table members were once again working both sides of the conflict to weaken and topple a target government. Tsar Nicholas had every reason to believe, that since the British were Russia’s allies in the war against Germany, British officials would be the last persons on Earth to conspire against him. Yet the British Ambassador himself represented the hidden group, which was financing the regime’s downfall.
The Red Cross’s Military Mission
The Round Table Agents from America did not have the advantage of using the diplomatic service as cover and therefore had to be considerably more ingenious. They came not as diplomats or even as interested businessmen, but disguised as Red Cross officials on a humanitarian mission. The group consisted almost entirely of financiers, lawyers and accountants from New York banks and investment houses. They simply had overpowered the American Red Cross organization with large contributions and in effect purchased a franchise to operate in its name.
The 1910 [Red Cross] fund-raising campaign for $2 million, for example, was successful only, because it was supported by these wealthy residents of New York City. J.P. Morgan himself contributed $100,000… Henry P. Davison [a Morgan partner] was chairman of the 1910 New York Fund-Raising Committee and later became chairman of the War Council of the American Red Cross… The Red Cross was unable to cope with the demands of World War I. and in effect was taken over by these New York bankers. (Sutton: Revolution, p. 72)
For the duration of the war the Red Cross had been made nominally a part of the armed forces and subject to orders from the proper military authorities. It was not clear, who these authorities were and in fact there were never any orders, but the arrangement made it possible for the participants to receive military commissions and wear the uniform of American army officers. The entire expense of the Red Cross Mission in Russia, including the purchase of uniforms, was paid for by the man, who was appointed by President Wilson to become its head, “Colonel” William Boyce Thompson.
William Boyce Thompson – the American Tsar
Thompson was a classical specimen of the Round Table network. Having begun his career as a speculator in copper mines, he soon moved into the world of high finance.
He refinanced the American Woolen Company and the Tobacco Products Company
He launched the Cuban Cane Sugar Company
He purchased controlling interest in the Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company
He organized the Submarine Boat Corporation and the Wright-Martin Aeroplane Company
He became a director of the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railway, the Magma Arizona Railroad and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
He was one of the heaviest stockholders in the Chase National Bank
He was the agent for J.P. Morgan’s British securities operation
He became the first full-time director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the most important bank in the Federal Reserve System
He contributed a quarter-million dollars to the Red Cross.
When Thompson arrived in Russia, he made it clear, that he was not your typical Red Cross representative. According to Hermann Hagedorn, Thompson’s biographer:
He deliberately created the kind of setting, which would be expected of an American magnate: established himself in a suite in the Hotel de l’Europe, bought a French limousine, went dutifully to receptions and teas and evinced an interest in objects of art. Society and the diplomats, noting that here was a man of parts and power, began to flock about him. He was entertained at the embassies, at the houses of Kerensky’s ministers. It was discovered, that he was a collector and those with antiques to sell fluttered around him offering him miniatures, Dresden china, tapestries, even a palace or two. (Hermann Hagedorn: The Magnate: William Boyce Thompson and His Time, published by Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1935, pp. 192-93)
When Thompson attended the opera, he was given the imperial box. People on the street called him the American Tsar. And it is not surprising, that according to George Kennan, “He was viewed by the Kerensky authorities as the ‘real’ ambassador of the United States.” (George F. Kennan: Russia Leaves the War: Soviet-American Relations, 1917-1920 published by Princeton University Press in Princeton, NJ, 1956, p. 60)
Funding Both Sides
It is now a matter of record, that Thompson syndicated the purchase on Wall Street of Russian bonds in the amount of ten million roubles. In addition, he gave over two million roubles to Aleksandr Kerensky for propaganda purposes inside Russia and with J.P. Morgan gave the rouble equivalent of one million dollars to the Bolsheviks for the spreading of revolutionary propaganda outside of Russia, particularly in Germany and Austria. It was the agitation made possible by this funding, that led to the abortive German Spartacus Revolt of 1918.
At first it may seem incongruous, that the Morgan group would provide funding for both Kerensky and Lenin. These men may have both been socialist revolutionaries, but they were miles apart in their plans for the future and in fact were bitter competitors for control of the new government. But the tactic of funding both sides in a political contest by then had been refined by members of the Round Table into a fine art.
Subjugation of Independent Republics
Towards the middle of the twentieth century, the Colonial Era started winding down, and independent republics started coming up. Starting from 1920 to 1970, huge economic assets were created in more than forty or so countries under the tight control and supervision of their own watchful governments. Though there were complaints about some level of mismanagement of the funds, overall trillions of dollars worth of economic assets were created in these countries, these assets being off-limits to every Colonial Power.
Every war that happened during this period, every coup that took place were aimed at knocking down these republics one after the other and sucking their economic resources into the un-maintainable, wasteful Western Economic Lifestyle based on faulty economic theories. After thirty such countries were knocked down, the process of divide and rule and plunder was christened with a nice-sounding name: “Privatization and Liberalization”. The theoretical framework of this was proposed by none other than the Chairman of the Bank of England around 1971. The final frontiers in this process of knocking down the country’s economic resources were Russia and India. Excerpts from GreatGameIndia‘s exclusive book India in Cognitive Dissonance.
‘Confirm Thy Soul in Self-Control, Thy Liberty in Law’
America is still a free nation with laws on the books that protect individuals from abuses by the state. But we should be very disturbed by the emergence of trends that, if left unchecked, would lead to the consolidation of centralized power by elites who would abolish the Bill of Rights. Communism, as well as fascism and all such forms of totalitarianism, is the natural product of such unchecked trends.
So when people disrespect the American flag “because oppression,” they tend to be clueless that their freedom to do so is extremely fragile. Freedom must be fought for, tooth and nail. Then it must be appreciated and nurtured, never taken for granted.
We are still in the fight to preserve freedom. But when we review the preponderance of trends that point us in that direction, we ought to pay attention to the symptoms and work to reverse those trends. We ought to be looking hard for a cure, or at least a path to sanity and balance.
This means filling the vacuum of ignorance with knowledge and teaching students how to dispassionately assess information and process it on their own rather than rely on emotion and groupthink—and finding a way to do so quickly. It means cultivating respect for reality over pseudo-reality. It means reaching out in goodwill to others, no matter their political persuasion, to de-fang the polarization causing so much alienation and unhappiness in our society.
All of these trends, which I’ll explore in more detail in Parts II and III, will lead to absolute power, if left unchecked. Centralized power, as crystallized in the political system of Communism, has always led to scarcity, distrust, death, and just plain human misery. It really does deserve to be buried in the ash heap of history.
As we try to stem such tides, I hope we can take to heart these lines from the second verse of Katherine Lee Bates’ grand hymn, “America the Beautiful”: “America, America, God mend thine every flaw. Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law.”
Individual freedom cannot survive if it isn’t balanced with a widespread sense of personal responsibility, self-regulation, self-governance, and the rule of law that allows for dispassionate due process is critical to preventing the loss of liberty that comes via its abuse. In the overall pattern of human history, this is the road less-traveled. But as America has proven, it is the only road that allows for mending flaws and the pursuit of happiness.
The Bolshevik Revolution: An Illuminati Takeover of Russia?
The murderous Bolshevik Revolution made communism a political reality by mostly Jewish activists . Alarming similarities to today&rsquos political climate invite comparison.
Leon Trotsky (Jewish born &ldquoLev Bronstein&rdquo) and his 300 well-trained Jewish communists from Manhattan&rsquos Lower East Side, boarded the Norwegian steamer &ldquoKristianiafjord&rdquo for a journey that brought them to St. Petersburg in Russia. Their purpose was to establish a Marxist government under the leadership of Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin. Before departing, Jacob Schiff gave this group $20 million in gold to accomplish the task, but the plan was already under way before they even boarded the ship thanks to the Rothschilds.
NOTE: Alex Rabinowitch, a world renowned authority on the history of the Russian Revolution, is Professor emiritus in history at Indiana University, where he began teaching in 1968. He has published many publications on the history of the Russian Revolution and Soviet history. He was a recipient of the prestigious Andrew W. Mellon Emeritus Fellowship for the years 2007-08.
Read a 15 page summary of the Bolshevik Revolution as testified by his 3 aptly named studies of the Bolsheviks (Prelude to Revolution The Bolsheviks Come to Power The Bolsheviks in Power) HERE
Czar Nicholas II abdicated in March 1917. Since Bolshevik leaders Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky weren&rsquot even in Russia then, how did they gain control of it by November 1917? Western analysts uncovered parts of this mystery, but much remained unknown due to the Soviet government&rsquos stranglehold on its history &ndash as Orwell said, &ldquoWho controls the present controls the past.&rdquo With glasnost, archives creaked open. Perhaps no one has collated the information better than Juri Lina in his book Under the Sign of the Scorpion.
The Rothschild-Illuminati axis, through their network of banksters and Freemasons, controlled the Bolshevik operation.
- In February 1917, an artificially induced bread shortage accompanied orchestrated rioting in Petrograd (then Russia&rsquos capital). In a &ldquofalse flag,&rdquo the mobs were machine-gunned from hidden positions the casualties were blamed on the Czar.
- British agents bribed Russian soldiers to mutiny and join the rioting. White Russian General Arsene de Goulevitch wrote: &ldquoI have been told that over 21 million rubles were spent by Lord Milner in financing the Russian Revolution.&rdquo 33rd degree Freemason Alfred Milner was a Rothschild front man.
- Several Russian generals were Freemasons who betrayed the Czar under Masonic instructions.
- Russians thought the provisional government, established under Alexander Kerensky after the Czar&rsquos fall, meant future democracy. But Kerensky, Grand Secretary of Russia&rsquos Grand Orient, was &ldquophase one&rdquo of communist takeover. His government pardoned all political exiles &ndash green light for return to Russia of fellow Freemasons Lenin and Trotsky.
- Jacob Schiff and Federal Reserve founder Paul Warburg ran Kuhn, Loeb & Co. &ndash the Rothschilds&rsquo New York banking satellite. Schiff supplied $20 million in gold to Trotsky, who sailed from New York with 275 other terrorists on a passport obtained through pressure the bankers put on the Wilson administration.
- In Germany, Warburg&rsquos brother Max helped persuade the government to provide millions to Lenin and allow him to cross Germany with other revolutionaries in a special train. The Germans agreed because the Bolsheviks promised to remove Russia from the raging First World War after taking power.
- The Bolsheviks succeeded because they had what other revolutionaries (e.g., Mensheviks) lacked &ndash limitless cash. By May 1917, Pravda already had a circulation of 300,000.
- It is a myth that Kerensky and the Bolsheviks were adversaries. Kerensky received $1 million from Jacob Schiff. During summer 1917, when it was revealed the Bolsheviks were on Germany&rsquos payroll &ndash treason during wartime &ndash Kerensky protected them. When the Bolsheviks moved to seize power that autumn, he declined the option of requesting troops to preserve the government. Lenin and Trotsky gave Kerensky money and safe passage out. He died wealthy in 1970 in New York, where the Russian Orthodox Church refused him burial services.
- Postwar Britain sent the Bolsheviks rifles and ammunition for 250,000 men. With this and other Western assistance, the Reds crushed the White opposition. Loans and technology from Western capitalists poured in for decades, as documented in such books as Antony Sutton&rsquos Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution and Joseph Finder&rsquos Red Carpet.
In 1992, the newspaper Literaturnaya Rossiya estimated that, including starvation and civil war, Soviet communism left 147 million dead. Even accepting the more moderate claim of Harvard University Press&rsquos Black Book of Communism &ndash that communism murdered &ldquoonly&rdquo 100 million worldwide &ndash what these numbers represent is beyond comprehension. Stalin reportedly said: &ldquoOne death is a tragedy a million is a statistic.&rdquo
- By December 1917, the Bolsheviks established their instrument of terror, the Cheka (the KGB&rsquos precursor). Lina writes: &ldquoLists of those shot and otherwise executed were published in the Cheka&rsquos weekly newspaper. In this way it can be proved that 1.7 million people were executed during the period 1918-19. A river of blood flowed through Russia. The Cheka had to employ body counters.&rdquo By contrast, under the czars, 467 people were executed between 1826 and 1904 (78 years).
- Trotsky declared: &ldquoWe will reduce the Russian intelligentsia to a complete idiocy.&rdquo Lina writes: &ldquo1,695,604 people were executed from January 1921 to April 1922. Among these victims were bishops, professors, doctors, officers, policemen, gendarmes, lawyers, civil servants, journalists, writers, artists&hellip&rdquo The Bolsheviks considered the intelligentsia the greatest threat to their dictatorship. This sheds light on the Marxist buzzword &ldquoproletariat.&rdquo The Illuminati knew nations are easier to enslave if only peasants and laborers remain. But even the proletariat wasn&rsquot spared. The Cheka brutally suppressed hundreds of peasant uprisings and labor strikes, executing victims as &ldquocounter-revolutionaries.&rdquo
- Satanic torture often accompanied killings. Many priests were crucified. Some victims had eyes put out, or limbs chopped off, or were otherwise mutilated, while the next victims were forced to watch.
- Although Russia had been &ldquothe world&rsquos granary,&rdquo over five million died of starvation during the famine of 1921-22. This wasn&rsquot &ldquosocialist inefficiency,&rdquo but genocide from grain confiscation. In the Holodomor, Stalin murdered 7 million Ukrainians, including 3 million children, by ordering all foodstuffs confiscated as punishment for resisting farm collectivization. Communist brigades went house to house, ripping down walls with axes searching for &ldquohoarded&rdquo food.
- In Soviet gulags (concentration camps) millions perished. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn estimated that, just during Stalin&rsquos &ldquogreat purge&rdquo of 1937-38, two million died in gulags.
- The Bolsheviks meanwhile lived royally. Lenin, who occupied Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrov&rsquos estate, placed 75 million francs in a Swiss bank account in 1920. Trotsky, who lived in a castle seized from Prince Felix Yusupov, had over $80 million in U.S. bank accounts. Top Cheka officials ate off gold plates. Communism was plunder masked by ideological slogans. Money and jewelry were stripped from homes at gunpoint.
Lenin and Trotsky repaid their masters. Lina writes: &ldquoIn October 1918, Jewish bankers in Berlin received 47 cases of gold from Russia, containing 3125 kilos of gold.&rdquo The Grand Orient de France refurbished its Paris Lodge with money Lenin sent in 1919. In New York, Kuhn, Loeb received, in the first half of 1921 alone, $102 million in Russian wealth.
Bolsheviks were predominantly Jewish &ndash unsurprising given the long linkage of cabalistic Jews to Freemasonry and revolution. I state this objectively, without anti-Semitism. I am half-Jewish my paternal grandparents emigrated from Russia in 1904.
- In Les Derniers Jours des Romanofs (1920), Robert Wilton, The Times&rsquos Russian correspondent , named each person in the Bolshevik government. The tally:
- Bolshevik Party Central Committee: of 12 members, 9 were Jews. (NOTE: Actually 10 now that we know Lenin has been declassified to be part-Jewish )
- Council of People&rsquos Commissars: 22 members, 17 Jews.
- Central Executive Committee: 61 members, 41 Jews.
- Extraordinary Commission of Moscow: 36 members, 23 Jews.
From Hungary&rsquos Bela Kun, to Germany&rsquos Rosa Luxemburg, to America&rsquos Rosenbergs (atomic spies), to Karl Marx himself, Jews were undeniably disproportionate among communists. This observation is not meant to stigmatize Jews. But why are communism&rsquos victims forced to sit in the back of the holocaust bus? Why are we constantly reminded of Kristallnacht, but never the Bolsheviks&rsquo destroying 60,000 churches and murdering over 300,000 priests? Why was historian David Irving imprisoned for challenging the Shoah&rsquos official version (&ldquohate crime&rdquo), whereas New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty denied the Ukrainian Holocaust and received a Pulitzer Prize? Why are no Ukrainian Anne Franks honored in films? They are all God&rsquos children.
Could Americans experience a modernized Red Terror? Though America would never have accepted outright communist revolution, it is now adopting measures accurately termed socialism. The Illuminati are employing a timeworn principle: To boil a frog, don&rsquot toss him in boiling water &ndash he&rsquoll jump out. Instead, put him in lukewarm water and gradually raise the heat the frog never realizes he&rsquos been boiled. This slow warming is &ldquoFabian socialism&rdquo (gradual communism).
- In communist states, religion was abolished that was impossible in America, so the Illuminati had Supreme Court Freemasons (whose Masonic oaths transcended their oaths to uphold the Constitution) destroy religious freedom by degrees &ndash banning school prayer, outlawing Ten Commandments displays, etc.
- Whereas communists seize the economy, socialism does it gradually, confiscating income through rising taxes, while burdening businesses with mounting regulations. Whenever government usurps another sector of life &ndash be it learning (Education Department) or health (Obamcare) we draw nearer to communism. Socialism&rsquos end result is IDENTICAL to communism, but achieved over decades.
This fulfills the famous revelation Ford Foundation President Rowan Gaither made to Congressional investigator Norman Dodd: that Establishment foundations planned &ldquoto alter life in the United States, that it can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union.&rdquo
However, this had a corollary. East-West merger required communist states to temporarily abandon hard-line communism and adopt moderate socialism with democratic trappings. I consider this the likely purpose of Gorbachev introducing glasnost in 1989. The ending of Orwell&rsquos Animal Farm, where the pigs and farmers became indistinguishable, is being played out.
Communist genocide was not confined to Russia. Under Mao Tse-tung, China&rsquos death toll rose above 60 million Pol Pot eliminated nearly one-third of Cambodians in the 1970s. Yet suddenly, in the 1990s, worldwide communism put on a smiley. It made no sense totalitarians do not voluntarily yield power.
Glasnost&rsquos meaning was disclosed by Anatoly Golitsyn, highest-ranking KGB officer to defect during the Cold War (Alfred Hitchcock dramatized his escape in Topaz). In Golitsyn&rsquos 1984 book New Lies for Old , he revealed the groundbreaking strategy the KGB disclosed to him. His book predicted: Yuri Andropov&rsquos replacement by &ldquoa younger leader with a more liberal image&rdquo [Gorbachev] democratic liberalization throughout the Eastern bloc the Berlin Wall&rsquos fall and reunion of East and West Germany. Golitsyn&rsquos book made 148 predictions by 1993, 139 were fulfilled. Though a political prophet, the media ignored him.
Golitsyn warned the changes were a TEMPORARY DECEPTION. In the end, he wrote, &ldquoall the totalitarian features familiar from the early stages of the Soviet revolution and the postwar Stalinist years in Eastern Europe might be expected to reappear.&rdquo
Is America on the precipice of another &ldquoRed Terror&rdquo?
- Empowered by the Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Department could become a Cheka, and FEMA&rsquos detention camps a gulag archipelago. Last year the Department made headlines by ordering 1.6 billion ammunition rounds &ndash enough to kill every American five times.
- To facilitate enslavement, the Bolsheviks outlawed gun ownership. Their war on the people became &ldquomachine guns against pitchforks.&rdquo Although Americans aren&rsquot disarmed yet, the pressure to ban weapons has never been greater, as &ldquolone gunman shooting sprees&rdquo have increased exponentially, causing many to wonder if some incidents are as staged as &ldquoBin Laden&rsquos death.&rdquo
- We aren&rsquot razing churches yet, but the media relentlessly demonize Christians while courts increasingly suppress religious expression.
- Genocide is not overt, but the elites&rsquo comments about population control , divulge the agenda behind legalized abortion, HAARP, GMOs, and mandatory vaccination.
None of this should surprise us: the Rothschild-Illuminist-Masonic network that ruled in 1917 still rules in 2017.
Movie (below) re-enacting Vladimir Lenin&rsquos Cheka program that executed anyone who was suspected of being an enemy of the communist regime.
History: “The Bolshevik Revolution Reveals Six Phases From Freedom To Communist Misery”
“Scarcity, terror, and the mass murder of more than 100 million victims are communism’s main contributions to human history. As we mark the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia on November 7, we should never forget that legacy. Communism is a fount of human misery and death. Few today really understand what that system of so-called government is all about.
In a nutshell, communism enforces a privileged elite’s centralization of power. This means it always puts too much power into the hands of too few people. They tend to weasel their way into power as their ventriloquized agitators use talking points like “justice” and “equality” while promoting a false illusion of public support.
So, how would it ever be possible for a free society like America to succumb to such tyrannical forces? I think we’ve spent precious little time trying to dissect and understand this process. So, in this three-part series, I hope to map out six stages that lead us into this dangerous direction. Within each phase, several trends take hold. I’ll discuss the trends in more detail in parts II and III.
There is a lot of overlap among the phases, but I think they can be roughly identified as: 1.) Laying the groundwork 2.) Propaganda 3.) Agitation 4.) State takeover of society’s institutions 5.) Coercing conformity and 6.) Final solutions. But first let’s look a bit more closely at what communism really means for human beings.
‘Power Kills. Absolute Power Kills Absolutely’
Thousands of texts examine and analyze communism ideologically, historically, economically, and so on. It always amounts to a bait-and-switch scheme hatched by egomaniacs who want to dictate to everybody. Why? Because it’s all about the consolidation of power by a tiny elite—in Vladimir Lenin’s words, “the vanguard”—who claim to promote equality and justice and blah, blah, blah.
But once communism gets its foot in the door and you don’t get with their program, it promises you death in a variety of forms: economic death, social death, and literal death. That’s predictable whenever you put too much power into the hands of too few people. And that’s why we should always firmly oppose any system that demands the consolidation and centralization of power.
Although communist and socialist governments murdered well more than 100 million people in the course of the twentieth century, that number spikes even further when you include the practical bedfellows of communism, like Nazism and fascism, for example. According to the calculations of Professor R. J. Rummel, author of “Death by Government,” totalitarian regimes snuffed out approximately 169 million lives in the twentieth century alone. That number is more than four times higher than the 38 million deaths—civilian as well as military—caused by all of the twentieth century wars combined.
As Rummel states: “Power kills. Absolute power kills absolutely.” The common thread that runs through communist and fascist ideologies is their totalitarian nature, which means they control people by breeding scarcity, ignorance, human misery, social distrust, the constant threat of social isolation, and death to dissenters. All in the name of justice and equality.
They cannot abide any checks or balances, particularly checks on government power as reflected in the U.S. Bill of Rights. They fight de-centralization of power, which allows localities and states true self-governance. Such restraints on the centralized power of the state stand in the way of achieving the goal of communism: absolute state power over every single human being.
Lenin’s Blood-Soaked Legacy
It should astonish us to realize that the obsessions of a few wild-eyed revolutionaries can blue-pill whole populations of peaceful citizens. But it’s all a matter of conjuring up illusions and mass delusions, no matter the brand of totalitarianism. Lenin was a fiery orator of propaganda, as was Adolph Hitler.
To achieve absolute power, Lenin focused on fomenting a class war, while Hitler set his sights on a race war. Either way, the divide-and-conquer modus operandi of fascist and communist demagogues is pretty much the same, no matter what each side might claim about the other. Their propaganda content may differ, but not so much their divide-and-conquer methods. Attitudes of supremacy come in a virtual rainbow of flavors and colors.
As Saul Alinsky taught and the agitprop of groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center illustrates so perfectly, the goal of all such radicals is to seize power by fueling resentment and hatred among people through various forms of “consciousness”—particularly class and race consciousness. That’s what identity politics is all about. That division is a key tool for totalitarians in their conquest of the people. Once their organizations breed enough ill will, the “masses”—made up of mostly alienated individuals—can be baited and mobilized to do the bidding of power elites, with a rhetorical veneer claiming justice and equality.
Most of today’s enlisted rioters—groups that call themselves things like “Indivisible,” “Anti-Fascist,” “Stop Patriarchy,” “Black Lives Matter,” “Refuse Fascism,” or moveon.org—are pretty much unabashedly communist (or just plain fascist) in their goals and aims and tactics. The chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party of the USA, for example, founded Refuse Fascism. It’s a pro-violence group that planned street theater on November 4, with the stated goal of overturning the 2016 election and taking out the Trump administration.
If you’re a true student of history, you can see that this is an old movie: mobs of disaffected, alienated people being exploited and mobilized by power elites. Unfortunately, very few Americans today, especially younger generations, are inquisitive students of history.
Certain sports figures, for example, claim to be exercising their First Amendment rights by showing hostility towards the American flag during the national anthem, based on a superficial understanding of history. They don’t realize the net effect of their actions is to show hostility against the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment, for which the flag stands. Perhaps they don’t understand how their actions are easily exploited by those who would ultimately deprive everyone, including themselves, of all freedom of expression. Without freedom of expression, we all become slaves to the forces of tyranny. Sadly, using freedom to destroy freedom is an old tactic of all totalitarians.
Six Phases to Unfreedom
Many of the social trends we see today point to dangerous conditions in which a totalitarian system like communism can rear its ugly head again. If enough folks don’t push back against these developments, tyranny can secure a foothold. So let’s try to clarify some of these patterns so we might better confront them and preserve freedom for everybody.
At least two dozen major trends have unfolded over the years and continue to unfold that indicate an erosion of human freedom and the growth of a centralized power. I’ve grouped them into six different phases, even though there is a lot of overlap. I’m sure you can add many more major developments to the list. Below are summaries of the phases as well as the trends within each phase, as I see them.
1. Laying the Groundwork
This is usually a generational or decades-long process, in which minds can be closed to reason and more influenced by emotion and propaganda. This happens in many ways: through the mass bureaucratization of life that allows for policies that promote polarization, dependency, and human isolation through disabling independent thinking by educational fads that actually cultivate ignorance and shun content knowledge through the attack on the humanities in both K-12 and higher education and through the lack of general knowledge about how mass psychology works.
All the while, as new communications technologies develop and proliferate, they are embedded into the groundwork that promotes tyranny over liberty. Through the effects of these trends, people become less open to logic, and more persuaded by the proliferation of images and emotional appeals, cemented by groupthink.
2. Manufacturing Propaganda
Propaganda has always been with us, and always will be. But as people become less able to discern fact from fiction, propaganda feeds on itself more intensely. As emotions trump facts, propaganda tends to become more forceful and more focused on driving people to agitate for collectivist agendas. It takes a multitude of forms, but the Orwellian manipulation of language is always the key to thought reform.
Then, journalists increasingly become propagandists, and promote illusions of alternative realities. This includes the revision of history, as well as trends such as gender ideology, which pushes to de-sex everybody in the eyes of the law. As propaganda takes the form of political correctness, it threatens people with social rejection if they don’t conform to the politically correct agendas. In this way, it induces self-censorship and preference falsification to create the illusion of public opinion support for its agendas. Political correctness is the sort of agitprop that can grow a cult mindset in the population.
3. Agitating the Masses
Once the groundwork has been laid and propaganda absorbed by enough people, agitation can proliferate. As Lenin made clear, agitation and propaganda go together and are absolutely essential to communist revolutions. As that sort of agitation becomes more prevalent in public life, there’s more speed on the road to totalitarianism.
Agitation can involve protests, parades, marches, and demonstrations. It also involves organized shout-downs of legislators and a hundred other means of trying to affect public policy by influencing public opinion. During this phase, imitative behaviors proliferate (such as we’ve seen among NFL players during the national anthem). It seems that hatred and frustration are more palpable everywhere in the society.
Indeed, the media, Hollywood, and academia—and the Southern Poverty Law Center—would have us focus on nothing else. We see iconoclasm in this phase, as in the defacing of public statues and national monuments. The education establishment becomes involved in politically agitating children, creating confusion and frustration, and even cultivating hostility towards their parents if they aren’t with the program.
“Communism is an ideology calling for government control over our lives.”
May 9, 2017 | Author: Walter Williams | BCN |
“May Day celebrations were held all across the fruited plain, with leftist radicals and unionists worshipping the ideals of communism. Communism is an ideology calling for government control over our lives. It was created by Karl Marx, who — along with his collaborator, Friedrich Engels — wrote a pamphlet called “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” In 1867, Marx wrote the first volume of “Das Kapital.” The second and third volumes were published posthumously, edited by Engels. Few people who call themselves Marxists have ever even bothered to read “Das Kapital.” If one did read it, he would see that people who call themselves Marxists have little in common with Marx.”
(1) Alexander Kerensky, speech made at the Council of the Republic ( 24th October, 1917)
I will cite here the most characteristic passage from a whole series of articles published in Rabochi Put by Lenin, a state criminal who is in hiding and whom we are trying to find. This state criminal has invited the proletariat and the Petrograd garrison to repeat the experience of 16-18 July, and insists upon the immediate necessity for an armed rising. Moreover, other Bolshevik leaders have taken the floor in a series of meetings, and also made an appeal to immediate insurrection. Particularly should be noticed the activity of the present president of the Petrograd Soviet, Trotsky.
The policy of the Bolsheviki is demagogic and criminal, in their exploitation of the popular discontent. But there is a whole series of popular demands which have received no satisfaction up to now. The question of peace, land, and the democratization of the army ought to be stated in such a fashion that no soldier, peasant, or worker would have the least doubt that our Government is attempting, firmly and infallibly, to solve them.
The Provisional Government has never violated the liberty of all citizens of the State to use their political rights. But now the Provisional Government declares, in this moment those elements of the Russian nation, those groups and parties who have dared to lift their hands against the free will of the Russian people, at the same time threatening to open the front to Germany, must be liquidated.
(2) Victor Serge, Year One of the Russian Revolution (1930)
In the last days of September the Central Committee of the Bolsheviks (Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Sverdlov, Yakovleva, Oppokov, Zinoviev, Kamenev) met in Petrograd, in the apartment of Sukhanov. Even the principle of the insurrection was in dispute. Kamenev and Zinoviev (Nogin and Rykov, who were of the same opinion, being absent from this meeting) stated their view that the insurrection might perhaps itself be successful, but that it would be almost impossible to maintain power afterwards owing to the economic pressures and crisis in the food supply. The majority voted for the insurrection, and actually fixed the date for 15 October.
(3) Albert Rhys Williams, Through the Russian Revolution (1923)
Attempt is made to suppress the Revolution by force of arms. Kerensky begins calling "dependable" troops into the city that is, troops that may be depended upon to shoot down the rising workers. Among these are the Zenith Battery and the Cyclists' Battalion. Along the highroads on which these units are advancing into the city the Revolution posts its forces. They subject these troops to a withering fire of arguments and pleas. Result: these troops that are being rushed to the city to crush the Revolution enter instead to aid and abet it.
(4) Alexander Kerensky, The Catastrophe (1927)
The hours of the night dragged on painfully. From everywhere we expected reinforcements, but none appeared. There were endless telephone negotiations with the Cossack regiments. Under various excuses the Cossacks stubbornly stuck to their barracks, asserting all the time that "everything would be cleared up" within fifteen or twenty minutes and that they would then "begin to saddle their horses". Meanwhile the night hours passed. Not a word from the Cossacks.
(5) David Shub, Lenin (1948)
The official Soviet version is as follows: "Lenin proposed the organization of an armed uprising this proposal was enthusiastically endorsed by all participants, with the exception of Zinoviev and Kamenev. On 7 November 1917, Lenin's plans were translated into action."
But, according to Trotsky's reminiscences, published in Moscow in 1922, Lenin's proposal for immediate revolt met with very little enthusiasm.
"The debate was stormy, disorderly, chaotic", wrote Trotsky. "The question now was no longer only the insurrection as such the discussion spread to fundamentals, to the basic goals of the Party, the Soviets were they necessary? What for? Could they be dispensed with?"
"The most striking thing", said Trotsky in 1922, "was the fact that people began to deny the possibility of the insurrection at the given moment the opponents even reached the point in their arguments where they denied the importance of a Soviet Government. "
In the early hours of the morning Lenin finally won his victory.
"Hastily, with a stub of a pencil, on a sheet of graph paper torn from a child's exercise book, he wrote: "The Party calls for the organization of an armed insurrection." The resolution was put to a vote. The official minutes record: "Votes in favour - 10 against -2." But Trotsky claims: "I do not remember the proportion of the votes, but I know that 5 or 6 were against it. There were many more votes in favour, probably about 9, but I do not vouch for the figures."
(6) Lenin, instructions issued to the Bolsheviks on 24th October (6th November, new style), 1917.
I am writing these lines on the evening of November 6th. The situation is critical in the extreme. It is absolutely clear that to delay the insurrection now will be inevitably fatal. I exhort my comrades with all my heart and strength to realize that everything now hangs by a thread, that we are being confronted by problems that cannot be solved by conferences and congresses (even Congresses of Soviets) but exclusively by the people, the masses, by the struggle of the armed masses.
We must at all costs, this very evening, this very night, arrest the Government, first disarming the Junkers and so forth. We must not wait! We will lose everything! History will not forgive revolutionaries for procrastinating when they can be victorious today, while they risk losing much, in fact, everything, tomorrow.
(7) Leon Trotsky, statement made to the Petrograd Soviet (24th October, 1917)
On behalf of the Military Revolutionary Committee, I declare that the provisional government is no longer existent. Some ministers have been arrested. Others will be arrested in the course of a few days or hours. The revolutionary garrison, at the disposal of the Military-Revolutionary Committee, has dissolved the session of the Pre-Parliament. We have been on the watch here throughout the night and have followed the detachments of revolutionary soldiers and the workers' guards by telephone as they silently carried out their tasks. The citizen slept in peace, ignorant of the change from one power to another. Railway stations, the post-office, the telegraph, the Petrograd Telegraph Agency, the State Bank, have been occupied. The Winter Palace has not yet been taken, but its fate will be decided during the next few minutes.
(8) Alfred Knox was one of those who observed the Bolsheviks taking the Winter Palace on 25th October, 1917.
The garrison of the Winter Palace originally consisted of about 2,000 all told, including detachments from yunker and ensign schools, three squadrons of Cossacks, a company of volunteers and a company from the Women's Battalion.
The garrison had dwindled owing to desertions, for their were no provisions and it had been practically starved for two days. There was no strong man to take command and to enforce discipline. No one any stomach for fighting and some of the ensigns even borrowed great coats of soldier pattern from the women to enable them to escape unobserved.
The greater part of the yunkers of the Mikhail Artillery School returned to their school, taking with them four out of their six guns. Then the Cossacks left, declaring themselves opposed to bloodshed! At 10 p.m. a large part of the ensigns left, leaving few defenders except the ensigns of the Engineering School and the company of women.
(9) Nikolai Sukhanov, The Russian Revolution of 1917 (1922)
Antonov-Ovseenko's plan was accepted. It consisted in occupying first of all those parts of the city adjoining the Finland Station: the Vyborg Side, the outskirts of the Petersburg Side, etc. Together with the units arriving from Finland it would then be possible to launch an offensive against the centre of the capital.
Beginning at 2 in the morning the stations, bridges, lighting installations, telegraphs, and telegraphic agency were gradually occupied by small forces brought from the barracks. The little groups of cadets could not resist and didn't think of it. In general the military operations in the politically important centres of the city rather resembled a changing of the guard. The weaker defence force, of cadets retired and a strengthened defence force, of Red Guards, took its place.
(10) Pitirim Sorokin, a member of the Socialist Revolutionary Party and a representative in the Duma (October, 1917)
On the telephone I learned that the Bolsheviki had brought up from Kronstadt the warship "Aurora" and had opened fire on the Winter Palace, demanding the surrender of the members of the Provisional Government, still barricaded there. There was a regiment of women and the military cadets were bravely resisting an overwhelming force of Bolshevist troops, and over the telephone Minister Konovalov was appealing for aid. Poor women, poor lads, their situation was desperate, for we knew that the wild sailors, after taking the Palace, would probably tear them to pieces.
(11) Bolshevik Commissar of the cruiser The Aurora (1917)
On November 6th the Military Revolutionary Committee appointed me commissar of the cruiser "Aurora". . At 3.30 a.m. the ship cast anchor near the Nikolaevski Bridge. We worked all day, November 7th, to bring the ship into fighting order. Towards evening we received orders from the Military Revolutionary Committee to fire a few blank shots upon receiving a signal from the Peter and Paul Fortress and, if necessary, to shell (the Winter Palace) with shrapnel.
(12) Pavel Malyantovich, a Menshevik and the Minister of Justice in the Provisional Government. He was arrested by Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko and the Red Guards on 25th October, 1917. He later wrote about the incident in his book, In the Winter Palace (1918)
There was a noise behind the door and it burst open like a splinter of wood thrown out by a wave, a little man flew into the room, pushed in by the onrushing crowd which poured in after him, like water, at once spilled into every corner and filled the room.
"Where are the members of the Provisional Government?"
"The Provisional Government is here," said Kornovalov, remaining seated.
"What do you want?"
"I inform you, all of you, members of the Provisional Government, that you are under arrest. I am Antonov-Ovseenko, chairman of the Military Revolutionary Committee."
"Run them through, the sons of bitches! Why waste time with them? They've drunk enough of our blood!" yelled a short sailor, stamping the floor with his rifle."
There were sympathetic replies: "What the devil, comrades! Stick them all on bayonets, make short work of them!"
Antonov-Ovseenko raised his head and shouted sharply: "Comrades, keep calm!" All members of the Provisional Government are arrested. They will be imprisoned in the Fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul. I'll permit no violence. Conduct yourself calmly. Maintain order! Power is now in your hands. You must maintain order!"
(10) Bessie Beatty wrote about how the Bolsheviks took over the Winter Palace on 25th October, 1917, in her book, The Red Heart of Russia (1919).
At the head of the winding staircase groups of frightened women were gathered, searching the marble lobby below with troubled eyes. Nobody seemed to know what had happened. The Battalion of Death had walked out in the night, without firing so much as a single shot. Each floor was crowded with soldiers and Red Guards, who went from room to room, searching for arms, and arresting officers suspected of anti-Bolshevik sympathies. The landings were guarded by sentries, and the lobby was swarming with men in faded uniforms. Two husky, bearded peasant soldiers were stationed behind the counter, and one in the cashier's office kept watch over the safe. Two machine-guns poked their ominous muzzles through the entryway.
(13) Albert Rhys Williams was with Louise Bryant, Bessie Beatty and John Reed when the Winter Palace was taken on 25th October, 1917.
We had been sitting in Smolny, gripped by the pleas of the speakers, when out of the night that other voice crashed into the lighted hall - the cannon of the cruiser Aurora, firing at the Winter Palace. Steady, insistent, came the ominous beat of the cannon, breaking the spell of the speakers upon us. We could not resist its call and hurried away.
Outside, a big motor-truck with engines throbbing was starting for the city. We climbed aboard and tore through the night, a plunging comet, flying a tail of white posters in our wake. As we come into the Palace Square the booming of the guns die away. The rifles no longer crackle through the dark. The Red Guards are crawling out to carry off the dead and dying.
Forming a column, they pour through the Red Arch and creep forward, silent. Near the barricade they emerge into the light blazing from within the palace. They scale the rampart of logs, and storm through the iron gateway into the open doors of the east wing - the mob swarming in behind them.
A terrible lust lays hold of the mob - the lust that ravishing beauty incites in the long starved and long denied - the lust of loot. Even we, as spectators, are not immune to it. It burns up the last vestige of restraint and leaves one passion flaming in the veins - the passion to sack and pillage. Their eyes fall upon this treasure-trove, and their hands follow.
Along the walls of the vaulted chamber we enter there runs a row of huge packing-cases. With the butts of their rifles, the soldiers batter open the boxes, spilling out streams of curtains, linen, clocks, vases and plates.
Pandemonium breaks loose in the Palace. It rolls and echoes with myriad sounds. Tearing of cloth and wood, clatter of glass from splintered windows, clumping of heavy boots upon the parquet floor, the crashing of a thousand voices against the ceiling. Voices jubilant, then jangling over division of the spoils. Voices hoarse, high-pitched, muttering, cursing.
Then another voice breaks into this babel - the clear, compelling voice of the Revolution. It speaks through the tongues of its ardent votaries, the Petrograd workingmen. There is just a handful of them, weazened and undersized, but into the ranks of these big peasant soldiers they plunge, crying out - "Take nothing. The Revolution forbids it. No looting. This is the property of the people."
(14) John Reed, was in Petrograd when the Women's Battalion attempted to defend the Winter Palace against the Bolsheviks.
Immediately following the taking of the Winter Palace all sorts of sensational stories were published in the anti-Bolshevik press, and told in the City Duma, about the fate of the Women's Battalion defending the Palace. It was said that some of the girl-soldiers had been thrown from the windows into the street, most of the rest had been violated, and many had committed suicide as a result of the horrors they had gone through.
The City Duma appointed a commission to investigate the matter. On 16th November the commission returned from Levashovo, headquarters of the Women's Battalion. Madame Tyrkova reported that the girls had been taken to the barracks of the Pavlovsky Regiment, and that there some of them had been badly treated but that at present most of them were at Levashovo, and the rest scattered about the city in private houses. Dr. Mandelbaum, another of the commission, testified dryly that none of the women had been thrown out of the windows of the Winter Palace, that none were wounded, that three had been violated, and that one had committed suicide, leaving a note which said that she had been "disappointed in her ideals."
On 21 November the Military Revolutionary Committee officially dissolved the Women's Battalion, at the request of the girls themselves, who returned to civilian clothes.
(15) George Plekhanov, Open Letter to the Petrograd Workers (28th October, 1917)
The reason the events of the last few days pain me so much is not because I do not wish to see the cause of the working class triumph, but, on the contrary, because with all the fibres of my being I wish for the triumph of the workers. The class-conscious elements of our proletariat must ask themselves the question: Is our proletariat ready to proclaim a dictatorship? Everyone who has even a partial understanding as to what economic conditions are necessary for the dictatorship of the proletariat will unhesitatingly answer no to this question.
No, our working class is far from ready to grasp political power with any advantage to itself and the country at large. To foist such a power upon it means to push it towards a great historical calamity which will prove the greatest tragedy for all Russia.
It is said that what the Russian worker will begin the German worker will finish. But it is a great mistake to think so. There is no doubt that in an economic sense Germany is much further developed than Russia. The social revolution is nearer in Germany than it is in Russia. But even among the Germans it is not yet a question of the day.
That means that the Germans will not finish what the Russians have started, nor can it be done by the French, the British, or the Americans. By seizing power at this moment, the Russian proletariat will not achieve a social revolution. It will only bring on civil war, which will in the end force a retreat from the positions won in February and March of this year.
Bonnell, Victoria E. Roots of Rebellion: Workers' Politics and Organizations in St. Petersburg and Moscow, 1900–1914. Berkeley, Calif., 1983. Thorough sociological study of the self-organization of Russian urban workers and their interactions with the Bolshevik and Menshevik parties.
Haimson, Leopold H. The Russian Marxists and the Origins of Bolshevism. Cambridge, Mass., 1955. Classic study of the intellectual origins of the Menshevik–Bolshevik split, taking the story up to 1905.
Lane, David. The Roots of Russian Communism: A Social and Historical Study of Russian Social-Democracy, 1898–1907. Assen, Netherlands, 1969. Analysis of the structure, social composition, and activities of Social-Democratic Party organizations nationally and in seven regions, including St. Petersburg, Moscow, the Caucasus, and Siberia.
Schapiro, Leonard. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union. 2nd ed. New York, 1971. Massive and detailed history of the Communist Party from its origins to the end of the Khrushchev era.
Service, Robert. Lenin: A Political Life. 3 vols. Bloomington, Ind., 1985–1995. Thorough biography focusing on Lenin's political writings and party organization.
Ulam, Adam B. The Bolsheviks. New York, 1965.
Wildman, Allan K. The Making of a Workers' Revolution: Russian Social Democracy, 1891–1903. Chicago, 1967. Pioneering study of the relationship between Marxist intellectuals and activist workers in the Russian revolutionary movement.
Williams, Robert C. The Other Bolsheviks: Lenin and His Critics, 1904–1914. Bloomington, Ind., 1986.
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