Irish Crimean: Is the Russian Revolution historically underrated?


August 21, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

Op-ed by Padraig Joseph McGrath – “The Irish Crimean”

Eating with a friend of mine tonight, I expressed surprise that, in this the centenary year of the Russian revolution, the commemorative events haven’t started yet.

“There’s nothing to celebrate,” he said, “It was a massively painful time for Russians. There was incalculable suffering during the revolutionary period.” He votes KPRF (Communist Party) by the way, but that was his opinion all the same.

I answered from an outsider’s perspective:

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“The Russian revolution was revolutionary on multiple levels. Like the French revolution and the Haitian revolution, it was a revolution in the process of revolution itself – it changed what revolution means. The Russian people didn’t just change themselves and their country – they changed the trajectory of the process of world-history. I’m not a member of the ‘narod’ which experienced all that suffering, so it’s maybe too easy for me to say, but the Russian revolution, more than any other historical event, is what truly makes the Russian people a world-historical people, a world-changing people. Isn’t that something to be proud of?”

Sometimes I suspect that Russian people don’t really understand just how much they changed the world. They think about what the revolution means to them – they don’t take into consideration what their revolution means to everybody else.

Just as each new religious system to appear on the historical stage implicitly reconceptualizes the core purpose of religion itself, each historically significant revolution (French, Haitian, Russian, Iranian, etc) implicitly reconceptualizes what “revolution” itself means.

That is to say, each historically significant revolution is a “revolution within the revolution” itself.

Padraig McGrath was born in the Republic of Ireland in 1973. He has lived in Britain, Germany and the Czech Republic, and has published journalism and commentary on social and philosophical issues for a number of media for 15 years. He moved to Simferopol, Crimea in December 2013, 3 months before Crimea’s re-unification with Russia, and still lives there.

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