Dispelling 12 Myths About The Bolshevik Revolution

By Zakhar Prilepin


November 7th on the western Gregorian calendar is the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, in Russia it occurred in October by the Julian calendar – There are interesting and often ignored facts about the Russian revolution that even conservatives and patriots around the world should consider, which indeed generally fall outside of traditional leftist talking points and therefore can be examined from the perspective of Russian sovereignty in the age of modernity and the rise of the revolutionary left as a global 20th century force. – ed J. Flores

12 Facts about the Revolution and the Civil War

Zakhar Prilepin on who ‘put the bomb’ under the empire and about those who saved the country from the collapse.

In reasoning about the revolution, its opponents go along the same route, diligently reproducing the same, in our opinion, erroneous arguments.

1. Even if you are very fond of the monarchy, one must reconcile themselves with simple fact that the Bolsheviks did not overthrow the tsar. The Bolsheviks overthrew the liberal-pro-Western provisional government of Kerensky.

2. The struggle against the Bolsheviks was started not by people who fought for “Faith, Tsar and Fatherland”, but Lavr Kornilov, the general, who announced the arrest of the Empress and the royal family. Among his closest associates was Boris Savinkov – an SR, a revolutionary, a terrorist who did everything to overthrow the monarchy. Savinkov tried to save the Provisional Government in the Winter Palace. He served as commissar of the Provisional Government in the detachment of General Petr Krasnov.

He was engaged in the formation of the Volunteer Army. Another prominent figure in the White movement, General Mikhail Alekseev, was also involved in the removal of Nicholas II from power; In addition, like many leaders of the Provisional Government, Alekseev was a member of the Masonic lodge. The question is, in fact, one. Do people who oppose the Bolsheviks and Lenin really believe that Russia would be better off if the whole of the 20th century was run by liberals, revolutionaries practicing terrorist methods, and generals who changed their oath?

3. All the supporters of the idea that the revolution was pulled off with money by the Germans and the British should somehow explain to themselves, whether the first and second benefited from the desired end, for which purpose then did both the first and the second participate in the intervention against Soviet Russia, if the Bolsheviks were their agents, and what kind of agents are those who diss their curators, so to speak, and then fight them for life and death?

4. Bearing in mind that part of the aristocracy was expelled from Russia, it is worthwhile to realize that these Bolsheviks were not just ‘crooks and bandits’ as some like to cry – Lenin was also a nobleman, as well as many of the most prominent Bolshevik figures and party leaders. Krestinsky N.N. – from the nobility, Kuibyshev VV – hereditary nobleman, Ordzhonikidze GK – nobleman, Dzerzhinsky FE – the son of a small nobleman, one of the most prominent figures of the NKVD – Bokii GI – from an old noble family, the son of a real State Councilor; and so on.

It does not stop to remember that the noble blood flowed in the veins of not only the writers who left Russia in the person of Merezhkovsky, Berdyaev, Boris Zaitsev. The Bloc of Bryusov were the same noblemen. Violent revolutionary poets Mayakovsky and Anatoly Mariengof – do not believe it, also from the nobility. Alexey Tolstoy was a nobleman, and Valentin Petrovich Kataev is also a nobleman. In this place, it is worth recalling that the first Soviet government included just  one (1) Jew – Trotsky.

5. In the Red Army, there were 75,000 former officers (of whom 62,000 were of noble origin), while in the White Army there were about 35,000 of the 150,000 officers in the Russian Empire. The habit of the newest Russian cinema (however, borrowed from the directors of the Soviet era) to portray the Red Guards as people from the people, and White Guards as a “white bone” – is vulgar and even unnatural from a historical point of view.

Returning to Trotsky and a number of leaders of the revolution from the Pale of Settlement, it is worth noting the following. To all of those who claim that the revolution was the work of ethnically diverse groups conspiring against the Russian people, act in fact, in the role of Russophobes.

Including, for the elementary reason that tens of thousands of Russian noblemen are considered – moreover, officers – the objects of manipulation by several hundred descendants of artisans and shopkeepers. Recall that the post of commander-in-chief of all the armed forces of the Soviet Republic was occupied by Sergei Sergeevich Kamenev – a cadre officer, graduated from the General Staff Academy in 1907, Colonel of the Imperial Army.

From July 1919 until the end of the Civil War, he held the post, which during the Great Patriotic War will be occupied by Stalin. The Head of the Field Staff of the Red Army – Pavel Pavlovich Lebedev – also was a hereditary nobleman, rose to the rank of Major-General of the Imperial Army. At the post of the head of the Field Staff he succeeded Bonch-Bruevich (who, by the way, came from the gentry), and from 1919 to 1921 was in charge of the Field Staff .

After 1921 he was the Chief of Staff of the Red Army. Subsequently, many tsarist officers and participants in the Civil War – Colonel B.M. Shaposhnikov, Captain-Captains A.M. Vasilevsky and F.I. Tolbukhin, Second Lieutenant L.A. Govorov, became Marshals of the Soviet Union.

Do you still want to talk about how the crooks and sly bandits deceived and defeated the white-faced and beautiful Russian nobles who did not change their oath and were faithful to the emperor?

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6. The Bolsheviks did not organize the Civil War and did not need this war. It did not begin immediately after the Revolution, as is sometimes assumed, but only in 1918, and the Bolsheviks had nothing to do with unleashing it. The initiators of the Civil War were military leaders who overthrew the tsar.

As a result, millions of people participated in the Civil War – representatives of the most diverse ethnic groups, political groups, forces; In addition, it must be remembered that an intervention was carried out by fourteen (14!) countries – and in such a situation, to sacrifice the victims of the Civil War to some Bolsheviks – an uncanny game and outright manipulation. In fact: the Civil War was arranged by the Whites.

7. The first laws passed by the Bolsheviks that came to power did not have any repressive character. November 2, 1917 adopted a declaration of the rights of the peoples of Russia, abolished all national and national-religious privileges. On 11 November, a decree was adopted to abolish estates, ranks and the establishment of a single citizenship. On December 18, a decree was adopted on the equality of women in a civil marriage. The Bolsheviks came to power as unprecedented idealists, liberators of the people and, in the best sense of the word, democrats.

8. Faced with the possibility of the collapse of the empire and separatist movements on the national outskirts, the Bolsheviks immediately changed tactics, and quickly collected the empire, ultimately losing only Finland and Poland, the belonging of which to Russia now seems not genuine and indeed excessive.

With all their will, the Bolsheviks can not be called “destroyers of the empire” – they just called their offensive campaigns “international”, but the result of these campaigns was the traditional Russian “collection of lands.” A number of preferences received by national subjects from the Bolsheviks must be perceived in the context of that situation (First World War, Civil, arranged, I repeat, not by the Bolsheviks, parade of sovereignties, intervention, etc.).

It is not constructive to consider these things outside the historical context. Nothing but disgust can be our reaction to the behavior of the contemporary liberal public, in fact, who dissolved the Russian empire in the dissolution of the Soviet Union – and then blaming this disintegration to the Bolsheviks. Those same Bolsheviks that fought in the most heroic manner for the national outskirts, were lost in the 90’s as a result of the liberal-bourgeois revolution without a single shot being fired.

9. One of the most frequent things argued by both liberals and nationalists is the argument that the Bolsheviks “put a bomb under the empire”, dividing Russia into republics, takes the historic conversation into some airless space: a completely meaningless picture is obtained – the empire lies alone and whole, and the Bolsheviks bombed it, then blew up their own state.

Meanwhile, Imperial Russia was no more, the emperor abdicated, and the Provisional Government came to power. One question: would it be better if the February revolution generals won in the Civil War? No, they all knew about the Anglo-French agreement of December 23, 1917 – on the division of zones of influence in Russia: Britain received the North Caucasus, France – Ukraine, Crimea and Bessarabia, the USA and Japan divided Siberia and the Far East. Let’s lay out the cards again. There is no king by now.

There are white generals who, on the balance, were ready for the above-described situation and saw to the destruction of the country. And then there are Bolsheviks who resisted this scenario of cutting up Russia and they were the ones who “Put a bomb in it?” The processes of disintegration began in the Russian Empire under the Provisional Government – in Poland, Finland, Ukraine, in the Baltic territories – was the Russian Empire divided into Soviet republics?

Those that disintegrated under the Russian Empire and after it – were divided into Soviet republics? Why did they break up then? Who put the bomb under them? Democrats were very fond of talking about this “bomb” in the 1990’s, the message of these statements is obvious: they did not want to be guilty of decay, they wanted to blame others. Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich Romanov said: “The position of the leaders of the White movement has become impossible.

On the one hand, pretending that they do not notice the intrigues of the Allies, they called for … a sacred struggle against the Soviets, on the other hand, no other than the internationalist Lenin, who in his constant speeches spared no effort, to protest against the division of the former Russian Empire. ” Do you trust anyone more? Grand Duke Romanov or Democrats of the 90’s?

10. Patriarch Tikhon was betrayed by the Bolsheviks, an anathema, they tell us. Therefore, it is impossible to support the Bolsheviks. But after all, Patriarch Tikhon did not bless the White movement, did not accept it. So whom to support? The tsar is no more, he abdicated. The white movement divides Russia between the Japanese and the French. Let us proceed from this point and proceed with reality, and not with Manilov’s notions of how it would be better if there were no Bolsheviks at all.

11. The main conflict of the Civil War is not the battle of “crooks and gangsters” with “aristocrats of the spirit”. The Bolsheviks produced a nationalization of industry – most of all they infringed on the interests of big capital, preferring the interests of the working people. Most of all the Civil War was initiated in the interests of, figuratively speaking, the Russian list of Forbes, as well as and those foreign financial players that had their own interests in Russia.

It was a conflict of socialism and capitalism, in other words. Now this simple essence is constantly being replaced by songs about lieutenant Golitsyn, walking with the portrait of the last emperor.

12. In the Civil War, first of all, the Russian people won. The Russian revolution, which occurred on November 7, 1917, is both a merit, a victory, and a tragedy of the Russian people. They bear full responsibility for it, and they have the right to be proud of this great achievement that changed the destiny of mankind.

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