Russia During the Reign of Nicholas II Part 2

Russia During the Reign of Nicholas II Part 2

Meanwhile, under the name of “revolutionary socialist party” various revolutionary groups following populism (narodni è estvo) are organized. This party will be of considerable importance from 1900 to 1917: at certain moments it will almost seem to monopolize the insurrectionary movement against the autocracy. Intermediate between the intelligentsiaand the peasants, the Socialist Revolutionaries are profoundly distinguished from the Marxists because they largely accept the traditional opinion from the populists that Russia will have a very different development from Western Europe: therefore they mainly rely on the peasant masses; moreover, the Socialist Revolutionaries reconnect with the tradition of terrorism (also constituting a special combat battalion “): in fact, the attacks organized by them against the main exponents of the Tsarist regime will follow one another without pause; on the economic terrain the eclecticism of their vision appears clearly, despite the very intense efforts to bring together the interests of very heterogeneous social groups rather than on economic issues, on the terrain of their revolutionary policy against ” the Socialist Revolutionaries owed the enormous fascination which at certain moments they were able to exercise; however in their eclecticism one can also see the cause of the rapid decline (1917); they will in fact be uncertain and undecided on the interpretation to be given to the war, on the way to conduct it to the end, on the collaboration with other groupings, on the meaning to be given to the word “socialism”; therefore it is explained that some basic formations joined the Marxists at decisive moments, while numerous prominent exponents ended up being among the so-called “white guards”. the Socialist Revolutionaries owed the enormous fascination which at certain moments they were able to exercise; however in their eclecticism one can also see the cause of the rapid decline (1917); they will in fact be uncertain and undecided on the interpretation to be given to the war, on the way to conduct it to the end, on the collaboration with other groupings, on the meaning to be given to the word “socialism”; therefore it is explained that some basic formations joined the Marxists at decisive moments, while numerous prominent exponents ended up being among the so-called “white guards”. on how to carry it out to the end, on collaboration with other groupings, on the meaning to be given to the word “socialism”; therefore it is explained that some basic formations joined the Marxists at decisive moments, while numerous prominent exponents ended up being among the so-called “white guards”. on how to carry it out to the end, on collaboration with other groupings, on the meaning to be given to the word “socialism”; therefore it is explained that some basic formations joined the Marxists at decisive moments, while numerous prominent exponents ended up being among the so-called “white guards”.

Marxism appeared in Russia around 1890, still mixed in the early days with some marginal fragments of “populist” ideology; insofar as it opposes populism and affirms that Russia will industrialize and Europeanise, that therefore the workers and technicians will be the “Russian men of the future” (not the peasants, as the revolutionary socialists claimed in the footsteps of the populists), it affirms that this development (and therefore its political consequences) will be “inevitable”. In short, determinism sometimes asserts itself in its most simplistic and anti-historical forms. For these “economists” the (economic) strike will on every occasion be the most valid weapon to raise the standard of living of the working mass. The future state will be a mixture of socialist elements and state capitalism. It is the ideologies of Bernstein’s “revisionism” that triumph, albeit in a fairly diluted form. On the other hand, the criticism addressed by these “economists” to the naivety of the old populism is more acute.

Plechanov and Akselrod, then Martov and Lenin accentuate the struggle against “economism”; According to them, instead of obtaining gradual economic concessions, it is a question of conquering power. Lenin fights at the same time against populists and economists: he believes that the ideology of the proletariat must be clearly separated from any liberal and democratic influence: the “democratic” forces of the intelligentsiaand peasants will have to group together with the proletariat which has the role of guiding the development of the revolution. The ancient tradition of Russian intellectuals is even overturned. Rigidly anti-idealist as rigidly anti-determinist, intransigent Marxism wants to give rise to an autonomous affirmation from below and cares little if Russia is an economically backward country: according to them, the revolution will come first in the weakest link of the capitalist world than in the countries. in which the consequent determinists saw all the “favorable conditions” for the advent of socialism.

The Russian Social Democratic Party was founded on 1 (13) March 1898; Against the rigid centralization of the party, especially affirmed by Lenin, a new opposition will emerge over the years, which will soon take on the aspect of right-wing opposition (Akselrod, Martov). The representatives of the majority (bol ′ š instvo) were commonly called bol ′ š eviki (Bolsheviks), the representatives of the minority (men ′ š instvo), more inclined to reformism, were called men ′ š eviki (Mensheviks).

Under the pressure of the unrest in the country, under the pressure of the various parties, of many intellectuals, of the Zemstvo, Nicholas II is uncertain whether he should follow the line of “integral reactionaries” like Pobedonoscev and Plehve (Pleve), or if he should concede some reform which, although it cannot be confused with the “constitution”, reassures moderate circles for a certain time which, with their permanent discontent, create a kind of aura of vague sympathy around the revolutionaries. With a ukaz of 14 (25) December 1904 the emperor finally declares himself willing to grant “changes”, even if it is reaffirmed that he does not think at all to modify the “intangible” laws of the state.

According to Topschoolsintheusa, the war with Japan deeply shakes the Russian economy, while the prestige of the autocracy is still diminished by military defeats. On 9 (22) January 1905 (the so-called “Red Sunday”) the largest workers’ demonstration that Russia has ever seen takes place in Petersburg. Led by the priest Gapon, who enjoyed great sympathy among the working mass (the workers did not know that Gapon was in the service of the secret police), tens of thousands of Petersburg workers who had been on strike for several days went to the Winter Palace to to submit a petition to the Tsar asking for amnesty for political arrested persons, the introduction of greater political and trade union freedom, etc. The demonstration was so massive that the police were alarmed; it had all the it was an interest that an important part of the workers’ movement would be in the hands of men like Gapon and therefore understood very well the inevitable need for some economic concession that would facilitate the task of these “leaders”. However, a conflict suddenly began between the moving masses and strong troop units; the public force repeatedly fired on the demonstrators and many were the victims. The hope that the Tsar could seriously defend the “humble” was abruptly extinguished in vast sections of the population not only in St Petersburg, but in all of Russia. The petty-bourgeois and intellectual elements suddenly felt that they had acquired a new ally, an ally which in various respects began from the beginning to appear uncomfortable and dangerous.

Russia During the Reign of Nicholas II 2