Revolution and Violence. Defense of Historical Approach to Russian Revolution Appraisal

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Chief Research Fellow
Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameObshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost
EditionIssue 1

The paper discusses the role of violence in revolution in general and in Russian revolution, in particular. The author shows inability of rationalistic tradition to adequately estimate revolution as far as it insists that reason is incompatible with violence. The problem of revolution can be really grasped only if it is treated politically, that is, viewed as a historical phenomenon. In this case political violence may be presented as a unique way of interrupting the former historical logic – an act which forecloses determination of the future by the past. The violence intensivity and scope, being the function of a singular social situation, depends on many factors: sharpness of contradictions, polarization of political forces, the degree of grass-root revolutionaries involvement, people mentality, etc. The range of violence triggered by October revolution was determined, inter alia, by the fact that grass-roots revolution has mutated into a “revolution from above” as soon as the “party state” attempted to attain economic and social progress through total suppression of the way of life which was enjoyed as normal by millions of people. Thus, the violence exercised by the political power structures over the people at large gave rise to a totalitarian regime.

KeywordsCapitalism, socialism, civilization, revolution, state, Bolshevism, political parties, proletariat, peasantry, terror, political regime, the catching-up development, contingency, necessity, culture, way of life, totalitarianism, historical choice
Publication date17.02.2017
Number of characters1056
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