The October Revolution
The two uprisings in Imperial Russia, in March and October 1917, are together known as the Russian Revolution. After this revolution, the super power known as the Soviet Union was to be created: it would play a major role in world politics for just over 70 years before collapsing into itself, racked not only by Communism’s inherent economic contradictions, but also destroyed by ethnic and racial conflict. The two revolutions are known as the February Revolution and October Revolution by name: both had tumultuous effects on 20th Century history.
The Revolution Spreads
[After the triumph of the revolution] the provisional government disbanded the Tsarist police, repealed all limitations on freedom of opinion, press, and association, and repealed all laws which discriminated against Jews.
Lenin’s greatest organizer, and the man who can quite rightly be called the brains behind the Bolshevik revolution, Leon Trotsky, arrived back in Russia from America where he had been in exile since escaping from a Tsarist prison following his arrest during the abortive 1905 revolution. Trotsky was to lead the Bolshevik revolution: unquestionably, without him it would never have occurred. Trotsky’s arrival in May 1917 in Russia, accompanied by a large number of international Communists, greatly strengthened Lenin in his struggle with the Mensheviks.
Trotsky was a brilliant organizer, but also he brought with him a considerable amount of money from Jewish sympathizers in the United States, particularly from the banker Jacob Schiff of the firm Kuhn Loeb & Co.—the latent anti-Semitism of successive Tsarist governments had made the revolutionary movement a cause célèbre amongst Western Jews.
On 16 October, the Petrograd Soviet created the “Military Revolutionary Committee,” with the Bolshevists achieving an outright majority in the election to head this council. The Mensheviks and others then refused to participate: full control of all military forces in the capital city of Russia then fell under the control of the now freed Trotsky.
As soon as Trotsky had achieved this important breakthrough, he realized that the time was never better to act decisively. Under his orders, the Military Revolutionary Council seized all important government buildings and sites over the night of the 24-25 October 1917: the October Revolution, which would create the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the USSR), was launched.
Seemingly safe in their hold on power, the new government then held the longed for democratic elections. The results were a rude shock: the Bolsheviks received one of the lowest numbers of votes. Trotsky refused to accept the outcome: the new parliament was physically attacked under his orders by troops from the Military Revolutionary Council and dispersed, never to be heard of again.
From that time on the ideal of a democratically elected government was simply dropped from the political program of the Russian Communist Party, and rule by the commissar system continued as if nothing had happened.
The Red Terror
Moving the capital to Moscow, the Bolsheviks then instituted what became known as the Red Terror—all opponents, suspected or real and there were many of them—were arrested and most often executed in a wave of violence which made even the previous Tsarist system seem mild.
A secret police and internal security agency was set up, later to became known as the Cheka, through which opponents of the state were hunted down. Workers’ strikes, peasant uprisings, and a sailors’ revolt known as the Kronstadt Rebellion were quickly crushed. Victims included the Tsar and his entire family, gunned down and buried anonymously by Cheka policemen after months in detention.
On 30 December 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was formally established when the ethnic territories of the former Russian Empire were united with the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR).
Above: An Ukrainian family, suffering from the
emaciating disease typhus, sit by the wreckage
of their house.
(The Jewish Bolsheviks deliberately starved
millions of Ukrainians to death in 1932-1933.
See e.g., this Metapedia article.)