Counter-Revolutionary Origins of the Soviet Tyranny

At this point in Russian Revolutionary history 97 years ago – in late October and early November 1917 – the long-suffering but gradually democratizing people of Russia

a) had overthrown Tsar Nicolas II seven months earlier in mid-March 1917,  

b) had set up a multi-party “Provisional Government” whose main purpose was to establish a permanent West European-style All-Russian Constituent Assembly,

c) had seen in April and May the belated return of Lenin, Trotsky, et al. from years of exile,

d) had beaten back a half-baked coup by Lenin’s Bolsheviks in July of that year,

e) had unwisely allowed Lenin, et al. to return from his post-coup exile in Finland, and

f) were now preparing for free, multi-party elections for the long-awaited Constituent Assembly, scheduled for December 8, 1917.

But then came what is now so grandiosely known as Lenin’s “Great October Revolution” of November 7, 1917 – October 24 on the Old Calendar (O.C.) then in use in tsarist Russia – whose 97th anniversary is now upon us.

Truth be known, this was merely a feeble counter-revolutionary coup d’état against the pro-democracy Provisional Government established by the March Revolution.  It is this ugly Leninist and Stalinist power-grab that the ten-point chronology set forth below explains precisely and truthfully – as contrasted with the pro-Soviet “history” that Vladimir Putin will soon be touting in Russia and in the compliant Western media.

Legitimizing the Soviet Tyranny

Just as he claimed at the recent Sochi Olympics that the 1991 collapse of the USSR was “the greatest human catastrophe of the last century,” so will Vlad the Bad now be attempting to legitimize the Leninist birth and the bloody Stalinist realities of Russia’s fascist-left, single-party socialist dictatorship.   

And true to form, much of the media and academia will also be portraying November 7 as the glorious anniversary date of the overthrow of the centuries-old dictatorship of the Russian tsars by Lenin’s Bolsheviks – the purported bright line between the tsarist and bourgeois evils that preceded it and the "people's democracy" that followed.  What a scam.

In order to unmask that monumental scam, here is the true history of the year-long 1917 and early 1918 upheavals in Mother Russia that reveals the counter-revolutionary and patently illegitimate origins of the Soviet and Stalinist tyranny, which Ronald Reagan eventually condemned as the “Evil Empire” – and which an imperialist and neo-colonialist Vladimir Putin is now attempting to revive.

Although all relevant facts and figures cannot possibly be stated and evaluated in any such brief review as this, suffice it to say that alleged "facts" asserted by Comrade Putin that conflict with this ten-point chronology should be considered dangerously suspect.

1. The popular, democratically motivated Russian Revolution of February-March 1917 forced Tsar Nicolas II to abdicate on March 15, 1917.

2. At that moment, Leon Trotsky was living in New York and V.I. Lenin (real name Ulianov) was in exile in Switzerland, having just stated: "Probably we and even our children may not live to the day that the [Russian] Revolution will break out."

3. Astounded by the tsar's overthrow, Lenin (that supposed clairvoyant of historical imperatives) did not return to Russia until April 16, more than one full month after the tsar's ouster.  Trotsky straggled in on May 4, almost seven weeks late.

4. An All-Russian Congress of Soviets – interim parliament of the "Provisional Government" – was elected and headed first by George Lvov and then by Social Revolutionary (SR) Alexander Kerensky, with the following make-up:

  • 285 Center and Right SRs (34%)
  • 248 Left SRs (30%)
  • 105 Bolsheviks (13%)
  • 195 others, mostly anti-Bolshevik (23%)

5. In early July, the failure of a disjointed Bolshevik-led uprising resulted in orders for the arrest of Lenin, Trotsky, Zinoviev, and other "Left" radicals.  After a month in hiding, Lenin fled to Finland but was soon allowed to return as insurance against a possible "Rightist" coup by General Lvar Kornilov.

6. The multi-party Congress of Soviets met for its last time on November 6-7, 1917.  Intimidated by yet another Bolshevik coup – not falsely labeled the “Great October Revolution” until 1927 – it took only one significant action thereafter.  That was to oust Kerensky and to name Lenin "Chief Commissar" of what was still the Provisional Government.

7. On December 8, 1917 (November 25, O.C.), previously scheduled elections (which Lenin tried unsuccessfully to delay, so as later to cancel entirely) chose the permanent Constituent Assembly – with less than 25% of the seats Bolshevik:

  • 370 Center and Right SRs (52%)
  • 40 Left SRs (5%)
  • 175 Bolsheviks (25%)
  • 122 Others, mostly anti-Bolshevik (17%)

(Disastrously for Lenin, the seats held by his Bolsheviks and their Left SR allies fell to only 30% – down sharply from 43% in the Congress of Soviets.)

8. This staunchly anti-Bolshevik Constituent Assembly convened only once – on January 18, 1918 – before being forcibly recessed by Lenin's militia during the pre-dawn hours of January 19.  Its major actions were to elect the Center-Right SR Victor Chernov as  president and to crush (237-138) a Bolshevik attempt to withdraw Russia from World War I.

9. During the afternoon of January 19, 1918 Lenin, acting as chairman of a self-appointed "All-Russian Executive Committee," issued a proclamation abolishing the Assembly and establishing single-party "Soviet" rule.

10. This completed the second (and the only effective) Bolshevik coup d'état.  First, it prevented the infant Assembly from establishing the West European-style parliamentary democracy to which it was committed by the December 8, 1917 elections.  Second, it triggered the five-year civil war that resulted in the infamous USSR in late December 1922.

If that long-forgotten infant Russian democracy had not been aborted less than 24 hours after birth in mid-January 1918, Lenin's and Stalin’s Soviet State would never have existed.  Fascist-left Communism would never have "liberated" the Russian people from all prospects of liberty – and would never have dragged them and much of Central Europe through several decades of single-party police-state Socialism.

The danger now is that a communoid Putin (a supposedly “former communist” who seems still to be of that Stalinist persuasion) is creeping outward in various revanchist directions to rebuild the Soviet Empire – both in southerly directions of Crimea, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan and in the westerly directions of Ukraine, the three Baltic States, Finland, Moldova and elsewhere in Central Europe.

With so much neo-colonialism to justify and legitimize, it should surprise no one that Comrade Putin will now be attempting to mask the counter-revolutionary and patently criminal “Great October” origins of Lenin’s and Stalin’s infamous Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.  

And, more than likely, the Western media, think-tanks, universities, and foreign policy experts will either agree with him or take no particular exception to his false claims.

A D.C.-area attorney, writer, and national security strategist, Jim Guirard was longtime chief of staff to former U.S. Senators Allen Ellender and Russell Long.  His website is devoted to truth in language and truth in history in public discourse.

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