Was the Russian Revolution a miracle?

In assessing miracles, I suggest we turn to V.I. Lenin. With news that the tsar had abdicated and a provisional (bourgeois) government installed in early 1917, he writes:

There are no miracles in nature or history, but every abrupt turn in history, and this applies to every revolution, presents such a wealth of content, unfolds such unexpected and specific combinations of forms of struggle and alignment of forces of the contestants, that to the lay mind there is much that must appear miraculous. (Collected Works, vol 23, p. 297).

Once he warms to the idea, he puts aside his scepticism and says:

Workers, you have performed miracles of proletarian heroism, the heroism of the people, in the civil war against tsarism. You must perform miracles of organisation, organisation of the proletariat and of the whole people, to prepare the way for your victory in the second stage of the revolution. (Collected Works, vol. 23, pp. 306-7).

Note carefully: one miracle down (overthrowing the tsar); one to go (turfing out the bourgies and bringing about the second stage of the revolution). So now we have two miracles.

Comrade workers! You performed miracles of proletarian heroism yesterday in overthrowing the tsarist monarchy. In the more or less near future (perhaps even now, as these lines are being written) you will again have to perform the same miracles of heroism to overthrow the rule of the land lords and capitalists, who are waging the imperialist war. You will not achieve durable victory in this next “real” revolution if you do not perform miracles of proletarian organisation. (Collected Works, vol 23, p. 323).

When you have two, you have a multiple: one, two, many miracles are now possible. Ever keen for a motivating slogan, Lenin identifies two. ‘Miracles of proletarian heroism’ might be back-dated to the overthrow of tsarism, but what is the slogan for the forthcoming October revolution?

Miracles of proletarian organisation! That is the slogan of the moment! (Collected Works, vol. 23, p. 360).

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2 thoughts on “Was the Russian Revolution a miracle?

  1. Capitalism may not win as says Steve Keen, Immanuel Wallerstein and even Dan Ellsberg (the war failed in Vietnam and Afghanistan), and Naomi Wolf (where does it take us to a war with no boundaries and no end) and how did they get there (Aijaz Ahmad), because capitalism defeated communism on the boundaries. How to perform miracles, if the ‘will to power’ is still there? And how to defeat the ‘will to power’ that is the question? What aspect of religion makes the ‘will to power’ Marx and Lenin will ask? And do any of us firebrands ever get supervisors, or are we just somehow too un-intellectual because we can’t ‘copy-paste’ and just go bury ourselves and let the ‘will to power’ live on.

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