Monday, March 13, 2017

No Centennial Celebration Of Either Revolution In Russia

There will be no celebration in Russsia of the centennial of either the February Revolution (March in Gregorian calendar) or the Great October Socialist Revolution (November in Gregorian calendar).  During the Soviet period there never were celebrations of the February revolution, per se, as it was superseded by the October one,  although it was de facto celebrated in that the anniversary of its begining, March 8 in Gregorian calendar, was and is International Womens' Day, and I have posted on that previously here.  The irony is that this link is a major reason why that day is not generally celebrated in the US, indeed, is not widely known thanks to anti-communist hysteria in the 1950s.

One might have thought that perhaps Vladimir Putin might have been interested in uplifting the February Revolution as overcoming weak tsardom.  But apparently he likes to glorify the tsarist regime from the period of its strong tsars, not the weak and pathetic Nicholas II who could not avoid having his government fall, pathetic loser wimp.  And pretty much the same goes for Alexander Kerensky, whose form of government partly resembled what is in place now, a more or less democratically elected Duma, but no president with strong powers.  But Kerensky was another pathetic wimp loser who could not maintain power and got overthrown, nothing to celebrate there!

Then we have the big one, which was always celebrated as the biggest holiday of the year (followed by May Day and Victory Day, May 9, which does get celebrated now), November 7.  But no, the problem being that while Lenin was strong, he was down on the Russian Orthodox Church, and that entity is now a major supporter of Putin's and a major component of his power base, also a supporter of his various shenanigans abroad, all of this part of making Russia great again like in the days of teal tsars like Peter the Great and Catherine the Great.  So, Lenin is not to be remembered either .  The bottom line is that there is nobody from 1917 that Putin can view as a heroic leader with whom he can identify and praise.  Better to forget the whole thing, although apparently in December he appointed a committee to organize some academic seminars about all of it.

Of course there is the odd matter of Stalin, whom Putin has been quietly rehabilitating even to the point of allowing statues of him to be built in certain locations, if not in Moscow.  There remain obvious problems with putting Old Joe up too much, but Putin has definitely glommed onto World War II big time as the great and glorious event, the Great Patriotic War that was the glory of Russia (and the former Soviet Union), and so Stalin must be given credit as the great leader of that.  He even gets a bit of a pass from the Church in a way that Lenin does not.  Although mostly Stalin suppressed the Church, at the lowest depths of the war when the Nazis were at the gates of Moscow, Stalin brought Church leaders in and drew on them to encourage Russian people to support the war effort as a nationalist enterprise.  So, Stalin gets more acceptance from them than does Lenin who never did anything for the Russian Orthodox Church beyond making it become heroic through persecution.

Barkley Rosser

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