At this week’s meeting, UMD Socialists and the ISO will be discussing the Russian Revolution and how the tactics of 1917 can be used to quash facism in 2017.. Students and non-students are welcone to attend. Non-students should park by the tennis courts adjacent to the Stamp Student Union, then walk down Library Lane to the end and turn left. You will see the entrance to Jimenez on your left.
Some of us have been reading Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution all year long. The part we will be covering is Chapters 31-33 online (Chapters 30-32 for those with hard copies of the book). This would be the chapters on “Kerensky’s Plot”, “Kornilov’s Insurrection” and “The Bourgeoisie Measures Strength with the Democracy”. Here is the link https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1930/hrr/ch31.htm
For those new to the Russian Revolution or who do not have the time to read 3 chapters, I recommend Jen Roesch’s article on this topic https://socialistworker.org/2013/07/12/how-kornilov-was-defeated.
At this meetingv, we will discuss how the Bolsheviks and other revolutionaries defeated the attempted coup by General Kornilov in August 1917. Kornilov represented the most right-wing of Russian reaction. Had he succeeded, he not only would have crushed the revolution, but certainly would have instituted violent reprisals against socialists, workers and – in all likelihood Jews. Trotsky remarked that had Kornilov been successful, fascism would have been a Russian word instead of an Italian one.
The Revolution only triumphed because the Bolsheviks chose to enter a temporary alliance with socialist organizations to their right of them, organizations which just a few weeks earlier had called for the arrest and imprisonment of Bolshevik leaders. This was a key example of what would later be called “the united front”, making tactical alliance with reformist organizations in order to win important demands while maintaining the organizational independence of revolutionary organizations. Although Russia in 1917 was very different than the US a hundred years later, there are still key lessons we can learn from this episode for organizing in the here and now.
For more from: D.C. Socialists – ISO