Home Opinions 100 years onward, the Russian Revolution continues to inspire

100 years onward, the Russian Revolution continues to inspire

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Photo illustration by Haley Prieto

On May 27th, in perfect Austin fashion, Alamo Drafthouse at The Ritz showcased what it calls “one of the most immersive and rarefied experiences in the history of cinema.”

Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 masterpiece, “Stalker,” is perhaps the greatest film you have never seen—like “The Wizard of Oz” if it were set in Chernobyl. However, seeing the Worker and Kolkhoz Woman statue moments before the film began is what moved me to tears.

The statue served as the logo for Mosfilm, the Soviet company responsible for distributing the film. It depicts a man and a woman respectively holding a hammer and sickle in the air, representing the optimism the Bolshevik revolution instilled in revolutionaries the world over. The statue presents the men and women of revolutionary Russia as equals, daringly venturing to a future in which communist ideology would liberate every worker in the world.

The Bolshevik Revolution sought to overthrow the oppressive Czarist regime with a radical democracy rooted in the union of the worker and the peasant. This new form of government would take the economy, industries, transportation, land and give it back to the people. The iconic figures associated with the revolution, such as Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, firmly believed this was the only way to achieve a lasting peace and avoid oppression.

As a Marxist myself, I believe the assumption in its entirety. The revolutionaries were also correct in thinking if communism were to thrive, the rest of the world’s countries would also have to undergo their own revolutions.

This did not happen.

Within a decade of the Bolsheviks storming of the Winter Palace, effectively turning Russia into the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, described by Lenin as “self-serving” and “authoritarian,” had consolidated power. The rest—which included prison camps, purges and starvation—is history.

In our current political climate, in which tyranny and nationalism are once more rearing their ugly heads, the “resistance” could learn a thing or two from the Bolsheviks.

Lenin’s form of international communism sought to usher in a new era for mankind. The revolutionaries did not want the rest of the 20th century to be defined by war between the old world’s empires, using peasants as their pawns. The Great War had already shown the world how frightening new weaponry could be. Instead, they had a desire to unite the world and perfect our newfound technologies—such as automation and flight—to do away with the exploitation of labor.

Much of our current mainstream activists simply seek to replace President Donald J. Trump with another member of the ruling capitalist class. Salvation will not be found in impeaching Trump or through the mid-term elections in November of 2018.

Likewise, stating, “don’t blame me, I voted for Hillary,” helps no one. Instead, salvation for our species, which faces a bevy of existential crises in the coming decades, lies in ridding ourselves of a suicidal economic ideology: capitalism. Trump’s election, Brexit, the tide of nationalism sweeping over Europe and the Syrian Civil War are a result of capitalism’s fundamental instability. It is prone to crisis, cannot exist without exploitation and thrives off conflict.

Let us learn from the Bolsheviks and replace the Winter Palace with the White House, the Czars with the Trumps, Russia with the world.

-Rudy Martinez is a philosophy junior. 

6 COMMENTS

  1. LOL!

    History shows us what happens when people listen to your “dream” view of governance!
    Marxists are no different from Nazis!

    Same actions different name!

    But no, I am not saying that “capitalism” has always been a fair and honest system…. BUT it works FAR better and provides for more freedom than communism does!
    Nor am i saying all ideas from it are terrible, some are good.

    But in practice, it has not worked well at all!

    People need to find a nice balance….. the extremes of any system are never good!

    But I laugh at you Rudy! You are so ignorant of the realities of the world.
    So many people want to identify as “Marxists” so they can seem “edgy” and “cool” when they know KNOTHING of what it has caused! I have many friends who they or their families FLED countries with Marxist ideologies because of horrendous application.

    Maybe you wish to identify because you were a loner in school and people picked on you, or maybe it is because you come from a privileged household but your parents ignored you… I don’t know your reasoning… but I can guarantee you are gravely misinformed of the realities of your identification.

    Just as with any marxist revolution…. They brainwash a bunch of DUMB and impressionable youths (because they are young, but old enough to be an adult. They want to be treated as such, but they do not have the knowledge or the means to do so. They want to have purpose and change the world so they can feel like they mean something)
    And first they may actually take out tyrants who were ruling over everyone, but once they start they can never STOP. As more youths who joined late, and still want to feel as if they are making a difference and doing something, they start becoming more “liberal” with their choice of targets and ways of killing.
    “This professor failed me because I did not study! He should have acknowledged my genius! I Know I am a genius” -DEAD!
    “My mom slapped me when I was a kid and stole from the store! She doesn’t understand that there is no ownership!” -DEAD

    “Wait maybe you guys are getting out of hand now, I might understand being mad at the tyrants before, but now you guys are just killing anyone”
    !!!YOU DARE DEFY US! –DEAD

    -DEAD

    -DEAD

    -DEAD

    -DEAD

    -DEAD

    -DEAD

    And please, you guys act as if Trump is some horrible tyrant, he is hardly that… Not saying that he is a good person or even makes a great president… I certainly did not vote for him… but I do think it is odd how the media and dumb yuths try to paint him off as though he was some tyrant.
    He is not very different from past presidents, and not even near as conservative as even say Bush.

    Just now that almost everyone has smartphones with them at all times, so that means access to the internet, media, and social media at all times. People get informations in an instant (whether true or not) and now a generation of kids who grew up on the internet with their echo room of friends… ~Oh you do not “FEEL” as though you are Boy or Girl, but change through the week based on your mood! NO you are normal! And beautiful!~
    (not to mention someone so weak would be one of the first to die in a revolution)

    PLEASE!

    Everyone’s madness is of no consequence but their own!

    Equality and standard of living is at an all-time HIGH!
    Not to mention it has always been the highest in the west for centuries!
    But no keep complaining about life here… Seriously travel to other countries….

    Long rant… but honestly

    COMMIES = NAZI’S
    Both idiots!!!

  2. This is a recap of the Russian Revolution and some commentary on modern politics in the U.S., but with all due respect it doesn’t follow with the title. I was expecting, based on the wording, to read about how the revolution is impacting movements today, but instead it is more of a “people *should* take lessons” type article which is prescriptive rather than descriptive. The title should more accurately be “should inspire us” rather than ‘continues to inspire’. Otherwise, a compelling historical commentary.

    • Revision: I mis-characterized the use of prescriptive/descriptive portion. I meant more this is a piece on how the author things people ‘should’ act, which doesn’t imply inspiration is happening. Thus, the title is misleading to me. I am sorry for any confusion with those two terms used.

  3. LOL!

    History shows us what happens when people listen to your “dream” view of governance!

    Marxists are no different from Nazis!

    Same actions different name!

    But no, I am not saying that “capitalism” has always been a fair and honest system…. BUT it works FAR better and provides for more freedom than communism does!

    Nor am i saying all ideas from it are terrible, some are good.

    But in practice, it has not worked well at all!

    People need to find a nice balance….. the extremes of any system are never good!

    But I laugh at you Rudy! You are so ignorant of the realities of the world.

    So many people want to identify as “Marxists” so they can seem “edgy” and “cool” when they know KNOTHING of what it has caused! I have many friends who they or their families FLED countries with Marxist ideologies because of horrendous application.

    Maybe you wish to identify because you were a loner in school and people picked on you, or maybe it is because you come from a privileged household but your parents ignored you… I don’t know your reasoning… but I can guarantee you are gravely misinformed of the realities of your identification.

    Just as with any marxist revolution…. They brainwash a bunch of DUMB and impressionable youths (because they are young, but old enough to be an adult. They want to be treated as such, but they do not have the knowledge or the means to do so. They want to have purpose and change the world so they can feel like they mean something)
    And first they may actually take out tyrants who were ruling over everyone, but once they start they can never STOP. As more youths who joined late, and still want to feel as if they are making a difference and doing something, they start becoming more “liberal” with their choice of targets and ways of killing.
    “This professor failed me because I did not study! He should have acknowledged my genius! I Know I am a genius” -DEAD!
    “My mom slapped me when I was a kid and stole from the store! She doesn’t understand that there is no ownership!” -DEAD

    “Wait maybe you guys are getting out of hand now, I might understand being mad at the tyrants before, but now you guys are just killing anyone”
    !!!YOU DARE DEFY US! –DEAD

    -DEAD

    -DEAD

    -DEAD

    -DEAD

    -DEAD

    -DEAD

    And please, you guys act as if Trump is some horrible tyrant, he is hardly that… Not saying that he is a good person or even makes a great president… I certainly did not vote for him… but I do think it is odd how the media and dumb yuths try to paint him off as though he was some tyrant.
    He is not very different from past presidents, and not even near as conservative as even say Bush.

    Just now that almost everyone has smartphones with them at all times, so that means access to the internet, media, and social media at all times. People get informations in an instant (whether true or not) and now a generation of kids who grew up on the internet with their echo room of friends… ~Oh you do not “FEEL” as though you are Boy or Girl, but change through the week based on your mood! NO you are normal! And beautiful!~
    (not to mention someone so weak would be one of the first to die in a revolution)

    PLEASE!

    Everyone’s madness is of no consequence but their own!

    Equality and standard of living is at an all-time HIGH!
    Not to mention it has always been the highest in the west for centuries!
    But no keep complaining about life here… Seriously travel to other countries….

    Long rant… but honestly

    COMMIES = NAZI’S
    Both idiots!!!

  4. great article and i agree capitalism is shit… but why is nationalism bad? globalists and capitalists are the same people… so isnt nationalism giving them the middle finger? trump shits on globalists daily.. i enjoy the article and would love your thoughts on why nationalism is bad

  5. Gio you are the one who is profoundly ignorant; so much so that I don’t even want to debate you. Your trash talk is a clear evidence of your ignorance of history (recent history) and contempt for those who are oppressed and are struggling to change the world is sick.
    Your views are much closer to the nazis than you think.

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