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

100 years onward, the Russian Revolution continues to inspire

4001
15
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. 

15 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. 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!!!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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

  6. 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.

    • Perhaps you care not to debate because you cannot support your positions with truth and facts. Capitalism (American style) has done more to improve the lot of the “oppressed” than any other “ism”. You cannot provide one example of successful communism or socialism that even comes even near the U.S. in terms of average income and relative lifestyle. Capitalism is not perfect because it is humans who are trying to implement it. However, it is only capitalism that recognizes human faults and through incentives and the rule of law encourages individuals to work towards a common goal. Communism and socialism fails to understand the true nature of humans. This failure ultimately results in true believers imposing their views through force and coercion. That is why communism and socialism has failed (relative to the US) every time it has been tried (see Venezuela).

    • Mo Tangest you are the one who is misinformed. Every Socialist / Collectivist movement that has seized reigns of power has lead to death. The October revolution lead to purging and death, as did the Cuban revolution, the great leap forward under Mao lead to enforced mass starvation, add on the events in Cambodia, the massacre of the boat people in Vietnam, North Korea, Hitler and his national socialist German workers party, hell even Mussolini was a socialist. Every one lead to death and rise of a strong man. The perfect example would be the French revolution which was socialist (Marx and Engles didnt invent socialism) and authoritarian in nature. The king and church oppressed and taxes the poor, the poor got pissed amd rioted storming the Bastille, the Jacobins directed the anger towards revolution, the Jacobin purged the aristocrats first then any “enemy of the revolution”, the reign of terror occured and rivers of blood literally ran in the streets, the insanity caused by the revolution imploded allowing Napoleon to take power and crown himself emperor.
      All of these revolutions come from a Malthusian perspective which is the common mans life is only going to get worse and there wont be enough resources therefore famines will be common. The opposite has happened life has only gotten better and there is less scarcity and if you graph a map of the per capita wealth which is a measure of the standard of living since Malthus you will see it becomes a straight vertical line in the western counties that industrialized first then Japan after the war. After communism fell in Europe then the eastern bloc has steadily risen and with the economic liberalisation eg capitalisic principles India and China are being transformed and about 1 billion people have been lifted out of abject poverty. Capitalism also breeds egalitarianism the fundamental tenet of capitalism is to gain wealth you must provide a good or service to the society writ large. If the good or service improves or enhances their lifes then members of society will opt to purchase said thing. This is mutually beneficial and improves both parties lives. The egalitarianism comes easily as capitalism requires voluntary transactions and any bigotry and hatred will necessarily shrink the available customer base. This leaves two options being social to those who are different than you which would lead to humanization and it becomes a hell of a lot harder to hate someone if you see them as human, or be a bigot shrink your customer base and risk going out of business.
      This not to say that capitalism is perfect it isn’t but it is the best system to enfranchise and enrich everyone. However unfortunately we do not live in a true capitalist society any more. Capitalism is being crushed by the ever expanding government and the government is favoring corporatism which is a form of wealth redistribution where money is redistributed directly via tax credits to favored industries or indirectly by creating barriers of entry for new businesses with regulations that only massive corporations have the legal departments to fully follow which drives up the price of goods and services or tariffs artifically restricting the market by artificially inflating the price of a foreign good which in turn inflates the price of the local goods and if high enough can lead to depressions. Monopolies are also a form of corporatism as they can not exist in the wild only government action can create those.
      Socialism on the other by its nature requires force and violence. e.g.. If the rich do not give up their property to the “peoples collective”.which is just the government.then what do nothing or send in guys with clubs and guns to “incentivize”.
      Also your ending bit about the other poster while I can not know what is in his mind but reading his post I see only contempt of a privileged college student advocating for a system of government and philosophy that killed at least one hundred million and oppressed even more. You assume that he stands against the oppressed and is wicked merely for disagreeing with your world view in an albeit sarcastic manner.

  7. Capitalism isn’t perfect but during the past 100+ years it’s raised more people out of poverty than all other economic systems combined…especially Communism. Human nature is pretty simple. If everyone at the factory makes the same salary as their laziest co-worker, why work harder than the laziest co-worker? More important, why attempt to produce/introduce new inventions if the inventor won’t benefit? It’s pretty obvious why communist countries don’t invent personal computers, cell phones, small-pox and polio vaccines, televisions, the internet, apps, Ferraris, personal massagers, etc., etc., etc., etc.

    Once a Communist revolution succeeds in a country, it then becomes frozen in time. Compare the car industry in the Eastern Block versus the Free World during the Cold War to see what I’m talking about. During the 1970s, not only were the EB workers completely impoverished compared to the Western world, but they were still building the same old-fashioned cars built by their fathers! Even worse, 2 out of 5 people were paid government informants. So every time a family gathered for a holiday, there was a good chance that at least two of them were government snitches. You hate your family, which is your right, but I love my mom, dad, sisters and brothers and I will fight any Communist attempt to destroy the family unit.

    If one’s goal is to impoverish an entire nation of people then Communism is the perfect plan of attack for the ignorant. Plus, Communist revolution always results in the lining-up of tens or even hundreds of millions of citizens to murder in order to secure the new leaders’ positions. From Che to Stalin to Pol Pot to Mao…Communists live for murder. No thanks. You’re evil.

    • I don’t think he is evil per se just misinformed about communism which is sad as those that start a revolution are generally purged by the next generation when the strongman takes charge.

  8. Communism has never worked wherever it has been tried. The only reason it even exists today is because of authoritarian rule by the leadership who wishes to remain in power and reserve all rights and privileges to itself.

  9. Guys, come on… You can not actually expect an intelligent conversation with him. I’ve met him several times at Tantra…. he is smelly and socially awkward. He makes bad decisions in life then expects to blame others for the consequences. not to mention he constantly tries to bum stuff off other people instead of bettering himself and getting it on his own.

    Now, there is nothing wrong if you actually try and need help then seek assistance… but if you do not even try, why should you deserve it!

    He just wants to be “trendy” and fight “the man”-man.

    I feel sorry for any idiot who actually believes in that crap…. No good has ever come of it! only lots of innocent murders! Fuck communism it does not speak for the people! only for the over privileged little brats.

    Have you actually met a poor person who was for communism, They all come from middle class and privileged backgrounds… then try to convert poor and uneducated peoples about how THEY will save them… only to kill them when they speak out against their atrocities.

    ALSO: “Comrades”….. PLEASE, take a bath!

    • Wars waste resources that can be more efficiently allocated to a more useful endeavor. Its why the economic broken window theory is flawed it ignores the opportunity cost associated with taking an unneeded action such as fighting a war.

Leave a Reply to Gio Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

eleven − 9 =