Sunday, June 20, 2010

Good factions in the Russian Revolution

I may have covered the same territory a few years ago in a post, but here it goes. Really interesting folks in the Russian Revolution were the Anarchists, the Left Socialist Revolutionary Party people, and the ultra-Left Bolshevik tendency inspired by Alexander Bogdanov, which had a long history but which was diffusely organized formally during the revolution itself, although some people associated with the Mezhraiontsy tendency were associates, and the current gained lots of power post-Revolution through the Proletkult organization.

All of them are interesting currents. I'm assuming that folks who see this web page are at least somewhat familiar with the anarchists, but the Left SRs and Bogdanov's group are much more obscure. The Left SRs were a group that came out of agrarian communism and combined a sort of pre-modern consciousness on the topic of private property with a will to also organize industrial workers. Influenced by Marxism but not nearly as nit-pickingly Marxist as the Bolsheviks, they also rejected the idea of industrial workers as being the vanguard of the whole society as well as the idea of a vanguard party representing this vanguard itself. Later, they formed a coalition government with the Bolsheviks, then had their party dissolved, whereupon lots of SRs joined the Bolshevik party and worked for their goals through the prevailing system of the time.

Bogdanov is a book in himself, and possibly the more interesting of the two non-anarchist currents, but suffice it to say he came close to a sort of Left Communism in his opinions, and had an interesting approach and philosophy to boot. Search "Bogdanov" in the tool bar on the top of the page for previous mentions, which go back all the way to the very start of the blog. I found out about Bogdanov in 1998 through finding the book "Lenin and the Cultural Revolution" by Carmen Claudin-Urando in a used bookstore in Windsor, ON, across from Detroit, and have been a fan ever since. He forms a foundational part of my thought on things.

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