Lessons from the October Revolution: What Was Promised and What People Received
(Minghui.org) The February Revolution broke out in Russia in 1917, paving the way for capitalism. But the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, decided to have more extreme measures and plotted more revolutions.
This fit the plan of Germany, who was at war with Russia at the time. As a result, Germany paid 50 million Deutsche marks to Lenin for another revolution in Russia to weaken the country from inside, wrote Richard Pipes in The Russian Revolution.
October Revolution: Propaganda and Violence
Hours after hearing about the February Revolution from Switzerland, Lenin proposed several tactics to Bolshevik leaders in Russia on how to seize power, including “no trust or support for the new government,” arming the proletariat, and “ [making] make no rapprochement of any kind with other parties,” wrote Victor Sebestyen’s in a 2017 biography Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror.
Sponsored by the German government, Lenin and 30 other or so Russian citizens traveled from Zurich all the way to Petrograd (St. Petersburg), where he gave a speech condemning the Provisional Government and called for a continent-wide European proletarian revolution. These proposals, known as April Theses, laid out his communism agenda adapted to the Russian situation.
With freedom from the Provisional Government and money from the German government, Lenin wasted no time launching over 40 newspapers promising people “peace (including that with Germany), land and bread” – all of which turned out to be lies later. In the following months, he and other Bolshevik leaders advocated these ideas through newspapers and meetings to convince workers, soldiers, sailors, and peasants to join the cause. Scholars found that to avoid alienating the general public, Lenin did not talk in Marxism and socialism terms; rather, he advocated to demolish the existing system towards a country controlled by the workers.
Because of his role in armed political demonstration in July and connection with Germany, Lenin was wanted by the Provisional Government. As many workers began to believe in the Bolshevik propaganda, Lenin returned to Petrograd and planned armed violence to overthrow the Provisional Government.
As the armed militia took control of the city’s key transport, communication, printing, and utility hubs in October 1917, Bolsheviks besieged the government in the Winter Palace. Preparing for democracy, the Provisional Government had no power to resist violence from Lenin, other Bolsheviks, and the deceived workers.
Aftermath: What People Received
Historians believed Lenin and Bolsheviks could mobilize ordinary citizens because they promised peace, land, and freedom, all of which were badly sought at the time. All three, however, turned out to be lies soon afterwards.
As speculated, the All Russian Constitute Assembly, a constitutional body, convened in Russia in January 1918. The Bolsheviks were not the majority, but they were in control. “The guard is tired,” said the guard leader to the deputies while holding weapons in hand. The first and last assembly was thus ended. This followed by more years of unrest. The Civil War lasted until 1923 and it took the lives of almost 13 million people.
Lenin issued The Decree on Land, and gave the land to the peasants, only to reclaim the land about a decade later in the collectivization moment. By the early 1930s, more than 91% of the agricultural land was confiscated this way, which also included livestock and other assets. It was estimated that 7-14 million people died in the Great Famine in the 1930s. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) also repeated this experiment three decades later with a higher death toll – about 45 million during the Great Chinese Famine between 1959 and 1961.
While people were able to enjoy the freedom of publishing, assembly, and speech during the pre-Soviet era, the Bolshevik terminated all these rights by the first half of 1921. Repression of opposing forces was also unprecedented. After Menshevism was deemed illegal in 1921, Lenin announced at The 11th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in 1922 that anyone who advocated Menshevism would be executed.
Ironically, those individuals who helped Lenin and Bolsheviks with publication and manipulation of public opinions could not escape either. Between 1918 and February 1922, the Soviet secret police Cheka was estimated to have killed at least 200,000 people.
“Do not look in the file of incriminating evidence to see whether or not the accused rose up against the Soviets with arms or words. Ask him instead to which class he belongs, what is his background, his education, his profession. These are the questions that will determine the fate of the accused,” instructed Martin Latsis, chief of the Ukrainian Cheka, “That is the meaning and essence of the Red Terror.”
The culture also changed dramatically. Lenin advocated sexual freedom, nudist anarchists aboard trams, a nude beach near the cathedral of Christ the Savior, and so on.
As a legitimate heir of the Roman Empire, Russia not only adopted communism politically, but also deviated from traditional values culturally.
Shadow of October Revolution
Unfortunately, some people are not aware of communism’s harm and still kept their wishful thinking. After decades of deep infiltration by the CCP, many aspects of the free world, including the U.S., have yielded to the communism ideology, from government officials and business leaders to the education system and news media.
Take the media as an example. Since Trump took office in 2016 and declared that “In America, we don’t worship government — we worship God,” many mainstream news media has been attacking him for his efforts to restore traditional values and counter the communism ideology. Such propaganda has turned many people against Trump.
After the coronavirus pandemic broke out, the media cranked up their attack on Trump, when in fact he had quickly banned travel from China to limit the virus' spread. During the election, there was little media coverage of potential voter fraud.
When Trump held a press conference on November 5 calling for a fair election, all three major news networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS) cut off live broadcasting – a tactic often seen in communist societies. Similarly, social media outlets including Facebook and Twitter hastily labeled many posts from Trump or his supporters as “misinformation.”
Tens of thousands of American citizens rallied in Washington DC on November 14 to support Trump and call for an investigation of election fraud. Once again, news media smeared them and portrayed them as violent people. After most rally goers had left, groups began to assault Trump supporters, but this attack remained unreported by news media.
Trump has warned that his opponent would bring chaos and socialism to America. His unrelenting stance against communism and a repeat of “October Revolution” in the U.S. drew support from people in other parts of the world too, including China, where over 360 million people have quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
The world has witnessed the terror and tragedy brought by communism. As the communist movement has died out in the Soviet Union and eastern European countries, it is imperative that the U.S. remain the beacon of hope in the free world that protects traditional values.