- Created: Thursday, 29 June 2017 09:40
- Written by Patrick Newman
Lenin addresses the workers at the Putilov Works
In 2017 we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the beginning of the most important struggle for socialism, peace, and progress in history. Throughout the year, FRFI is carrying articles which analyse the lessons of the Bolshevik Revolution. In FRFI 256 we examined the aftermath of the February Revolution and Lenin’s presentation of the April Theses. Below, we continue the series with edited versions of two articles by Patrick Newman, first published in FRFI in 1987, which analyse developments up to July 1917, with Lenin’s Bolshevik leadership working to lay the political groundwork for the socialist revolution, but holding back a premature uprising.
Full versions of these articles can be found on our website www.revolutionarycommunist.org
Factory, land and nation
Marx and Engels expected the socialist revolution to begin in Europe, particularly in countries with a large working class such as Britain or Germany. Yet the development of imperialism in the 20th century meant the spread of revolutionary movements outside Europe.
In pre-revolutionary Russia, 85% of the population lived in the countryside (in Britain at the same date, 20%) and only 5% of the labour force was employed in industry (for Britain 60%). Although the working class was small (in 1914 only three million out of a total population of 150 million) it was the most highly concentrated in the world.