Russian Revolution of 1917

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The Russian Revolution refers to the 1917 February Revolution and October Revolution in Russia that overthrew the autocratic rule of Tsar Nicholas II, who was replaced by a provisional government, and then the October Revolution which established a soviet republic. It is widely recognised as a social revolution, although some Marxists argue, given the lack of capitalist development, that it was a bourgeois republican revolution from the start.


February Revolution[edit]

The February Revolution (March in our calendar) overthrowed the Tsardom and established a bourgeois provisional government.

October Revolution[edit]

The October Revolution (November in our calendar) deposed the provisional government and established a soviet republic. On the first meeting of the Congress of Soviets as the new ruling state organ, the 649 delegates to which were elected by the soviets (workers' councils), the Bolsheviks obtained 390, and the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, 100. Lenin was elected by the Congress as the head of government.[1]


Debate exists about when the counter-revolution had set in. Especially left-wing currents in communism tend to argue that since a social revolution is defined as the transformation of the social relations of production, the counter-revolution began in 1917 or 1918 with the Bolshevik-led seizure of power (which bypassed the Second Congress of Soviets) or the reversal of workers' control in favour of one-man management in 1918 with the introduction of 'war communism'.[2]

Others identify the isolation of the Revolution as the source for its degeneration. Failing to spread, the Revolution was condemned to assume a capitalist form.

Left Communist Amadeo Bordiga argued that the Russian revolution was politically socialist, but owing to the lack of capitalist development, the Stalinist counter-revolution was the victory of the economic base over the superstructure.[3]


Lenin Era[edit]

Stalin Era[edit]

After Vladimir Lenin died, Joseph Stalin took power in the Soviet Union.

Soviet Union[edit]


  1. All-Russian Congress of Workers' and Soldiers' Soviet Deputies, Second. A. M. Kulegin. Encyclopaedia of St. Petersburg.
  2. Paresh Chattopadhyay, the Marxian Concept of Capital and the Soviet experience, p. 156-157
  3. Paresh Chattopadhyay, The Marxian Concept of Capital and the Soviet Experience, p. 155.