PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-World History
12.3 Consequences and Significance of the Russian Revolution
The Russian Revolution is regarded as one of the
most remarkable events in human history since it set up a new way
of living and thinking.
Dr. J.E. Swain has rightly commented, "Nothing
has so completely challenged orthodox theories, since the French
revolutionists overthrew the Bourbons. The Russians, in a few years,
have set up standards for a new way of living and thinking."
The Russian Revolution brought to an end the Czarist
regime. In its place a Republic was established.
The Revolution threw a challenge to the values
of western culture, the fundamental principles of trade and industry,
the well-established systems of government, the social, economic
and political institutions and the methods of diplomacy. Thus the
world was forced to re-evaluate the western values of democracy.
The Russian Revolution of 1917 was an event of
international significance. It struck terror in the minds of the
capitalists all over the world as the Revolution made an irresistible
appeal to the proletarians. Therefore it was claimed that "The
proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a
world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!" The Russian
Revolution thus invited the laboring people all over the world to
unite against the capitalist class. Thus a war was declared between
totalitarian dictatorship and democratic socialism, between Marxism
The colonial people were awoken form their long
slumber of ignorance. A new consciousness of their political rights
against their imperialist masters had been injected into them. The
revolution deeply affected the minds of millions in Asia and Africa;
they were provided with a fresh weapon in the form of the principle
of self-determination of all peoples.
The success of the Russian Revolution, changed
the character of the nationalist revolutions in the colonial world.
They were given a new social and economic content.
In the political field, the cult of the ícommon
maní was a major result of Soviet democracy. The proletariat regarded
socialism as absolutely necessary to complete democracy and make
it realistic. Countries like Albania, Bulgaria, Poland, Peking,
China and Mongolia established proletarian dictatorship.
In the economic field, the conception of economic
planning (Five-Year Plans) and the idea of central direction of
the national economy with definite goals, emerged from the Soviet
Union. E.H. Carr declared, " If we are all planners now, this
is largely the result, conscious or unconscious, of the impact of
Soviet practice and Soviet achievement."
The Soviet economic planning was directed towards
the realization of three well-defined social goals. Firstly, the
promotion of the material and moral conditions of the proletariat;
the realization of the social or the common good of society by and
through society and finally the securing of equal social obligations
The Bolshevik Revolution divided the world into
two diametrically opposed power blocs; one being the communist bloc
led by the Soviet Union and the other being the anti-Communist bloc,
under the leadership of the U.S. The Revolution of 1917 transformed
a poverty-stricken Czarist Russia into a super power, under the
guiding spirits of Lenin, Stalin and other leaders.
The Bolshevik Revolution is still going on. It
continually demonstrates the values that transformed a backward
and decadent state into a super power of the world, within the short
span of sixty years. It attracts many more millions of Southeast
Asia and the Middle East.