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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 and capitalism.

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 and rights.

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.


12.0 - Introduction
12.1 Causes of theRussian Revolution
12.2 The Course of the Russian Revolution
12.3 Consequences and Significance of the Russian Revolution
12.4 Dates & Events
12.5 Points to Remember

Chapter 13


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