Reply To: Lecture 34, Russian revolution.


Marx himself considered Russia way behind Germany in social and economic development–as indeed it was, by any objective measure. Marx too thought the revolution would begin in a Western country. It wasn’t just Lenin’s germanophilia that led him to think the revolution would start in Germany.

Nicholas I decided after the Crimean War that significant reform of his empire was necessary to bring Russia up to the economic level of France, Britain, Germany, etc. Alexander II had the same idea. Ditto Stolypin. The idea is also reflected in many of the great works of 19th-century Russian literature, such as FATHERS AND SONS. The shame of it is that Nicholas II was overthrown, then that Kerensky was. A terrible shame, Russia’s last century.

And then at the end of Communism, Gorbachev launches perestroika — to catch the USSR up with the West.