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Russian Revolution

The 1905 revolution and its lessons

by Doug Lorimer

Doug Lorimer is a member of the National Executive of the Democratic Socialist Perspective in Australia. This is a talk presented to the DSP's January 2005 Marxism Summer School.

Contents

Soviets of workers' deputies

January 1905 protest

Bolsheviks and Mensheviks

Anti-feudal revolution

Marxism versus Narodnism

Marxism and the peasantry

Monopoly capitalism

Russo-Japanese War

Lessons drawn by Lenin

Footnotes

 

One hundred years ago this month, the first proletarian revolution in the new imperialist epoch of capitalism began. This revolution, the first Russian revolution, was born of mass discontent aggravated by a deeply unpopular war, the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. It began with a wave of strikes, riots and street demonstrations protesting the police shooting on a peaceful mass workers' demonstration in St Petersburg, the capital of the vast Russian Empire, on Sunday, January 22, 1905 (January 9 in the Julian calendar still in use in Russia at the time), killing 1000 and wounding 2000 of the 200,000 marchers.

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