Russian workers in the 1917 revolution:
the subject of the history or cannon fodder?


Mironov B.N.

Dr. Sci. (Hist.), Prof., Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia mironov1942@yandex.ru

ID of the Article: 6554


For citation:

Mironov B.N. Russian workers in the 1917 revolution: the subject of the history or cannon fodder?. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 2. P. 24-35




Abstract

According to the author, Russian workers before 1917 did not form a class and did not possess a proletarian socialist ideology. They took an active part in the revolutionary movement and in the overthrow of the monarchy, but not because of their revolutionary character, their organization, or their awareness. Main reason for their increased revolutionism was the fact that they were semiliterate, the most demographically disadvantaged, the most marginal, and the most frustrated and criminogenic social group of the Imperial Russian population, and they were prone for these reasons to radicalism, aggressiveness, deviation, and manipulation. The radicalism and aggressiveness of the proletariat was echoed in the Social-Democratic program, the most radical and aggressive of all the political programs. Simple and understandable slogans and skillful propaganda ensured the success of the Bolsheviks in the proletarian context, and their large-scale, skilled organizational work allowed them to mobilize the proletariat and direct its energy into the necessary channels – for use as cannon fodder for the revolution.


Keywords
Russian Revolution of 1917; working class; cultural level; the labor movement; manipulation of workers; marginality; frustration; human cognitive development; Jean Piaget; Bolsheviks

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