Discussion:
A what-if seed from a joke of Plekhanov's
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David Tenner
2017-09-22 06:53:37 UTC
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What-if seed: "In the late 1880s there was [besides Populism--DT] no other
radical movement of any size in Russia. Although Marxism, under the influence
of George Plekhanov (1856-1918), was separating itself out from populism, its
influence was still very small and largely confined to Russians living
abroad. After all, *it was Plekhanov himself who joked, when he and Pavel
Axel’rod and other founders of Russian Marxism went for a boat trip on Lake
Geneva, that if they were to drown it would be the end of Russian Marxism*
[emphasis added--DT]...."
https://books.google.com/books?id=UNkev4PJX5AC&pg=PA11

OK, let's say it happens...

(Of course, many of the Populists were influenced by Marx. But it was
Plekhanov and his disciples who orginated the idea that "Marxism" was
something distinct from "Populism,", that Russia would have to go through a
capitalist stage of development, and that the proletarian--not the peasant--
was the key to a future socialist revolution in Russia. On these matters,
Plekhanov and his fellow Russian Marxists were more dogmatic than Marx
himself. How widespread would these ideas have become in Russia if we get the
Lake Geneva drowning accident Plekhanov joked about?...)

--
David Tenner
***@ameritech.net
jerry kraus
2017-09-22 14:36:49 UTC
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Post by David Tenner
What-if seed: "In the late 1880s there was [besides Populism--DT] no other
radical movement of any size in Russia. Although Marxism, under the influence
of George Plekhanov (1856-1918), was separating itself out from populism, its
influence was still very small and largely confined to Russians living
abroad. After all, *it was Plekhanov himself who joked, when he and Pavel
Axel’rod and other founders of Russian Marxism went for a boat trip on Lake
Geneva, that if they were to drown it would be the end of Russian Marxism*
[emphasis added--DT]...."
https://books.google.com/books?id=UNkev4PJX5AC&pg=PA11
OK, let's say it happens...
(Of course, many of the Populists were influenced by Marx. But it was
Plekhanov and his disciples who orginated the idea that "Marxism" was
something distinct from "Populism,", that Russia would have to go through a
capitalist stage of development, and that the proletarian--not the peasant--
was the key to a future socialist revolution in Russia. On these matters,
Plekhanov and his fellow Russian Marxists were more dogmatic than Marx
himself. How widespread would these ideas have become in Russia if we get the
Lake Geneva drowning accident Plekhanov joked about?...)
--
David Tenner
Dave, given the way the Czars were running things in Russia, a Marxist revolution was quite inevitable. Life expectancy in 1913 in Russia was 36 years of age, there had been no progress at all since the Middle Ages in Russia for the average person. People will only put up with so much, you know. When Napoleon ordered the ballet dancers in Paris to dance sans-culottes to cheer up the population, they simply refused. The Russian Nobles had so much power under the Czars they had entire ballet troupes trained to dance entirely naked!

By the way, life expectancy almost doubled in Russia under Stalin, and Khrushchev. Josef Stalin, the worlds greatest humanitarian!
The Horny Goat
2017-09-22 16:28:24 UTC
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On Fri, 22 Sep 2017 07:36:49 -0700 (PDT), jerry kraus
By the way, life expectancy almost doubled in Russia under Stalin, and Khru=
shchev. Josef Stalin, the worlds greatest humanitarian!
I dunno guys - Jerry sounds like he's trolling...
jerry kraus
2017-09-22 19:48:43 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Fri, 22 Sep 2017 07:36:49 -0700 (PDT), jerry kraus
By the way, life expectancy almost doubled in Russia under Stalin, and Khru=
shchev. Josef Stalin, the worlds greatest humanitarian!
I dunno guys - Jerry sounds like he's trolling...
Well, Horny, it's as much a commentary on the greed and incompetence of the Czars, as the benevolence of the communists. Nevertheless, life expectancy in Russia nearly doubled between the last years before World War One, and the end of the 1950's in Russia. The Czarist regime was horrific for the average Russian.
The Horny Goat
2017-09-23 02:41:44 UTC
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On Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:48:43 -0700 (PDT), jerry kraus
Well, Horny, it's as much a commentary on the greed and incompetence of the=
Czars, as the benevolence of the communists. Nevertheless, life expectan=
cy in Russia nearly doubled between the last years before World War One, an=
d the end of the 1950's in Russia. The Czarist regime was horrific for th=
e average Russian.
Ironically in light of the later record of the USSR, one of the most
enlightened aspects of the Czarist regime was its prison system. Sure
they executed some people (the Decembrists and Mr. Ulyanov immediately
come to mind) but no one who knows anything about the Czarist penal
system can possibly think it is the spiritual forefather of the Gulag
- that one Lenin and Stalin (and Solzhenitsyn has demonstrated that
the original gulags did start before the death of Lenin when he was
fully in control) will have to "wear" themselves.

No question Stalin amplified and made the Gulag more horrific but the
evidence is pretty strong it was NOT his invention.
jerry kraus
2017-09-25 13:11:02 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Fri, 22 Sep 2017 12:48:43 -0700 (PDT), jerry kraus
Well, Horny, it's as much a commentary on the greed and incompetence of the=
Czars, as the benevolence of the communists. Nevertheless, life expectan=
cy in Russia nearly doubled between the last years before World War One, an=
d the end of the 1950's in Russia. The Czarist regime was horrific for th=
e average Russian.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by The Horny Goat
Ironically in light of the later record of the USSR, one of the most
enlightened aspects of the Czarist regime was its prison system.
Indeed, Horny, you're right, this was perhaps the ONLY enlightened aspect of the Czarist regime. Sure, the USSR imprisoned and killed a lot of people. The Czars just let everyone in the country freeze and starve to death, whether they were in prison or not!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sure
Post by The Horny Goat
they executed some people (the Decembrists and Mr. Ulyanov immediately
come to mind) but no one who knows anything about the Czarist penal
system can possibly think it is the spiritual forefather of the Gulag
- that one Lenin and Stalin (and Solzhenitsyn has demonstrated that
the original gulags did start before the death of Lenin when he was
fully in control) will have to "wear" themselves.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by The Horny Goat
No question Stalin amplified and made the Gulag more horrific but the
evidence is pretty strong it was NOT his invention.
The Czars killed far more people by simple neglect than the USSR ever killed by intention. Indeed, all we have to do is look at what happened after the glorious "fall of communism" in the 1990's in Russia -- average life expectancy dropped 10% from 66 to 60 -- to see exactly the same process, in reverse!
t***@go.com
2017-09-23 20:59:16 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Fri, 22 Sep 2017 07:36:49 -0700 (PDT), jerry kraus
By the way, life expectancy almost doubled in Russia under Stalin, and Khru=
shchev. Josef Stalin, the worlds greatest humanitarian!
I dunno guys - Jerry sounds like he's trolling...
I guess 'Holocaust denial' is not just something
that happens with the far right. When the far
left does it however they often tend to try to
change its name so that it might not seem morally
equivalent.

You have to love the 'politics' and 'economics'
exceptions to the definition of genocide that
the Communist block made sure were included
when the legal definition of it was first
generated. It is of course a good thing
when a government mass exterminates peaceful
segments of its population as long as 'politics'
and 'economics' are the supposed criteria for
the extermination. Of course with the repeal
of 'due process of law', then the government
can think up any reason it wants and it doesn't
matter what theoretical reason a government
might give when it kills its own people by
the millions. Who can oppose the rubber stamped
verdict of a 'kangaroo court'? No one.

Are all governments the same? Were Churchill
and Roosevelt just 'Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum'
to Hitler and Stalin?

Well, maybe on a pragmatic basis there are
some differences between different governments.

Nonetheless, if you go down that slippery slope
too much then you start cheerleading governments
when they exterminate people by the millions
using one branch (the army) but totally neglect
another (the police) (except for those limited
circumstances in the 20th century when they
are still the same, although it has of course
been mentioned that there were no civilian
'police', but rather only 'night watchmen',
the 'military', and the formal obligation
for commoners to deliver 'outlaws' to the
courts before the 18th century).

Either way one thing is clear. Governments will
automatically exterminate their own people en mass
if you remove the court system or make it totally
ineffective. The Soviet Union is a prime example
of that.
The Horny Goat
2017-09-23 22:51:58 UTC
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Post by t***@go.com
Are all governments the same? Were Churchill
and Roosevelt just 'Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum'
to Hitler and Stalin?
Well, maybe on a pragmatic basis there are
some differences between different governments.
Nonetheless, if you go down that slippery slope
too much then you start cheerleading governments
when they exterminate people by the millions
using one branch (the army) but totally neglect
another (the police) (except for those limited
circumstances in the 20th century when they
are still the same, although it has of course
been mentioned that there were no civilian
'police', but rather only 'night watchmen',
the 'military', and the formal obligation
for commoners to deliver 'outlaws' to the
courts before the 18th century).
Either way one thing is clear. Governments will
automatically exterminate their own people en mass
if you remove the court system or make it totally
ineffective. The Soviet Union is a prime example
of that.
That presumption of moral equivalence is deeply deeply offensive.

Hitler and Stalin each murdered over 10 million people. There are
various things one can fault Churchill and FDR for but nothing
remotely in the same league.

Most would argue that if there was ANY war of the last 100 years that
was justifiable it was WW2.

Nor do I think you can reasonably argue that the Third Reich or the
USSR (and I include Lenin in this since he was every bit as
bloodthirsty as Stalin - just had less time to do it in) had anything
in common with the western powers. Churchill's & FDR's "checks and
balances" were different but neither were absolute autocrats.

Sorry - but equating these leaders and the regimes they led is simply
out of touch with reality.
t***@go.com
2017-09-24 16:49:09 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by t***@go.com
Are all governments the same? Were Churchill
and Roosevelt just 'Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum'
to Hitler and Stalin?
Well, maybe on a pragmatic basis there are
some differences between different governments.
Nonetheless, if you go down that slippery slope
too much then you start cheerleading governments
when they exterminate people by the millions
using one branch (the army) but totally neglect
another (the police) (except for those limited
circumstances in the 20th century when they
are still the same, although it has of course
been mentioned that there were no civilian
'police', but rather only 'night watchmen',
the 'military', and the formal obligation
for commoners to deliver 'outlaws' to the
courts before the 18th century).
Either way one thing is clear. Governments will
automatically exterminate their own people en mass
if you remove the court system or make it totally
ineffective. The Soviet Union is a prime example
of that.
That presumption of moral equivalence is deeply deeply offensive.
Hitler and Stalin each murdered over 10 million people.
Hitler and Stalin were heads of state in
nations that drafted millions of people in
Germany and Russia to be cannon fodder.

Roosevelt and Churchill were heads of state
in nations that drafted millions of people
in the U.S. and U.K. to be cannon fodder.

They all had radios and mass media to praise
them as moral paragons so that they could
make their minions to be cannon fodder for
them.
Post by The Horny Goat
There are
various things one can fault Churchill and FDR for but nothing
remotely in the same league.
Well, commanding armies to kill people en
mass.
Post by The Horny Goat
Most would argue that if there was ANY war of the last 100 years that
was justifiable it was WW2.
Yes and the radios were good at making it sound
justifiable. People had only been listening to
radios for 15 years so the masses were still
highly gullible. Thus they would blindly go to
war if they heard good speeches portrayed there.
Post by The Horny Goat
Nor do I think you can reasonably argue that the Third Reich or the
USSR (and I include Lenin in this since he was every bit as
bloodthirsty as Stalin - just had less time to do it in) had anything
in common with the western powers. Churchill's & FDR's "checks and
balances" were different but neither were absolute autocrats.
When it comes to the Constitution of the U.S. at
least, the constitutions of NAZI Germany and
the Soviet Union under Stalin on paper are very
similar. Germany didn't really change its Constitution
very much after the war was over either, although
it did reduce the power of its President in
comparison with the Chancellor.

I am thinking that the U.K. is somewhat different, however,
because it is a constitutional monarchy.

Either way, on paper the U.S. has martial law, just like
Germany did. It had at the time laws that specifically
applied to different ethnic groups. During WWII the U.S.
sent many Japanese to concentration camps. The Soviet Union
also sent many people to Gulag at the time as well.

There were differences in degree, but it is hard to
say about kind.
Post by The Horny Goat
Sorry - but equating these leaders and the regimes they led is simply
out of touch with reality.
Everyone was hopping up and mindlessly following the
leader because of nice sounding speeches on the radio.

It was not a sole cause of war for all time, but it
definitely was a contributor during that period.

The different leaders made different flavors of
speeches, but the masses were still cannon fodder
everywhere just the same.

I will admit that all governments are not necessarily
the same. But during that time, all four heads of
state were commanding armies and telling them to
kill people, weren't they?
The Horny Goat
2017-09-24 18:14:10 UTC
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Post by t***@go.com
I will admit that all governments are not necessarily
the same. But during that time, all four heads of
state were commanding armies and telling them to
kill people, weren't they?
Obviously - but FDR and Churchill didn't engage in extracurricular
activities like maintaining concentration camps on their territory and
specialized either in working slaves to their deaths or just gassing
them outright.

Both the US and Canada had camps for "enemy aliens" (some of which
were naturalized citizens originating from these countries) but
working them to death was not a key part of the purpose either
explicitly or implicitly?

What was the death rate in the US camps or the Canadian camps centered
around New Denver (which I have been to) compared to the death camps
or the Gulag?

Apples and oranges!
t***@go.com
2017-09-25 17:43:06 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by t***@go.com
I will admit that all governments are not necessarily
the same. But during that time, all four heads of
state were commanding armies and telling them to
kill people, weren't they?
Obviously - but FDR and Churchill didn't engage in extracurricular
activities like maintaining concentration camps on their territory and
specialized either in working slaves to their deaths or just gassing
them outright.
Both the US and Canada had camps for "enemy aliens" (some of which
were naturalized citizens originating from these countries) but
working them to death was not a key part of the purpose either
explicitly or implicitly?
What was the death rate in the US camps or the Canadian camps centered
around New Denver (which I have been to) compared to the death camps
or the Gulag?
Apples and oranges!
I am not sure either country could push through
imprisoning citizens on more than a temporary
basis without a trial or sentence so easily
during other time periods.

It took the magic of radio to do that.
Rich Rostrom
2017-09-25 19:30:40 UTC
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But during that time, all four heads of state were
commanding armies and telling them to kill people,
weren't they?
Churchill and Roosevelt made war against armed
foes. Any civilians killed by US or British
action were intermingled with armed foes
(including the factories which supplied those
armed foes).

Hitler and Stalin made war against armed foes,
but they also directed their henchmen to kill
millions of people who were unarmed and
defenseless.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
Rich Rostrom
2017-09-25 19:26:24 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Hitler and Stalin each murdered over 10 million
people. There are various things one can fault
Churchill and FDR for but nothing remotely in the
same league.
There are Indians who blame Churchill for the
Bengal Famine of 1943, which killed about 3M people.
That's "in the same league", in magnitude. Of course,
actual intent is missing, and responsibility is at
worst only arguable.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Horny Goat
2017-09-25 20:00:55 UTC
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On Mon, 25 Sep 2017 14:26:24 -0500, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
Hitler and Stalin each murdered over 10 million
people. There are various things one can fault
Churchill and FDR for but nothing remotely in the
same league.
There are Indians who blame Churchill for the
Bengal Famine of 1943, which killed about 3M people.
That's "in the same league", in magnitude. Of course,
actual intent is missing, and responsibility is at
worst only arguable.
Not to mention in Iraq in the 1920s involving aerial bombardment which
wasn't in the same league.

The Indian famine was somewhat along the lines of the Ukrainian
"Holomor' where the intent was to liquidate the 'kulaks' as opposed to
Ukrainians specifically.

Had the Japanese not surrendered in 1945 when they did we would likely
have been referring to Truman and / or Dougie Mac in the same terms
since a Japan that didn't surrender till 1946 would have gone through
a hellacious winter with the failure of the rice crop (that was in OTL
largely averted due to masive rice imports from the United States
which would not have been forthcoming if Japan was still fighting).

Of course that would be criticism mostly from the crowd that holds
America at fault with everything that goes wrong in the world!
Rich Rostrom
2017-09-28 20:48:16 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
The Indian famine was somewhat along the lines of
the Ukrainian "Holomor' where the intent was to
liquidate the 'kulaks' as opposed to Ukrainians
specifically.
Not even close... The Holodomor was intentional,
achieved by intense state effort. There was no
other cause.

The Bengal Famine was at worst negligence: the rice
crop failed due to bad weather; Churchill decided
to prioritize the war effort over famine relief.
Post by The Horny Goat
Had the Japanese not surrendered in 1945 when they
did we would likely have been referring to Truman
and / or Dougie Mac in the same terms since a Japan
that didn't surrender till 1946 would have gone
through a hellacious winter with the failure of the
rice crop...
Even less relevant, since the US had no control over
what happened in Japan before the surrender.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Horny Goat
2017-09-29 02:44:06 UTC
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On Thu, 28 Sep 2017 15:48:16 -0500, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
Had the Japanese not surrendered in 1945 when they
did we would likely have been referring to Truman
and / or Dougie Mac in the same terms since a Japan
that didn't surrender till 1946 would have gone
through a hellacious winter with the failure of the
rice crop...
Even less relevant, since the US had no control over
what happened in Japan before the surrender.
My point is that in this case the Japanese famine would be ongoing
during Coronet which likely would have lower US casualties as a
result.

Since the United States is perceived to be always in the wrong anyhow
any Japanese loss of life after D+1 of Coronet would ALWAYS be the
fault of the United States right?

(In my personal opinion if this scenario had played out the current
population of Japan would be in the 80-90 million range - rather lower
than OTL)
Pete Barrett
2017-09-29 07:39:02 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
The Indian famine was somewhat along the lines of the Ukrainian
"Holomor' where the intent was to liquidate the 'kulaks' as opposed to
Ukrainians specifically.
Not even close... The Holodomor was intentional, achieved by intense
state effort. There was no other cause.
The Bengal Famine was at worst negligence: the rice crop failed due to
bad weather; Churchill decided to prioritize the war effort over famine
relief.
Not Churchill's decision - it was the Raj authorities in India who
preferred to transport military supplies to Bengal, rather than grain. As
evidence, when Wavell became viceroy in 1943 (a decision which probably
_was_ Churchill's), he immediately changed the priorities (all the war
material required had probably been transported by then, anyway), and had
the army start distributing famine relief.
--
Pete BARRETT
Rich Rostrom
2017-09-22 18:48:20 UTC
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Post by David Tenner
How widespread would these ideas have become in
Russia if we get the Lake Geneva drowning accident
Plekhanov joked about?
I have no idea - as so often, you have proposed an
idea which goes far deeper than my knowledge. One
would have to be well-read on the history of Russian
radicalism to have anything really useful to say.

I have only the vague impression that without an
infusion of Marxism, Russian Socialism might have
remained much closer to Social Democracy. The
out-and-out radicals would have remained "populist".
(A survival of the Narodniki? Which I know nothing
about except the name.)
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
Alex Milman
2017-09-22 19:18:46 UTC
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Post by David Tenner
What-if seed: "In the late 1880s there was [besides Populism--DT] no other
radical movement of any size in Russia. Although Marxism, under the influence
of George Plekhanov (1856-1918), was separating itself out from populism, its
influence was still very small and largely confined to Russians living
abroad. After all, *it was Plekhanov himself who joked, when he and Pavel
Axel’rod and other founders of Russian Marxism went for a boat trip on Lake
Geneva, that if they were to drown it would be the end of Russian Marxism*
[emphasis added--DT]...."
https://books.google.com/books?id=UNkev4PJX5AC&pg=PA11
I strongly suspect that there would be some other clowns. Anyway, Plekhanov
& Co became pretty much irrelevant well before 1917.
Post by David Tenner
OK, let's say it happens...
(Of course, many of the Populists were influenced by Marx. But it was
Plekhanov and his disciples who orginated the idea that "Marxism" was
something distinct from "Populism,", that Russia would have to go through a
capitalist stage of development, and that the proletarian--not the peasant--
was the key to a future socialist revolution in Russia. On these matters,
Plekhanov and his fellow Russian Marxists were more dogmatic than Marx
himself. How widespread would these ideas have become in Russia if we get the
Lake Geneva drowning accident Plekhanov joked about?...)
But those who DID matter (Lenin & Co) used quite creative approach to Marxism
and its dogmas. For example, Lenin came with the "weakest link" theory as an
ideological explanation of the Bolshevik coup even if this theory was going
against the basics of Marxism.
David Tenner
2017-09-24 22:27:08 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
I strongly suspect that there would be some other clowns. Anyway,
Plekhanov & Co became pretty much irrelevant well before 1917.
In 1914 he told Angelica Balabanoff (who was arguing for an
"internationalist" anti-war position) "if I were not old and sick I would
join the army. To bayonet your German comrades would give me great
pleasure..." https://books.google.com/books?id=XlHoBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA211

Maybe there's another what-if here: Sure, Plekhanov is too old and sick to
do any real fighting, but the Tsar decides to give him an officer's
commission, anyway, to show that even Marxists are fighting for the
Motherland...

(With better health, the violently anti-German Kropotkin can sign up, too!)
--
David Tenner
***@ameritech.net
Alex Milman
2017-09-25 14:08:47 UTC
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Post by David Tenner
Post by Alex Milman
I strongly suspect that there would be some other clowns. Anyway,
Plekhanov & Co became pretty much irrelevant well before 1917.
In 1914 he told Angelica Balabanoff (who was arguing for an
"internationalist" anti-war position) "if I were not old and sick I would
join the army. To bayonet your German comrades would give me great
pleasure..." https://books.google.com/books?id=XlHoBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA211
Maybe there's another what-if here: Sure, Plekhanov is too old and sick to
do any real fighting, but the Tsar decides to give him an officer's
commission, anyway, to show that even Marxists are fighting for the
Motherland...
(With better health, the violently anti-German Kropotkin can sign up, too!)
Interesting idea. Plekhanov and Kropotkin leading a bayonet charge, this
would be something to watch (IIRC, Kropotkin was very short so he could be
quite effective biting enemy at the ankles). :-)

My impression was (and perhaps my timing is somewhat off) that both these fine
candidates to the officer's rank became pretty much "cabinet figures" well
before WWI started, meaning that they did not have too much of a following:
in both cases the center of gravity moved toward the more radical elements.

On a serious level, the Tsarist government did close to nothing in the area
of a nationalist propaganda so skillful demagogues could be quite useful in
that area. Perhaps even the Bolsheviks, if handled properly. In XIX A.K. Tolstoy
wrote a satirical poem in which groom explains to his bride the goals of the
nihilists, communists, etc. (destroying things that are not "practical",
redistributing other people's property, etc.). The bride asks if their right
place isn't in a mental institution but the groom explains that, taking into an
account specifics of the construction projects in Russia, such a major
project will be either prohibitively expensive (if trusted to the engineers)
or completed (if trusted to Zemstvo). His recipe is to award all
the leaders with the Order of Stanislav. The bride considers him too
cynical and engagement is broken. Unfortunately, Tsarist governments had been
playing the bride. :-)
Alex Milman
2017-09-25 15:57:19 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by David Tenner
Post by Alex Milman
I strongly suspect that there would be some other clowns. Anyway,
Plekhanov & Co became pretty much irrelevant well before 1917.
In 1914 he told Angelica Balabanoff (who was arguing for an
"internationalist" anti-war position) "if I were not old and sick I would
join the army. To bayonet your German comrades would give me great
pleasure..." https://books.google.com/books?id=XlHoBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA211
Maybe there's another what-if here: Sure, Plekhanov is too old and sick to
do any real fighting, but the Tsar decides to give him an officer's
commission, anyway, to show that even Marxists are fighting for the
Motherland...
(With better health, the violently anti-German Kropotkin can sign up, too!)
Interesting idea. Plekhanov and Kropotkin leading a bayonet charge, this
would be something to watch (IIRC, Kropotkin was very short so he could be
quite effective biting enemy at the ankles). :-)
My impression was (and perhaps my timing is somewhat off) that both these fine
candidates to the officer's rank became pretty much "cabinet figures" well
in both cases the center of gravity moved toward the more radical elements.
On a serious level, the Tsarist government did close to nothing in the area
of a nationalist propaganda so skillful demagogues could be quite useful in
that area. Perhaps even the Bolsheviks, if handled properly. In XIX A.K. Tolstoy
wrote a satirical poem in which groom explains to his bride the goals of the
nihilists, communists, etc. (destroying things that are not "practical",
redistributing other people's property, etc.). The bride asks if their right
place isn't in a mental institution but the groom explains that, taking into an
account specifics of the construction projects in Russia, such a major
project will be either prohibitively expensive (if trusted to the engineers)
or
NEVER
Post by Alex Milman
completed (if trusted to Zemstvo). His recipe is to award all
the leaders with the Order of St. Stanislaw. The bride considers him too
cynical and engagement is broken. Unfortunately, Tsarist governments had been
playing the bride. :-)
Rob
2017-09-26 00:50:29 UTC
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On Friday, September 22, 2017 at 2:53:45 AM UTC-4, David Tenner wrote:

So, assuming we sink Russian Marxism in Lake Geneva, and there is still a later revolutionary transformation of Russia, what is the impact long-term of "populism", does it lead to a parliamentary party(ies) making populist and agrarian ideas influential, or to an agrarian-oriented vanguard party dictatorship, going a bit Great Leap Forward-ish or Khmer Rouge-ish?
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