Soviet Leaders and Mastery over Man

Soviet Leaders and Mastery over Man

Soviet Leaders and Mastery over Man

Soviet Leaders and Mastery over Man

Excerpt

In view of the well-known accomplishments of the Soviet Union to date, the position it holds as a great power, and the fact that nearly a billion people, or one third of the world's population, now live in areas dominated by the Communist Party, it is appropriate to remind ourselves here at the outset of the state of affairs in Russia just prior to the Bolshevik revolution.

Russia was then largely a land of peasants emerging from feudalism with a wide and nearly unbridgeable gap between the tiny minority of privileged and educated people and the great masses. Russian statistics for 1913 estimate that 80 per cent of the population was peasant, with only about 17 per cent of the people classified as "workers." Almost 65 per cent of the population was illiterate and the industrial capacity and industrial know-how in Russia was meager. The country was, Lenin said in 1917, "one of the most backward in Europe."

Philip Mosely gives us a sketch of the situation at the time of the Bolshevik seizure of power which was, as he says, "really many revolutions bound up in one."

It was a revolution of most of the peasants against the landlords. Only two generations separated the peasants of 1917 from their grandfathers who had been serfs, practically slaves, before 1861. Even though Russia had made important strides toward social adjustment during those fifty-odd years, there was still a deep and bit-

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