The Russian Revolution, 1917: Eyewitness Account - Vol. 2

By N. N. Sukanov; Joel Carmichael | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 21
[AFTER 'JULY': THE SECOND AND THIRD COALITIONS]

HEROES have indeed their destiny! For Kerensky democracy was an absolute good; he sincerely saw it as the goal of his service to the revolution. He had selflessly served it under the Tsarist autocracy, ever since he had appeared before the world as the ardent champion and, if you like, the poet of the democracy.

Now, after the July Days, Kerensky had become the head of the Government and the State. And this epoch--the Kerensky epoch--was an epoch of dissolution, stifling, and destruction of the democracy. Of this epoch Kerensky was the most active and responsible hero.

His premiership began in an evil hour and ended badly. It began under the sign of the birth-pangs of counter-revolution and its attacks on the democracy. These attempts failed: the revolution still retained too much accumulated strength and the plutocracy lacked everything but rage, slanders, and the miserable shattered remnants of Tsarism. The counter-revolution failed in the July riots, but a firm, stubborn, and profound reaction set in.

There had been this reaction before, at the beginning of the First Coalition; now, under Kerensky, the reaction became dynamic. Before, the reactionary classes had been defending themselves; now the bourgeois bloc had passed to the offensive. Before the July Days the reaction expressed itself in random sabotage; now, under Premier Kerensky, the active liquidation of the achievements of the workers and peasants began.

* * *

The Second Coalition, created on July 7th under Kerensky's leadership, didn't last long--a fortnight in all. This term was quite inadequate either to 'save' or to destroy the revolution, but quite enough to reveal itself properly.

-485-

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