October Revolution and the Russian intelligentsia. HISTORY OF SOVIET RUSSIA - USSR

SOVIET RUSSIA. Brief history of the USSR



October Revolution and the Russian intelligentsia


The attitude of the majority of the Russian intelligentsia towards the accomplished Bolshevik revolution was negative due primarily to its extreme politicization. A significant part of the intelligentsia adhered to near-Kadet views, the other, no less, moderate socialist (Social Revolutionary and Menshevik) views.


The first saw the Bolsheviks usurpers, the second - the epigones of revolution and socialism, emphasizing the premature socialization of society. Only individual representatives of the Russian intelligentsia immediately declared their support for the Bolsheviks and their programs, in numbers they were inferior to the first two groups. The total number of representatives of the intelligentsia who supported the October Revolution throughout Russia did not exceed 50 thousand people, that is, less than every twentieth.


However, their support was not only moral and journalistic in nature, but immediately began to be translated into concrete actions. V. Mayakovsky wrote in his autobiography: "October. To accept or not to accept? There was no such question for me. My revolution. I went to Smolny. I worked. Everything that had to happen." Bolsheviks and leftist Socialist-Revolutionaries, party and non-partisans ... Writers A. A. Blok, V. Ya. Bryusov, V. V. Mayakovsky, theater directors E. B. Vakhtangov, K. S. Stanislavsky, V. I. Nemirovich Danchenko, V.E. Meyer-Hold, artists K.S. Petrov-Vodkin, K.F. Yuon, scientists K.A. Timiryazev, I.V. Michurin, K.E. E. Tsiolkovsky, N. E. Zhukovsky and many others.


Poets S. Yesenin, A. Bely, V. Khlebnikov, sculptor A. S. Golubkina, lawyer A. F. Koni welcomed the revolution. In the accomplished revolution they saw a popular movement, a rejection of the foundations of bourgeois society, a hope for the democratization of art and culture.


In an effort to strengthen support among the intelligentsia, on September 29, 1917, the CPC appealed with an appeal "To the intelligentsia of Russia", in which it called on it to participate in socialist construction, in changing the existing order. In his address to the People's Commissar of Education, A. V. Lunacharsky declared the government’s first concern - “to achieve universal literacy in the shortest possible time”, the introduction of universal compulsory free education, encouraging the intelligentsia to cooperate in solving these and other tasks. The call for the eradication of the vices of the old society, the creation of a new culture, found some support, but it was clearly not enough in the context of the unfolding sabotage by most of the intelligentsia of the Soviet government.


The rejection of any proposals by the Bolshevik government was largely due to the fact that the call for the construction of a new culture occurred against the background of the destruction and destruction of the old culture. Revolutionary destruction prevailed over revolutionary creation, and most intellectuals did not want and could not accept it. Trying to change the situation, to explain what was sincerely doubtful, A. A. Blok wrote in his famous article “The Intelligentsia and Revolution” (1918): “Why do the ancient cathedral perforate?” Because a hundred years ago, the obese priest here, hiccup, he took bribes and sold vodka.


Why are they shitting in the kindly manors of the manor’s estates? "Because the girls were assaulted and flogged; not from the master, but from the neighbor. Why are they making centenary parks?" Because a hundred years under their spreading lindens and the maples of the Lord showed their power ... ".


The Soviet government tried to fight the destructive elements. On November 4, 1917, it appealed to the working people to protect historical and artistic values. At the beginning of November, the Union of Artists made a similar appeal to "To all the Russian people". The created museum complexes in Yasnaya Polyana and the village of Mikhailovsky, most of the libraries, theaters, museums, art galleries were taken under protection.


The work of the public, together with the Soviet state, allowed the creation in Russia of more than 100 new museums, which retained in their funds both the cultural heritage of the previous era and new examples of avant-garde art. At the same time, the authorities observed a rejection of those cultural values ​​that symbolized the previous era: monuments to kings and tsarist generals were being demolished, and landlord estates were blazing.


The unfolding civil war dictated its laws, widening the gap between the authorities and the intelligentsia. Especially dangerous was the position of civil servants, who in December 1917 organized a general strike in Petrograd, in which the majority of urban teachers and lecturers participated. The strike created a crisis situation for the Bolsheviks, the key in which was the solution of two interrelated problems: attracting bourgeois specialists to the Soviet apparatus and reforming the education system in order to further train their own cadres. On the whole, pragmatism prevailed in the policy of the Soviet government in relation to the intelligentsia: its use was in the first place, then neutralization, and only in the last resort measures of a repressive nature.


The concentration of the entire power of the socialist state, together with the control over property, facilitated the tasks set. Only the Soviet system, cooperation with it could give income to the starving intellectuals. Hunger was a good helper in bringing them to the Soviet service, when the former savings were rapidly depreciating. Another real alternative in the form of emigration was rejected by the majority of the intelligentsia in the hope of the overthrow of the Soviet power, and also because of their unwillingness to leave their homeland during the ordeal.



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