Gott Again

Yes! The Glorious Soviet Revolution set off a wave of freedom around the world!

That, at least, is the view of the former KGB agent of influence, Richard Gott.

Maybe only now, after the Soviet Union and its attendant ideology has long disappeared into history, is it possible and permitted to express a certain nostalgia, and even enthusiasm, for the tumultuous period sparked off by the Russian revolution of 90 years ago. Such triumphalism has greeted the Soviet collapse in the western world, with its subsequent and interminable output of works of historical revisionism, that it is difficult to climb out from under the enveloping folds of invective that have sought to destroy the reputations of Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin – the Three Who Made a Revolution (as in the title of the great book by Bertram Wolfe) – to recover some sense of the huge significance of an event that presaged the destruction of the world\’s greatest empires.

Yet, what was notionally an entirely Russian experience soon became an unstoppable force that rolled over half the world, a phenomenon not seen since the expansion of Islam in the 7th century. Millions of people in the then thriving empires of Holland, France, Portugal and Britain, in the informal empire of the United States in Latin America and the Philippines, and in the vast warlord-dominated regions of China, were transformed almost overnight into agents of their own destiny. From listless and oppressed peasants, with little hope of change or improvement, they became soldiers in a new revolutionary struggle that brought the collapse of their overlords within a matter of decades – perhaps the most notable historic advance in the 20th century.

The success of the Russian revolution of 1917 was the motor of influence and inspirational example that made all this possible.

Quite amazing. I suppose you\’d have to have a heart of stone to confront an old lefty like this with the point that far from breaking up the Tsarist Empire, the Soviets set about reconquering it all and expanding it. Freedom from colonial oppression? Tell that to the non-Russian nationalities who were steamrollered over in the 1919-1941 period.

4 comments on “Gott Again

  1. From listless and oppressed peasants, with little hope of change or improvement, they became From listless and oppressed peasants, with little hope of change or improvement with rulers whose skin colour was the same as theirs.

    In left wing circles thats seen as a major improvement.

  2. that have sought to destroy the reputations of Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin… They concentrate their attention on the huge human cost of the Soviet project at home – the executions, the famines, the camps.

    What a vile excuse for a human being is Mr Gott. Funny that among the “great” revolutions of recent centuries he doesn’t mention the American one, the only one to actually enhance the freedom of the individual.

  3. I think it was P. J. O’Rourke who said something along the lines of the greatest evil of Communism being that despite all the broken eggs, there never was an omelette. To still be singing joyful encomiums to the glories of Communism after all that has come to light is to be living a life so un-self-examined as to be living in a vacuum. It really should be the stern and solemn duty of every Englishman to dot Richard Gott on the nose every time he shows his face in public.

  4. Actually, the bit about concentrating on ‘the huge human cost’ of Communism reminds me of one of the offerings at tshirthell.com: “What about all the GOOD things Hitler did?” Trouble is, they were being satirical.

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