12-5pm, Saturday 29th August, at the Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, near Old Street, London
In 1917 the Councils of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, soviets, took power proclaiming a workers’ and peasants’ republic in Russia. In the aftermath of the First World War revolutions established Soviet republics in Ukraine, Hungary, Bavaria and Slovakia in 1919. A new Communist International was founded to unite the international struggle to overthrow capitalism and establish a communist society. By 1921 the revolution was in retreat, a process which culminated in the triumph of counter-revolution and Stalinist totalitarianism.
The legacy of the revolutions remain with us to this day, but what does it mean for communists seeking to create a new society in the 21st century? Is it our tradition; were these revolutions a dead end never to be repeated; or does it assist us with a perspective for today? The Commune is holding a summer school to discuss these questions and others.
Introduction – Are the revolutions still relevant?
The Revolution Advances: The Ukrainian Revolution and Soviet Hungary, 1919-20. Guest speaker is Chris Ford, a historian of the Ukrainian Revolution and author of Outline history of the Ukrainian Communist Party.
The Revolution in Retreat: Guest Speaker is Simon Pirani author of the Revolution in Retreat, 1920-1924 The Soviet Workers and the New Communist Elite and a forthcoming study of Putin’s Russia.
The Counter-revolution triumphs: The Soviet workers and Stalinism. Guest Speaker is Don Filtzer, an historian of the USSR whose books include Soviet Workers and Stalinist Industrialization: The Formation of Modern Soviet Production Relations, 1928-1941.