Published by the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas (founded in 1990 by Mortimer J. Adler and Max Weismann)
In association with the The Adler-Aquinas Institute and Aquinas School of Leadership
A Founding Member of the Alliance for Liberal Learning

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The revolution lives

'What the Bolsheviks learned from the French'

Daniel Beer reviewed The French Revolutionary Tradition in Russian and Soviet Politics, Political Thought, and Culture, by Jay Bergman, at The Times Literary Supplement.

"As Jay Bergman emphasizes, Marx himself had venerated the French Revolution for the same reason Edmund Burke reviled it: radicals had brought an entire country to reject the 'accumulated experiences, traditions and patterns of life that had existed for centuries'. But Marx also left Russian revolutionaries 'a diverse menu to choose from when it behoved them to invoke the French Revolution'. The more ideologically orthodox [Bolsheviks] stressed the iron laws of history and the dangers of political overreach before the conditions for successful revolutions had been fulfilled; others, of a more impatient disposition, insisted on the power of humans to force the pace of change."


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