WI: the Bolsheviks does not overthrow the provisional government in 1917

Still better than all the wanton death and destruction under Lenin and Stalin, though.

Butterflies aside, it is abundantly clear that a White victory in the Russian Civil would be a much, much better outcome for Russia than any Red victory: the Whites were by far the far superior option out of the two bad options that Russia had during the Civil War.

Had the Whites won the Russian Civil War instead of the Reds, Russia would have been much better off.
Yes, we get your opinion.
 
The most obvious alternative to insurrection in October was the peaceful transfer of power to the soviets and a coalition socialist government. This was a frightening prospect for Lenin, not least because many Bolsheviks favored it! I wrote about this in 2001; I wouldn't say I'd reaffirm everything I wrote in that post, but I still think it fundamentally valid:

***
I was recently reading Robert V. Daniels' *Red October: The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917* (1967). Daniels argues that before October 24 (old style), Lenin was *not* making his leadership effective. The majority of the Bolsheviks, while they did not want to face up to his browbeating and were in theory committed to an insurrection, were in fact tacitly violating his instructions. They wanted to wait until the Second Congress of Soviets would meet (it was first scheduled for October 20, then October 25), and until then take only such armed action as could plausibly be described as defensive. After the fiasco of the July Days, it was doubtful that the Petrograd workers and soldiers would take offensive action on behalf of the Bolshevik party--though they would rally to the *soviets* if convinced Kerensky was attacking them. (In this respect it is noteworthy that Lenin, unlike Trotsky, had never worked in a soviet, and was inclined to underestimate the extent to which the workers and soldiers were attached to them, and would do things in the name of the soviets they would not do in the name of their supposed vanguard, the Bolshevik party. This may seem paradoxical, since of course it was Lenin who raised the slogan "all power to the soviets" in his April Theses. But after all, he had not always had that high an opinion of the soviets, and for a while, after the July Days, wanted to abandon the slogan.)

Daniels argues that even Trotsky wanted to wait for the Congress. (I do not mean "wait passively" of course--Trotsky and the Bolsheviks were doing what they could to subvert the Provisional Government and pave the way for its overthrow. But that is not the same thing as the final overthrow itself.) After the insurrection, Trotsky argued that anything he had said about waiting for the Congress of Soviets was merely a maneuver to deceive the Bolsheviks' enemies. Daniels argues that Trotsky "was prevaricating after the fact rather than before." (p. 104) In any event, if it is true that, as Trotsky later claimed, he wanted to provoke Kerensky into a pre-emptive attack that would give the Bolsheviks an excuse to seize power before October 25, Kerensky's raid on the Bolshevik press on October 24 certainly played into his hands.

Would it have made any difference if the Bolsheviks had waited for the Congress? It would, if for no other reason than this: the Bolsheviks did not have a majority in the Congress, though they were by far the largest single party in it. The Congress would have declared for a government by the soviets, but this would undoubtedly be a multi-party government of all the major socialist parties. Even the Bolsheviks' closest allies, the Left SRs were in favor of this--as were indeed many Bolsheviks. At least for the time being, Russia would be on the road to peaceful political compromise rather than civil war.

But the Mensheviks and so-called Right SRs (many of whom could better be described as Center or even Left-Center SRs) were furious that the Bolsheviks were presenting them with a violently-imposed *fait accompli* and stormed out of the Congress. This gave the Bolsheviks a clear majority there and allowed them to establish a one-party dictatorship (whose nature was not really changed by the later addition of a few Left SRs) in the name of the soviets. The moderate socialists were bitter and intransigent and even when it seemed there was a real chance for a coalition government-- after the railroad workers' union (Vikzhel) threatened to bring all rail traffic to a halt unless such a government was formed--they raised unrealistic demands, e.g., that any coalition government exclude Lenin and Trotsky. For their part, the Bolsheviks--the majority of them, anyway; there were of course important exceptions, like Zinoviev and Kamenev--were emboldened by the smell of gunpowder, and ready to resort to violence to preserve the conquests of a uprising most of them had not really wanted.

So, how do we get the Bolsheviks to delay seizing power? I can think of two ways (apart from our old stand-by of killing Lenin...):

(1) What if Zinoviev and Kamenev did not inform the moderate socialists that the Bolsheviks were divided on the issue of insurrection? When the Menshevik/SR Central Executive Committee of the Soviet learned about this, it decided that it could play for time in the hope of more Mensheviks and SRs arriving for the Congress. So it delayed the opening of the Congress from the 20th to the 25th. A fateful decision, because the Bolsheviks would not have been ready for an insurrection at the earlier date. Thus, Zinoviev and Kamenev helped to make possible the risky resort to force they were trying to forestall.

(2) What if Kerensky had not moved against the Bolshevik press on the morning of the 24th? (Of course there are all sorts of things Kerensky could have done or refrained from doing earlier--but here I am trying to show how very late in the game he might still have prevented a Bolshevik dictatorship by the simple expedient of doing nothing!)

Supposedly the attack on the Bolshevik press was motivated by the Military Revolutionary Committee's order of October 22 that any directives for the garrison that were not countersigned by the MRC were invalid. But the curious thing is this: when toward midnight on October 23, the MRC faced an ultimatum from Headquarters to retract the countersigning order, it actually accepted the ultimatum (at least "in principle"). But when Kerensky learned of the acceptance, he dismissed it as playing for time (though some Bolsheviks later claimed it was for real, and forced upon them by the Left SRs). In any event, Kerensky at this late hour was in no mood to abandon his preparations for a preemptive attack. So the printing press where *Rabochii Put* and *Soldat* were rolling off the presses was seized. Actually, there was nothing in *Rabochii Put* (unless you count its publication of the MRC's October 22 order) that pointed to an imminent Bolshevik coup. On the contrary, an editorial by Stalin called for a peaceful transfer of power to the soviets: "organize meetings, elect your delegations and through them, lay your demands before the Congress of Soviets...the stronger and the more organized and powerful your action, the more peacefully will the old government make way for the new." (Quoted in Robert Slusser, *Stalin in October: The Man Who Missed the Revolution*, p. 241)

Even on the 24th, the MRC's actions could be portrayed--and were portrayed by Trotsky--as defensive. The government tries to close down the Bolshevik press, the MRC sends men to re-open it; the government tries to raise the bridges, the Red Guards take control of the bridges, etc. It does not seem that the Bolsheviks shifted to an unequivocally offensive mode until after Lenin's arrival at Smolny--though of course the take-over of so many strategic points to "protect" them from Kerensky's pre-emptive strike had already blurred the line between defense and offense and probably made it easier for the Bolsheviks to assure Lenin that they really had been following his instructions all along, and that all the party's hedging tactics were just a ruse to fool the opposition. The fact that it had all been done so easily, that the government forces had proven so amazingly weak, was something the Bolsheviks could by no means have been confident of in advance. They had been worried that if they did not wait for the Congress, the workers and soldiers might not fight for them--and indeed only a small percentage of the workers and soldiers in Petrograd *did* fight for them. But given that hardly anyone was willing to fight for the Provisional Government, that was enough.

I doubt that even Lenin could have gotten the Bolsheviks to stage an insurrection prior to the Congress if not for Kerensky's clumsy "counter-coup" of the 24th. Such an insurrection seemed too risky, and the political prospects of a "peaceful" take-over seemed so promising: by the 24th even moderate socialists like Dan and Gotz had condemned Kerensky and had joined left-Mensheviks like Martov in calling for a government that would move faster toward peace and land for the peasants. One can of course say that Kerensky was merely furnishing the Bolsheviks with an "excuse"--but the Bolsheviks may very well have *needed* some such excuse in view of the fact that nobody knew how weak the government was until it tried to exert itself on the 24th. Even if you accept Trotsky's later claim that he was trying to goad the government into a pre-Congress attack all along (and in that case, such things as the MRC's acceptance of the government's ultimatum seem curious), his strategy involved the *risk* that (should the government refuse to let itself be provoked) power might not be seized until after the Congress met. This was a risk which seemed to bother very few Bolsheviks--other than Lenin.

Of course, asking Kerensky to passively await the Congress may be unrealistic. It requires him to realize that his government was doomed, and that the only question was who would replace it. The truth is that Kerensky actually seems to have welcomed an attempted Bolshevik coup, thinking he could easily defeat it.

https://www.alternatehistory.com/shwi/WI Bolsheviks Had Waited for the Second Congress of Soviets.txt

***

I would just like to add a few things to that old post:

(1) I am not as sure as I was then that the Bolsheviks did not have a majority before the withdrawal of the Mensheviks and non-Left SR's. But whether they had a narrow majority or not IMO makes little difference because the "intransigent" Bolsheviks--those like Lenin and Trotsky who were opposed to a coalition government--clearly would not have a majority in the Congress before the withdrawal. Anyway, here are some discussions of the numbers:

[a] The Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_Revolution states that "The Second Congress of Soviets consisted of 670 elected delegates; 300 were Bolshevik and nearly a hundred were Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, who also supported the overthrow of the Alexander Kerensky Government." In a footnote, it gives as its source Robert Service's *A History of Twentieth Century Russia*

Alexander Rabinowitch, *The Bolsheviks in Power: The First Year of Soviet Rule in Petrograd*, p. 29: "Bearing in mind that at the start of the Second Congress of Soviets the Bolsheviks did not have a majority without support from other 'internationalists'..." https://books.google.com/books?id=BEoBCGJ4VqYC&pg=PA29

From the same book, p. 409:

"According to a preliminary report by the Credentials Committee, 300 of the 670 delegates to the congress were Bolsheviks, 193 were SRs (of whom more than half were Left SRs), 68 were Mensheviks, 16 were United Social-Democratic Internationalists, 14 were Menshevik Internationalists, and the remainder either were affiliated with one of a number of smaller political groups or did not belong to any formal organization. An overwhelming number of delegates, some 505 of them, were firmly committed to the transfer of “All Power to the Soviets,” that is, to the creation of a Soviet government that reflected the party composition of the congress (M. N. Pokrovskii and Ia. A. Iakovleva, eds., Vtoroi vserossiiskii s”ezd sovetov R. i S. D. [Moscow-Leningrad, 1928], pp. 144–153)." https://books.google.com/books?id=ZmzWDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA409

[c] Even the Wikipedia article cited by a poster critical of my assertion that the Bolsheviks did not have a majority acknowledges a dispute on this issue: "According to the bureau of all factions, by the opening of the congress 649 delegates were present of which: 390 were Bolsheviks, 160 Social Revolutionaries, 72 Mensheviks, 14 United Internationalists, 6 Mensheviks-Internationalists, and 7 Ukrainian socialists. By the end of the congress, after the departure of the right-wing socialists and with the arrival of the new delegates, there were 625 delegates, of which 390 were Bolsheviks, 179 left-wing Socialist Revolutionaries, 35 United Internationalists and 21 Ukrainian socialists. Thus, the Bolshevik-Left Socialist Revolutionary coalition won about two thirds of the votes there. According to other sources, 739 deputies arrived at the congress, including 338 Bolsheviks, 211 right and left Socialist Revolutionaries and 69 Mensheviks." [emphasis added--DT] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_All-Russian_Congress_of_Soviets_of_Workers'_and_Soldiers'_Deputies

[d] Vladimir Brovkin writes in *The Mensheviks After October*:

"As Oskar Anweiler has pointed out, the Bolsheviks, even at the height of their success, had a very narrow margin of numerical strength over their opponents. According to the Credentials Commission's figures, the combined strength of the 200 SR delegates and the 92 Menshevik delegates almost equaled the 300 Bolsheviks.

"The official breakdown of the political forces at the congress, however, did not correspond to the real alliances and antagonisms. The data from personal questionnaires give a somewhat more precise picture of the numbers in various factions. Of the 98 Mensheviks, according to this source, 62 were Martov's supporters, 14 backed the Menshevik Central Committee, and 22 belonged to the Defensists' faction. These groups had fundamentally different political objectives. The SRs, the second largest faction at the congress, were also split. The Right SRs sided with the Defensist Mensheviks; the Left SRs were Martov's partners in the Left Bloc. The Bolsheviks, as is now well known, were divided as well, into radicals, led by Lenin and Lev Trotsky, and conciliatory Bolsheviks, led by Lev Kamenev and Grigorii Zinoviev. The political struggle at the congress developed on two planes: the leftist soviet parties — Bolsheviks, Menshevik Internationalists, and Left SRs — versus the rightist soviet parties — Right SRs and Defensist Mensheviks; and within the left wing itself, conciliatory Bolsheviks, Left SRs, and Menshevik Internationalists versus extremist Bolsheviks.' https://books.google.com/books?id=cP0xLtu1aZgC&pg=PA17

[e] Stephen Kotkin in *Stalin: Volume 1: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928*, p. 217, writes: "Smolny's colonnaded hall...had filled up with between 650 and 700 delegates...Somewhat more than 300 were Bolsheviks (the largest bloc), along with nearly 100 Left SRs..."

So it is in any event far from clear that the Bolsheviks initially had a majority--especially if Rabinowitch is correctly quoting a book on the Congress published in the USSR in 1928 and co-edited by Pokrovskii, who would not seem to have any motive to understate the strength of the Bolsheviks.

That the Bolsheviks and Left SR's combined had a majority at the Congress is another matter, something I do not deny. My point. however, is that the Left SR's too favored a coalition government of all the parties represented in the soviet--as indeed did many Bolsheviks. As I put it in a post a few years ago:

"So there may or may not have been a slight Bolshevik majority. But there clearly was not a majority for Lenin and Trotsky's goal of an all-Bolshevik government. In fact, when Martov called for a coalition government, the Bolsheviks did not dare to oppose his resolution--it passed *unanimously.* But then the more right-wing of the Mensheviks and SRs insisted on walking out because the Bolsheviks had resorted to an insurrection without waiting for the Congress to act--and then Martov joined them.

" If the Bolsheviks had waited until the Congress had met, there would have been no need for an insurrection, and the moderate socialists would not have walked out. The demand of virtually all non-Bolsheviks (including Left SRs) and many Bolsheviks for a coalition government would have been extremely difficult to resist. As it was, the Bolsheviks could say the walkouts were "traitors" who deserved no role in the new government, which was basically a one-party Bolshevik government with some Left SR window dressing." https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/wi-lenin-dies-circa-august-1917.342336/#post-10250410

(2) Of course, granted that there would be a peaceful transfer of power to the soviets and a coalition socailist government, the question is how long it would last. It was hard enough for Lenin to get the Bolsheviks united behind Brest-Litovsk. The SR's and Mensheviks would never have agreed to such a disgraceful peace--but that was the only kind of peace available. Yes, Lenin was authoritarian-minded, but as Adam Ulam notes, "...for all the years of tight discipline, for all his enormous authority, it was still hard enough for Lenin to ride herd over the Bolshevik commissars who kept disagreeing and threatening to resign at the slightest provocation. Who could believe that a government with, say, Martov in its ranks would have ever been able to agree on a simple policy, would ever have been able to stop talking? Had Lenin been Thomas Jefferson and John Stuart Mill rolled into one, it still would have been difficult for him to agree to preside over a coalition government..." https://books.google.com/books?id=dN5V8WX5WP0C&pg=PA377 This is a bit of an exaggeration because there were policies on which the Bolsheviks and at least some other socialists could agree. The main points of the Bolshevik land program for example were "patterned directly on the SR proposal." https://books.google.com/books?id=VMHvcGAtuKAC&pg=PA35 The real sticking point would of course be the war. But I'm not even sure that the fact that a multiparty socialist coalition government (including some of the Bolsheviks in it!) would reject Brest-Litovsk would necessarily be a disaster.

Sure, the Germans can take Petrograd and even Moscow without much trouble. But they are just not capable of occupying all of Russia. In OTL, "General Max Hoffmann, the German commander on the Eastern Front, noted bitterly in his diary that despite the fact that his forces faced no opposition whatever, he would have to call an end to their advance. 'I should have no objection', he wrote, 'to pushing farther and farther eastwards. I should like to get to India except that the distances grow more immense, and our army does not.'" http://web.archive.org/web/20030310182535/http://scottreid.com/lenin.htm#anchor244115 So theoretically, a socialist coalition government could simply retreat to the Urals or beyond and wait for the German puppet government in European Russia to collapse after the German defeat, and then return after that collapse. There are of course a few problems with that. First of all, in the spring of 1918 it was far from clear that there would be a German defeat. Second, maybe the German puppet government tries to come to terms with the victorious Allies ("we were only pretending to back Germany to mitigate the harshness of its occupation. We were really hoping for your victory all the time, and surely we will be preferable from your viewpoint to those awful socialists.") Finally, even if the socialists make it back to Moscow or Petrograd, in the meantime Russia may have largely disintegrated, with Ukraine and other areas having declared their independence....

(3) I am talking about October but it is interesting that in early September Lenin himself seems briefly to have had doubts about an insurrection, and made an offer to the Mensheviks and SR's (then a majority in the soviet) in "On Compromises." He said: if you will break with Kerensky and the Kadets and take power in the name of the soviets, we will of course continue to agitate against you in the soviets, and seek to get a majority there, but we will do so peacefully--we will not stage an insurrection:

"The Russian revolution is experiencing so abrupt and original a turn that we, as a party, may offer a voluntary compromise—true, not to our direct and main class enemy, the bourgeoisie, but to our nearest adversaries, the “ruling” petty-bourgeois-democratic parties, the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks.

"We may offer a compromise to these parties only by way of exception, and only by virtue of the particular situation, which will obviously last only a very short time. And I think we should do so.

"The compromise on our part is our return to the pre-July demand of all power to the Soviets and a government of S.R.s and Mensheviks responsible to the Soviets.

"Now, and only now, perhaps during only a few days or a week or two, such a government could be set up and consolidated in a perfectly peaceful way. In all probability it could secure the peaceful advance of the whole Russian revolution, and provide exceptionally good chances for great strides in the world movement towards peace and the victory of socialism.

"In my opinion, the Bolsheviks, who are partisans of world revolution and revolutionary methods, may and should consent to this compromise only for the sake of the revolution’s peaceful development—an opportunity that is extremely rare in history and extremely valuable, an opportunity that only occurs once in a while.

"The compromise would amount to the following: the Bolsheviks, without making any claim to participate in the government (which is impossible for the internationalists unless a dictatorship of the proletariat and the poor peasants has been realised), would refrain from demanding the immediate transfer of power to the proletariat and the poor peasants and from employing revolutionary methods of fighting for this demand. A condition that is self-evident and not new to the S.R.s and Mensheviks would be complete freedom of propaganda and the convocation of the Constituent Assembly without further delays or even at an earlier date.

"The Mensheviks and S.R.s, being the government bloc, would then agree (assuming that the compromise had been reached) to form a government wholly and exclusively responsible to the Soviets, the latter taking over all power locally as well. This would constitute the “new” condition. I think the Bolsheviks would advance no other conditions, trusting that the revolution would proceed peacefully and party strife in the Soviets would be peacefully overcome thanks to really complete freedom of propaganda and to the immediate establishment of a new democracy in the composition of the Soviets (new elections) and in their functioning.

"Perhaps this is already impossible? Perhaps. But if there is even one chance in a hundred, the attempt at realising this opportunity is still worth while."

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/sep/03.htm

There has been a good deal of discussion about whether Lenin was "sincere" in this offer, [1] but that may not even be relevant. Even if in his heart he still favored insurrection, it would be very hard for him to get a majority of the Bolshevik Party to go along with him, once the party had publicly committed itself not to do so. After all, it was hard enough for Lenin to persuafe the party to stage an insurrection against a government led by Kerensky and containing Kadets! Getting them to agree to overthrow a government of Martov and Chernov would be considerably harder...

In a footnote a couple of days later,Lenin suggested that the time for such a compromise may already have passed, but he seems to have toyed with the idea for several more days. In anay event, it is not likely the Mensheviks and SR's would have taken up Lenin's offer. Only on the very eve of October were some moderate socialists finally persuaded that an all-socialist government should be set up. The Mensheviks had resisted the idea in part because of their theory that the revolution needed the support of the bourgeoisie (this was of course part of the Mensheviks' Marxist ideology, much more orthodox than that of the Bolsheviks: peasant Russia, by all traditional Marxist standards, was not ready for socialism) and that therefore one could not renounce coalition with the Kadets. This appealed to many of the SRs. Or at least the Mensheviks provided the SRs with an excuse for opposing an all-socialist government ("the Mensheviks are against it"). It seems that both branches of Social Democracy had disproportionate influence compared with their more numerous Populist (SR or Left SR) colleagues.

[1] Robert Service writes in Lenin: A Political Life: Volume 2: Worlds in Collision, p. 212: "Was he sincere in offering a temporary truce to his felow socialists? It is possible, but not certain, that his reconsiderations reflected his true feelings. Nevertheless, the feelings were insecure. “On Compromises' contained a long postscript, written on 3 September, which contended that “the offer of a compromise had already been outdated" by events. Even so, he still toyed for a few more days with the feasibility of a peaceful political development of the revolution. Other articles written in the first two weeks of September gave no definitive indication for or against.

"Lenin in short was wavering. But not for long. By 12 September he was writing "The Bolhseviks Must Seize Power" and demanded an immeidate uprising." And as Service notes, "the "Compromise"' offered by him had never been innocent of violent implications. If the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries were going to take power, they could hardly expect Kerenski to withdraw without a fight. Thus the 'peaceful development' of the revolution sketched by Lenin would have started only after a violent phase had been endured."

In a later work, Service writes that "The ‘compromise’ he had in mind was that the Bolsheviks would stick to non-violent political procedures so long as the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries formed a government ‘wholly and exclusively responsible to the soviets’ and permitted the soviets in the provinces to constitute the official administration while the Bolsheviks would be guaranteed ‘freedom of agitation’.20 These conditions were hardly likely to be fulfilled, and probably he knew this. He wrote an addendum on 3 September in which he stated that recent events meant that the historic compromise was impracticable.21 He was referring to Kerenski’s formation of a five-person Directory and to the reluctance of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries to break ties with the Kadets..." https://books.google.com/books?id=N9mbl_xbWpkC&pg=PT365

FWIW, James Ryan, hardly an apologist for Lenin, writes in Lenin's Terror: The Idological Origins of Early Soviet State Violence, "Several historians have found it difficult to take Lenin's 'compromise' offer very seriously (see for example Leonard Schapiro, The Origin of the Communist Autocracy.. . p. 56), though it does appear to have been intended genuinely." [emphasis added] https://books.google.com/books?id=xxGttzFXqaYC&pg=PA208

Alexander Rabinowitch in The Bolsheviks Come to Power: The Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd, p. 170, explains Lenin's postscript as follows: " On September 3 , as Lenin was about to send “ On Compromises ” to Petrograd , he learned of the creation of the Directory , of the fundamental reluctance of a majority of moderate socialists to sanction the formation of an exclusively socialist government and, to the contrary of their efforts to organize a new coalition cabinet with representatives of the bourgeoisie from outside the Kadet Party...

"Yet even [after the postscript] Lenin did not wholly abandon the idea of a peaceful course . During the first week and a half of September , his interest in a possible "compromise ” was evidently kept at least partially alive by continuing, well-publicized wrangling within Menshevik and SR ranks regarding a future government , and festering antipathy between Kerensky and the moderate Soaiclist leadership of the Soviet, as reflected, for example, in the stubborn resistance of the Committee for Struggle to government attempts at dissolving revolutionary committees created during the Kornilov crisis ..." https://books.google.com/books?id=HzRiDJnTTG4C&pg=PA170
 
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Sometime before the next harvest the continuing radicalisation of the so-called left parties under soldier, worker and to a minimal degree peasant pressure will cause another coup or counter coup. In the mean time all parties will radicalize.
 
The PG is often criticized for being dilatory on land reform, but it has to be remembered that the problems of land and peace were inseparable. There was no practical way to carry out land reform while the war was going on. As Oliver Radkey put it in The Agrarian Foes of Bolshevism, p. 358, "To distribute the land while the most virile element in the village was at the front would have brought the soldier-peasants home like locusts to a grainfield. " "indeed, the rising problem of desertion was already stimulated by rumors of illegal land seizure, for those at the front naturally feared that they were being deprived of their share of the fruits of the revolution ." https://books.google.com/books?id=38gMzMRXCpQC&pg=PA50

Adam Ulam made the same point: "Equally unrealistic is the argument that the opponents of the Bolsheviks should have beaten them to the punch and introduced immediately an agrarian reform giving the peasant what remained of the gentry's land. The peasant masses , the argument runs, would not have been won over or at least neutralized by the Bolsheviks ' demagoguery. Any tampering with the ownership of land in wartime , as Lenin's experience subsequently shows, was bound to make worse the already desperate food situation . And Russia's was a peasant army . How many soldiers would stay with their units if they were told that back in their village the landlord's estate was being partitioned among the peasant households?" https://books.google.com/books?id=TdCK1WkconkC&pg=PA335
 

RousseauX

Donor
With the Bolshevik leadership killed during the July Days, it is extremely difficult to see the headless Soviets and far-left revolutionary committees managing to organize themselves in time and speed to move against Kerensky,

In any case, such a scenario would effectively have been precluded by Kerensky self-couping the Provisional Government, declaring martial law within the cities and declaring himself Vozhd of all Russia.

An authoritarian military regime set up by Kerensky is certainly a far better alternative to the Bolsheviks.
The Bolsheviks were a minority within the Soviet leadership in summer 1917, the other left-wing parties: SRs and Mensheviks were in the majority. They were actually pretty fringe before the July days. Suppressing them would not have left hte Soviets leaderless

Also Kerensky was very bad at politics and had almost no support from the soldiers, when he -did- attempt to move troops into the capital post-October the soldiers ended up almost arresting -him- and he barely got away.
 
simply a basic truth that you’ll have to accept sooner or later.
I’ll thank you to stop trying to shove your opinion down my throat as if it’s fact. Your views of what is desirable had no relevance to allo-historical speculation on varied development pathways (try the Nove-Millar debate for how scholars do this); nor is your suggestion relevant to the historiography of preventable famines and the reasons why classes and organisations pushed these.

Those who agree with your morality do not need to hear it as they share it. Those who disagree do not as they do not. What we are here to hear is interpretations of historical works and sources which we may not know; and, well supported, potentially plausible or interestingly novel speculations on what processes actually existed historically and what would have varied them.

cite more, and actual historiographic works, tell me less about what you think is good. If I wanted quality morality I’d be on an alt theology board.
 
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R-TX

Banned
In the event that Kornilov actually does end up following up on his threats to overthrow the Provisional Government, it is difficult to see the far-left being sufficiently organised to carry out a counter-coup against Kornilov’s troops.
The Bolsheviks were a minority within the Soviet leadership in summer 1917, the other left-wing parties: SRs and Mensheviks were in the majority. They were actually pretty fringe before the July days. Suppressing them would not have left hte Soviets leaderless

Also Kerensky was very bad at politics and had almost no support from the soldiers, when he -did- attempt to move troops into the capital post-October the soldiers ended up almost arresting -him- and he barely got away.
 

R-TX

Banned
I’ll thank you to stop trying to shove your opinion down my throat as if it’s fact. Your views of what is desirable had no relevance to allo-historical speculation on varied development pathways (try the Nove-Millar debate for how scholars do this); nor is your suggestion relevant to the historiography of preventable famines and the reasons why classes and organisations pushed these.

Those who agree with your morality do not need to hear it as they share it. Those who disagree do not as they do not. What we are here to hear is interpretations of historical works and sources which we may not know; and, well supported, potentially plausible or interestingly novel speculations on what processes actually existed historically and what would have varied them.

cite more, and actual historiographic works, tell me less about what you think is good. If I wanted quality morality I’d be on an alt theology board.
White victory in the Russian Civil War = no Holodomor, no de-dekulakisation, no Great Purge, no fascists due to no Communists.

If this isn’t the best-case scenario according to you, then I virtually don’t know what it is.
 
Thats simply a basic truth that you’ll have to accept sooner or later.

And yes, this is very relevant to the question being asked here.
I already agree with it and argued a white victory would be better before. But that is not the question the OP asked. They didn't ask if OTL USSR or white Russia would be better. They asked how the revolution would develop without the Bolshevik coup.
 
White victory in the Russian Civil War = no Holodomor, no de-dekulakisation, no Great Purge, no fascists due to no Communists.

If this isn’t the best-case scenario according to you, then I virtually don’t know what it is.
That's a bunch of assumptions about the anti-semitic, nationalist-chauvinist and anti-democratic white generals which isn't grounded in reality. If you think that those generals, which created the biggest mass-murder of Jews in the 20th century before the Holocaust, would create a better world, I don't know what you mean by "better".
 
Users may enjoy perusing Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg's antics in relation to the individual at the operational level of military history, and of the glorious constituent actions of those comprising white Russian politics.
 

R-TX

Banned
I already agree with it and argued a white victory would be better before. But that is not the question the OP asked. They didn't ask if OTL USSR or white Russia would be better. They asked how the revolution would develop without the Bolshevik coup.
That's a bunch of assumptions about the anti-semitic, nationalist-chauvinist and anti-democratic white generals which isn't grounded in reality. If you think that those generals, which created the biggest mass-murder of Jews in the 20th century before the Holocaust, would create a better world, I don't know what you mean by "better".
Users may enjoy perusing Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg's antics in relation to the individual at the operational level of military history, and of the glorious constituent actions of those comprising white Russian politics.
Where is your credible source for the biggest mass murder of Jews before the Holocaust?
 

R-TX

Banned
The scenario that I am personally desiring in a White victory scenario is for Russia to become a constitutionally democratic liberal/conservative republic after the Civil War.

That would be the greatest possible outcome for literally everybody.
 

R-TX

Banned
Are you serious? If you don't know the Kyiv pogroms, maybe you shouldn't talk about that topic at all.
And the Reds were responsible for the massacres at Kronstadt and Tambov.

The Reds and the Whites were both responsible for committing terrible war crimes during the Civil War.

What the Bolsheviks did to Russia after the end of the Civil War was perhaps by far one of the worst atrocities/crimes against humanity in history before World War II.
 
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marktaha

Banned
That's a bunch of assumptions about the anti-semitic, nationalist-chauvinist and anti-democratic white generals which isn't grounded in reality. If you think that those generals, which created the biggest mass-murder of Jews in the 20th century before the Holocaust, would create a better world, I don't know what you mean by "better".
Would they have been in power? The Social Revolutionaries won the election - some two- thirds of the votes were for them or the Bolsheviks.
 

R-TX

Banned
Would they have been in power? The Social Revolutionaries won the election - some two- thirds of the votes were for them or the Bolsheviks.
The far-left movement in Russia would likely have been completely destroyed during the inevitable White Terror after the end of the Civil War, whether they were Social Revolutionaries, Bolsheviks or Mensheviks.
 
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