Noel Ignatiev's Blog

Revolutionary Greetings

I wrote to a few old friends this morning, November 7, the anniversary of the Bolshevik seizure of power: “Remember when this date was widely regarded as historically significant?”

Got the following responses:

From Tucson: No, what was it?

From France: Now that you mention it, yes, I do remember. It still is a historically important date, but not a national holiday any more.  July 14 has fared better.

From Italy: Yes, November 7th is still an historically important date, no matter
whether many or few people think about it. As republicans used to say when
the Savoy monarchy was in its ascendancy—and then took over—in the
1850-60s in Italy, “What was not will be…”

From Chicago: John Reed, witnessing Lenin’s proclamation, “We shall now construct the socialist order,” and the ensuing debate in the Congress of Soviets, wrote: “Such a deluge of high and hot thoughts that surely Russia would never again be dumb!” Ninety-three years later, Russia is as dumb as a post in Reed’s terms.

From Boston: I just looked it up in wikipedia. I suppose the fall of the Winter Palace (2 a.m. the next morning, after all the government offices had fallen) was the symbolic event. I am a broken hearted Menshevik, view February to October as a major lost opportunity. By continuing the war, the liberals slit the throat of constitutional democracy.

From San Francisco: LOL. It has been washed from people’s minds.

From Boston: Took me a while. You do know, don’t you, that the Smolny is now used as a liberal arts college?

From Chicago: Of course. It’s my wife’s birthday.

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