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A Gallery of Thoughts on Arts, Culture and Orthodox Christian Spirituality

The Role and the Meaning of the October Revolution Today

We are only a few days away from the centenary of the October Revolution. A ton of assessments are published on the internet on a daily basis. Guilietto Chiesa (b. 1940), an Italian author, journalist, lecturer and politician, founder of the web TV Pandora TV and a prominent member of the European Parliament, tried to offer his balanced opinion in an interview for the Russian journal The World of Change ("Мир перемен").

- What is your assessment of October 1917 and the entire Soviet period of Russia and why? A great revolution or a criminal coup d'état?

- I don't think that an important historical event can be judged according to moral categories. This was taught by the great Soviet and Russian historian Alexander Zinoviev. And Niccolo Machiavelli, relying on the same foundation, invented political science. The term "criminal overthrow" refers to this unproductive category of judgment that is alien to me. The fact that the October Revolution was an incredibly important event in world history is quite obvious. The revolution had a decisive influence on the history of the 20th century, defining all subsequent events of world history. This influence continues to determine the history of the world to this day. I believe that today's Russia would not exist, its power, world influence and distinctive features would not exist, if the October Revolution did not take place. And this in spite of the fact that in 1991 the Soviet Union was destroyed, and capitalism returned to Russia.

Considering the entire Soviet period as a monstrous mistake or even as a criminal act means to ignore the participation of broad masses of the Russian people in this event. Of course, it was marked by large-scale violence and murders, but at the same time it became a point of reference and a source of hope for all oppressed peoples of the world. The history of the Soviet revolution and its end has yet to be written. What we know is the history of the winners, which, as you know, never represents the truth.

- What lessons could a contemporary independent Russian intellectual learn from the experience of October and the Soviet power in order not to repeat the mistakes of the past?

- The hitch of this question is the expression "an independent Russian intellectual". To think independently is a very complex and rare skill in our modern world, where the uniform Western way of thinking almost completely dominates. The Soviet and Russian intelligentsia, it seems to me, is still under the influence of russophobic Anglo-Saxon ideas. It is stuck in self-analysis and focused on personal interests, and not on the interests of the country, and, most importantly, it is not able to analyse the state of the world as a whole, while the "Good Empire", as it is uncritically accepted to perceive it, is in agony. Being under the influence of the enemies of the Russian people, its history and its spirit, it is difficult not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

- Do you see an analogy between the current situation (in 2017) in Russia and 1917?

- Perhaps some remote analogy can be made. In 1917, a new force appeared on the world stage. The West realized that it could pose a danger to its domination, which had no competitors up to that point, and started actively, but unsuccessfully resisting it. It felt everything correctly. The October "epidemic" produced the Chinese Revolution. Today we see that another giant is opposed to the Western Empire. Today, Russia is resurrected as a political and military power (but not an economic one). It represents an insurmountable obstacle to the plans for world domination of the Empire. This is the only analogy that I can draw. I think the West is incapable of understanding and accepting the existence of equal interlocutors. Such blindness is a serious problem for the whole world.

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