Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

Revolutionaries often make moral compromises that do not always reflect well upon them.

Below is an interesting piece by Dr Matt Treacy, a writer and  former volunteer in Óglaigh na hÉireann's Dublin brigade and an adviser to Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris in Dáil Éireann. He looks at the danger of compromising core beliefs. He uses as an example the fate of  Lenin's favorite Bolshevik Nikolai Bukharin of whom Lenin had this to say:
Speaking of the young C.C. members, I wish to say a few words about Bukharin and Pyatakov. They are, in my opinion, the most outstanding figures (among the youngest ones), and the following must be borne in mind about them: Bukharin is not only a most valuable and major theorist of the Party; he is also rightly considered the favourite of the whole Party.
In 1938 Bukharin was brought before the judicial charade know as the Trial of the Twenty One, the last of Stalin's purges of his former revolutionary comrades. The charges against him were so infantile only an idiot would have believed them, sadly there were plenty of them about back then. He was accused of planning to assassinate Lenin and Stalin from 1918 onwards, of  murdering the writer Maxim Gorky. Colluding with the Soviet Union's enemies specifically Germany, Japan, and Great Britain and much much more. 

Bukharin biographer Professor Stephen Cohen believed his confession was so nonsensical it was deliberately designed to prove his innocence by future generations. Stalin in his wickedness despite his promise to spare his family sent Bukharin's wife, Anna Larina to a labor camp. 

Thankfully she survived and emerged after 20 years to become a doughty fighter on behalf of her husband's legacy, and lived see her husband officially rehabilitated by the Soviet state under Mikhail Gorbachev in 1988. Which in my view was Gorbachev's finest decision. 

Before he was murdered Bukharin had instructed his wife to memorise his final will and testament in which he implored future generations of communist leaders to exonerate him. 

Not daring to write it down, she later recalled, she used to lull herself to sleep in prison by repeating her husband's words silently to herself "like a prayer." It was finally published in full in 1988.

By the way Professor Stephen Cohen's book Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888-1938 is well worth a read.

The Punishment Of Dissent by Matt Treacy which was first published on the Pensive Quill.
Nikolai Bukharin was an interesting chap. He was a “foundational Bolshevik” as some might refer to latter day republican “dissenters” as “foundational Provos,” as if that was a bad thing. If that is not bad enough then they will drop the penny as informers.

Like many revolutionaries Bukharin made moral compromises that do not always reflect well upon him. He sided with Stalin initially but became appalled by the burgeoning terror and the huge loss of life in the artificial famines.

He professed allegiance to Stalin to the very end, but many historians believe that he was being duplicitous for whatever reason. Many of us have been. Stalin toyed with him, and at one stage apparently stood laughing at him with Beria and the other scum while poor Nikolai attempted to attract their attention by waving at them in the podium during the May Day march.

The lesson of that is, do not attempt to kowtow to tyrants. They only have contempt for people who fawn on them, and that includes those who think they are in the “core group.”

So one day, after years of dodging and dealing they came to take Bukharin away. Historians are conflicted about whether he was tortured but evidence from the archives show that the interrogators were instructed that “beatings permitted.” Well, anyone who has ever been beaten up would not consider that anything to be happy about.

So, eventually he confessed to all sorts of nonsensical allegations and they had a trial. Then he retracted, and then made a ludicrous confession to being a fascist. The best interpretation of it is that he did it to save his family. It didn’t succeed. They sent them to the gulag. Another reason not to compromise with tyrants.

The lesson of all of this is that internal dissenters are always looked upon as worse than any external enemy. The reason being that they remind the tyrant of how far they have distanced themselves from the original objectives they professed to believe in. Above all they cannot tolerate that.

Most of all they cannot tolerate anyone who points out that the Emperor does not have clothes. The lesson of Bukharin is, never compromise.

This post first appeared on ORGANIZED RAGE, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

Revolutionaries often make moral compromises that do not always reflect well upon them.


Subscribe to Organized Rage

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription