How The Russian Revolution of 1917 Still Marks Its Significance in 21st Century?

Orlando Figes

Every single instance that comes up from the pages of history has got some significance in the current day scenario as well and so does the Russian Revolution too. Coincidentally, the year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the event and still hasn’t the memory of it faded at all. Most of the radical American journalists have mentioned how the Revolution has shaken the world at its core. Not only the Soviet Union had its foundation which is now claimed to be the first socialist and totalitarian society, but also the entire history of Europe changed with this one single event.

Now, mostly historians have been glorifying these events just to have their books published in the market and find more and more readership? Does the 21st century want to know only of what is mentioned in the books of history? Are there several other shades of the Revolution which are yet not known by the entire world? Orlando Figes, who believes in representing history in a different way to the entire world, is of the opinion that history has got a deeply rooted consequence in each and every society, and with time, it never fades, it only grows to mark its significance.

Similarly, this Great Russian Revolution of 1917 has got its own neglected section as well, which to the 21st-century world is of greater importance than the Marxist socialist vision which was once promoted. It was this particular revolution which actually marked the first instance of Western influence in Russia, and secondly, how Russia was bitten back just within a couple of months by this tide and kept running for seven decades. There were some individualistic attempts in between the year 1985 and 1999, to lead Russia back to the West, but not only it failed, but Putin rose to power which actually resumed the flow of the Western tide.

Those who showed some interest in knowing why the Western influence peaked within such a short time, and fell back hard on the floor at the same pace, dug deep into the matter and found three individual events which to some extent are interlocked with each other. The February revolution of 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917, and the three-year civil war provoked by this same Bolshevik group are those three events which are braided together in the same thread and had the deepest impact on the nation. In fact, the last on the list was so powerful in its magnitude, that Russia didn’t find such a level of destruction even during the World War I.

So, according to Orlando Figes, what the 21st century learned is, the significance of the Russian Revolution is not in the formation of the socialist society that most of them believed in the 20th century- but the strong force that it created in stopping the Western democratic society from being formed there. That otherwise would have cost a high price not just to Russia, Europe, and Asia, but to the socio-economic scenario of the entire world.

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