The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has just finished a repeat screening of The Russian Revolution in Colour. I missed the first part (February 23) but caught most of the second. It concerns the crushing of the Kronstadt uprising in March, 1921, the last gasp of the revolution in Russia, and the inauguration of the Bolshevik (later Communist) state.
Given the highly critical nature of the documentary, it unsurprisingly met with a damning response from today’s Bolsheviks. Nadim al-Mahjoub of the International Marxist Tendency protests at ‘Old Garbage Repeated in Colour!’ (April 7, 2005). A bizarro at spiked opines “The trend for documentary to offer colour rather than hard analysis is confirmed more literally in another Channel 5 programme: The Russian Revolution in Colour (Tuesdays at 8pm). Politically, the programme offers a standard historical account, lamenting the failure of the liberal democracy that allegedly could have come about in various ways depending on which historian you ask. There is no serious attempt to engage with the theoretical insights of the revolutionaries themselves. But the real disappointment is the colour.”
Locally, several years ago (March 2006) two members of Socialist Alternative (Daniel Lopez and Corey Oakley) breathlessly revealed ‘New facts [which] explode an anarchist myth’; a recapitulation of views expressed in December 2003, and a mainstay of apologists for Bolshevik counter-revolutionary activity since about… well, 1921.
Kronstadt sailors resist the Bolshevik “elite” who have seized power and usurped the goals of the 1917 Revolution.
Trotsky sends in the Red Army to put down the Kronstadt sailors who have challenged the Bolshevik “elite” who have seized power and usurped the goals of the 1917 Revolution.