DictatorRevolutionMachine by McKenna Tony
It is a commonplace wisdom that from the authoritarian roots of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 grew the gulags and the police state of the Stalinist epoch. The Dictator the Revolution The Machine overturns that perspective once and for all by showing how October was inspired by a profound mass movement comprised of urban workers and rural poor -- a movement that went on to forge a state capable of channelling its political will in and through the most overwhelming form of grass-roots democracy history has ever known. It was a single precarious experiment whose life was tragically brief. In a context of civil war and foreign invasion the fledgling democracy was eradicated and the Bolshevik party was denuded of its social basis -- the working classes. While the party survived its centrist elements came to the fore as the power of the bureaucracy asserted itself. From the ashes of human freedom there arose a zombified sclerotic administration in which state functionaries took precedence over elected representatives. One man came to embody the inverted logic of this bureaucratic machine its remorseless brutality and its parasitic drive for power. Joseph Stalin was its highest expression accruing to himself state powers as he made his murderous heady rise to dictator. This book examines his historical profile its roots in Georgian medievalism and shows why Stalin was destined to play the role he did. In broader strokes Tony McKenna raises the conflict between the revolutionary movement and the bureaucracy to the level of a literary tragedy played out on the stage of world history showing how Stalinisms victory would pave the way for the Midnight of the Century.