The famous Russian Revolution began with the February Revolution of March 1917. (The reason that it’s called the February Revolution, but occurred in March, is that the West had at the time a different calendar than Russia—the West was one month “ahead.”) The February revolution began with several demonstrations about grievances the people had, and ended with the mutiny of the Petrograd Garrison. The result was forty casualties. The Czar, Nicholas II, was urged to abdicate the throne at this time, which he did.
The Provisional government was then instituted. It constituted of several different parties: classical liberal, communist, socialist, etc….
Vladimir I. Lenin, the person everybody associates with the Russian Revolution, now came into the picture. He had been expelled from college, and subsequently had spent four years reading works on radical thought. He had therefore acquainted himself with, and embraced, Marxism and communism.
In 1902 he wrote What is to be done?. In it he discussed how communism would come about. According to Karl Marx communism would inevitably come about through a proletarian (working class) revolution. However, Lenin contradicted Marx and said that the working class was not smart enough to revolt and professional revolutionaries were needed. Continue reading