“Comrade Bukharin is right, and he has made a fine speech today, but he is confused about one issue. That issue comes in regards to the petty bourgeois (the peasants). He says we can look to the rest of Europe during the revolution, that we can look to the more advanced countries’ working classes to help us through off the bourgeois yoke. But he mistakenly believes this help will come now. The unfortunate reality of the revolution is that we must begin it! The world will not follow UNTIL we have succeeded in this country. And if we are to succeed we need to combine the might of the proletariat and the petty bourgeoisies. We need their strength in the countryside, and we need their strength in the army. If they are with us, no one can be against us!” Kolya looked up dismissively at his old friend Soso, standing there so proudly. The great leader of the Bolsheviks while Lenin was in hiding.
It was the Sixth Party Congress in 1917, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Many of the party were in hiding from earlier mistakes. Few had even made the journey to the party congress this year. Kolya looked around sadly. Perhaps his old friend was right and now was the time to compromise. But he couldn’t help but feel that by doing so, they would betray Marx, and the theory to which he had committed his life. And he couldn’t shake the feeling that by betraying Marx, the theory would eventually betray them.
© A River Runs Through It Photography