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On China Miéville’s “October” (Some lessons from the Russian revolutions of 1917)

Kamran Nayeri

There has been a flurry of books and articles published on the centenary of the 1917 Russian revolutions and for good reason. The Russian revolution continues to be a source of historical and political debates about feasibility and desirability of socialism and the Bolshevik legacy. Were the horrors of Stalinism that followed, not just in the Soviet Union but also in Eastern Europe, China, Vietnam, North Korea, and Cambodia, and elsewhere the logical outcome of Bolshevism? Was the October 1917 revolution a Bolshevik coup? What was the role of the masses of Russian people, especially the proletariat, in the 1917 revolutions? How should we appraise the Cuban revolution in light of the Bolshevik legacy? What can we learn from the Russian revolutions and the Bolshevik legacy in preparation for ecological socialism? These and other similarly strategic questions require us to examine or re-examine the lessons of the Russian revolutions of 1917.

In On China Miéville’s “October” I will review the book with an eye toward some key lessons we can draw from the Russian revolutions of 1917 and the Bolshevik legacy for today's ecological socialist movement.

I would be grateful for any critical reflections.

Kamran Nayeri