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Additional resources for Roots of revolution. a history of the populist and socialist movements in nineteenth century Russia. Translated from the Italian by Francis Haskell. With an introd. by Isaiah Berlin

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Or had Could it be that the Marxist the Mensheviks misunderstood it, theory of history and concealed from themselves the anti-democratic tendencies which had always been implicit in it? In which case were their charges against Mikhai- lovsky and his friends, after all, wholly just? By 1917 their own fears of the Bolshevik dictatorship rested upon the same basis. Moreover, the results of the October revolution turned out to be oddly similar to those which Tkachev's opponents had prophesied that his methods must inevitably produce: the emergence of an glite, wielding dictatorial power, designed in theory to wither away once the need for it had gone; but, as the Populist democrats had said over and over again, in practice more likely to grow in and strength, with a tendency towards self-perpetuation which dictatorship seems able to resist.

The stories of the revolt and the trial, and the horror which seized Moscow, shook me deeply. A new world opened for me and became the centre of my spiritual life. ' 3 His first reaction was to continue the work of those martyrs to dedicate himself completely to the cause for which they had fallen. One night on the Sparrow Hills, the range which dominates the bend of the Moscow river and overlooks the whole city, he and Ogarev vowed to sacrifice their "entire lives 4 to the struggle which the Decembrists had begun'.

Success in this task plainly needs no further reward. And yet one may, at moments, wonder whether Populism should be dismissed quite as easily as it still is today, both by communist and bourgeois historians. Were the populists so hopelessly in error? Were Chernyshevsky and Lavrov and Marx who listened to them totally deluded? Was capitalism in fact inevitable in Russia? The consequences of accelerated industrialization prophesied by the neo-Populist economists in the 'nineties, namely a degree of social and economic misery as great as any undergone in the West during the Industrial Revolution, did occur, both an increasing tempo, after the October revolution.

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