Russian Politics of History and the October Revolution

Original scientific paper

Tihomir Cipek ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (331 KB) pages 129-145 cite

Using the example of their views on The October Revolution (1917), in this text the parties’ politics of history in contemporary Russia are being analysed. First, we examine the official politics of history of Vladimir Putin and his party – United Russia’s history. Then we move on to analysing the Sovietnostalgic position of the Russian Federation’s Communist Party, and finally the imperialist-conservative interpretation of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Russian Orthodox Church and the radical-right, such as the interpretation of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. The analysis has shown that with the collapse of the Soviet Union its constitutive myth has been also broken apart. The October Revolution no longer has the function of the essence of the official myth, but it is interpreted in terms of party politics. Putin’s United Russia’s policy of history is based on the idea of national reconciliation, where both the tsarist and Bolshevik histories are approached as the expression of Russian patriotism, under different circumstances. According to this interpretation, both Reds and Whites were patriots who were trying to build a strong Russian state. The Communist, e.g. Soviet-nostalgic interpretation emphasized that the victory of the USSR in the Second World War should be thanked to the political order established by the October Revolution. In the imperial conservative interpretation, the October Revolution is the greatest spiritual disaster in Russian history, which demolished the state and Orthodoxy as its religious basis. The public opinion surveys conducted in Russia show that the October Revolution has become a second-rate event, which is celebrated exclusively by the Communists. Putin’s policy of history has thus shaped the new founding myth of the Russian state, based not on the October Revolution but on Soviet (Russian) victory in the Second World War.

Politics of History; October Revolution; Russia; Political Parties; Vladimir Putin

Hrčak ID: 206606