One hundred years ago in Russia, thousands of workers were on strike in the city of Astrakhan and at the Putilov factory in Petrograd, the capital of the revolution. Strikes at the Putilov factory had been one of the principal sparks that set off the February Revolution in 1917, ending the tsarist regime. Now, the bosses were party bureaucrats, and the workers were striking against a socialist government. How would the dictatorship of the proletariat respond?
Following up on our book about the Bolshevik seizure of power, The Russian Counterrevolution, we look back a hundred years to observe the anniversary of the Bolshevik slaughter of the Putilov factory workers who had helped to bring them to power. Today, when many people who did not live through actually existing socialism are propagating a sanitized version of events, it is essential to understand that the Bolsheviks meted out some of their bloodiest repression not to capitalist counterrevolutionaries, but to striking workers, anarchists, and fellow socialists. Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
If you find any of this difficult to believe, please, by all means, check our citations, consult the bibliography at the end, and investigate for yourself.