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The Great War
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The Revolutionaries of Russia
Norman Stone
"The motives of the revolutionaries are many and varied… and the revolutionary parties were, themselves, an awful muddle.

"This is really why Lenin won in the end, because he'd some idea where he wanted to go. If you take the biggest of the revolutionary parties, it's the Socialist Revolutionaries. And they're hopelessly divided. Do you, as a matter of tactics, try to assassinate the Tsar? Some people say: 'Yes. Because, all right, the police will be down on us, but they will make such a hash of the job, and make everybody feel persecuted, that people will be more revolutionary rather than less revolutionary.'

"Other people said, in the Socialist Revolutionary Party: 'Don't attempt tactics of terror. In the first place, it's immoral. If you try this kind of terror, it will rebound on you.' And so, the Socialist Revolutionaries get terribly divided, and it's very easy for a relatively small, secret police force actually to find out what all these revolutionary parties are doing.

"The secret police in Tsarist Russia consisted of hardly more than thirty-six people.

"I think 1905, is several revolutions all wrapped into one. You have got, first of all, the nationality problem – which from the Russian perspective, we can now see. You've got people who say: 'We're not Russians. We're Ukrainians. We're Estonians. We're Latvians.' So you've got the nationality problem coming up, and that is an absolute back-up point into the heart of the Tsarist system."

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