1917–2017: LESSONS OF THE CENTURY FOR RUSSIA AND BEYOND
K. N. Lobanov
I. D. Putilin Belgorod Institute of Law,
Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation
For most Russians, the year 1917 is primarily connected with the centennial of the February Revolution and the subsequent October events. This is quite logical, as 1917 is justly considered a landmark in modern Russian history, after which both the country and the world could not return to their previous condition and instead followed a new trajectory of social development. Influenced by Russian revolutionary ideas and Russia’s subsequent modernization, many countries reformed their capitalist economies to create welfare states and abandoned authoritarianism and formal democracy, while turning to a more open and diversified system of power and government. They also curtailed their suppression of individual freedoms while giving citizens more opportunities for self-expression. These developments became possible due to a thorough reflection on the Russian experience and its creative interpretation in the economy, state government, and social interactions. The author addresses the following key questions in his article: did Russians themselves manage to reflect on this experience? In other words, did they learn from this experience? In analyzing the crucial events of 1917 and pointing to some later and contemporary parallels, he outlines his stance toward them.
Keywords: Russia, 1917, revolutions, Russians, experience, understanding.