The Revolt of the Masses in Russia
The more I learn about Human history, the more I am amazed by Human ignorance.
This is hardly a new observation – almost everybody has seen it in one form or another. But no one seems to have connected the dots and drawn a conclusion from them.
So I will do so myself. In the world of globalization, with global markets and a global economy – not being able to coordinate the different economies (caused by local conditions) can easily lead to out-of-control situations – where everybody loses, and loses big.
This is even true in much smaller situations – in the European Union, for example. Which is slowly falling to pieces. Slowly falling off the wall, where all the King’s Men and all the King’s horses…
But this is not what I started to write about. I was very impressed by Ortega y Gasset’s The Revolt of the Masses - written in 1930. I am now listening to John Reed’s Ten Days that Shook the World: Russia 1917 - published even earlier in 1919. Every page speaks of the masses – organized (and disorganized) in every form imaginable! John Reed was an American, but his Americans were not interested in these events – which would have a big effect on their future.
Ortega was not familiar with the events in Russia either – even though the USSR was active in the civil war that wrecked Spain and caused him to leave his country and live in South America. And he was part of their intelligentsia!
I have also listened to George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, where he fought on the side of the masses – and nearly died for them. He moved Heaven and earth to get his book published – but was ignored. The British public was also ignorant, and determined to remain so.
The masses in Russia were as well-educated (and vociferous) is they could possibly be. Which in the long run did them no good. But at least they tried.