Перевод статьи с английского на русский

Тема работы: Перевод статьи с английского на русский
Предметная область: Перевод, Английский язык
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Communism in Russian History

By George F. Kennan


Russia was for many centuries separated, geographically and politically, from the development of Western civilization and culture, and thus came late into what, for most of Europe, would be called the modern age. But the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, witnessing as they did an extensive overcoming of these earlier barriers, permitted a very considerable progress in the modernization of Russian society. By the time the country was overtaken by the First World War, its situation was not entirely discouraging. Industrialization was proceeding at a level only two or three decades behind that of the United States. There was under implementation a program of education reform which, if allowed to continue unimpeded, would have assured total literacy within another two decades. And the first really promising program for the modernization of Russian agriculture (the so-called Stolypin reforms), while by no means yet completed, was proceeding steadily and with good chances for ultimate success.

These achievements, of course, had not been reached without conflicts and setbacks. Nor were they, alone, all that was needed. Still to be overcome as the war interceded were many archaic features in the system of government, among them the absolutism of the crown, the absence of any proper parliamentary institutions and the inordinate powers of the secret police. Still to be overcome, too, was the problem of the non-Russian nationalities within the Russian Empire. This empire, like other multinational and multilingual political constellations, was rapidly becoming an anachronism; the maintenance of it was beginning to come under considerable pressure.


But none of these problems required a bloody revolution for their solution. The removal of the autocracy was, after all, destined to be achieved relatively bloodlessly, and the foundations of a proper parliamentary system laid, in the first months of 1917. And there was no reason to despair of the possibility that Russia, if allowed to develop without war or violent revolution, might still encompass a successful and reasonably peaceful advance into the modern age. It was, however, just this situation, and just these expectations, that were to be shattered by the events of the final months in that fateful year of 1917.

The Russian oppositional movement of the last half of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth had always included extreme radical factions that did not want reform to proceed gradually, peacefully and successfully. They wanted nothing less than the immediate and total destruction of tsarist power and of the social order in which it operated. The fact that their own ideas of what might follow upon that destruction were vague, unformed and largely utopian was not allowed to moderate the violence of their intentions. Participating, though in quite different ways, in both of the major revolutionary parties, the Socialist Revolutionaries and the Social Democrats (out of whom the Communists emerged), these factions found themselves, in their bitter opposition to gradual reform, in a state of limited and involuntary alliance with the most radical reactionary circles at the conservative end of the political spectrum. After all, these latter also did not want to see change proceed gradually and peacefully, for they did not want it to occur at all. So it was not by accident that the ideas and aims of both extremist elements were to find a common expression, as Robert C. Tucker has so persuasively pointed out in his recent work, in the Stalin of the future.

Up to the outbreak of war, to 1917 in fact, the leftist extremists had met with very limited success. In the final prewar years they had actually been losing political position and support. What changed all this, and gave them opportunities few of them had ever expected, was Russia's involvement in the war, and particularly the ill-considered attempt by the provisional government to continue the war effort into the summer of 1917, in the face of the epochal internal political crisis already brought about by the recent fall of the monarchy.

It had been a folly, of course, for Russia to involve itself a decade earlier in 1904-05 in the war against Japan. This alone had brought the country to the very brink of revolution. It was a greater folly (and this might have been clear, one would think, to Russian statesmen at the time) to involve Russia in the far larger strains of participation in a great European war. The war was, of course, not the only cause of the breakdown of the tsarist system in 1917; it may be fairly said, however, that without Russia's involvement in the war that breakdown would not have come when it did or taken the forms that it did, and that anything like a seizure of power by the Bolshevist faction would have been improbable in the extreme. Seen in this way, the establishment of communist power in Russia in November 1917 has to be regarded as only one part of the immense tragedy that World War I spelled for most of European civilization. But the consequences of the Russian Revolution were destined long to outlive the other immediate effects of the war and to complicate the world situation over most of the remainder of the century.

By mid-1917 in any case, the die was cast for Russia. The stresses of the first two and a half years of war, together with those of the earlier months of that year-the exhaustion of army and society, the sudden collapse of the tsarist police force, and the program of land reform that lent itself so easily to demagogic exploitation-made possible the successful seizure of power, first in the major cities, then throughout the country, by Lenin and his associates. Thus the straitjacket of communist dictatorship-the restraint under which it was destined to writhe throughout the life span not only of the generation then alive but of its children and grandchildren as well-was fastened upon an unprepared and bewildered Russian society.

One hesitates to summarize what this development was to mean for Russia. No summary could be other than inadequate. But the effort must be made, for without it the communist epoch now coming to an end cannot be seen in historical perspective.

Let us start with what happened to most of the educated and culturally important elements of the Russian society of that time. The Leninist regime, in the initial years of Soviet power, succeeded in physically destroying or driving out of the country the greater part-most of an entire generation, in fact-of what would have been called, in the Marxist vocabulary of that day, the "bourgeois" intelligentsia. Stalin later completed the process by doing the same to most of the Marxist intelligentsia that remained. Thus Lenin and Stalin contrived, between the two of them, to eliminate a very large portion of the rather formidable cultural community that had come into being in the final decades of tsardom. And with this loss there went, more important still, the loss of much of the very cultural continuity of which this generation was an indispensable part. It would never thereafter be possible to reunite fully the two frayed ends of this great chain of national development, now so brutally severed.

Beyond this, while we speak of understanding, we can try to bear in mind that along with all the dark aspects of their development, the Russians have shown themselves historically to be a great people-a people of many talents, capable of rendering significant contributions, spiritual, intellectual and aesthetic, to the development of world civilization. They have made such contributions at times in the past. They have the potentiality for doing it again-in a better future.

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Дмитрий Николаевич
Я уже давно, конечно, не студент.. мне уже 39 лет, работаю в организации по строительству дорог. По работе мне очень много раз приходится выступать на различных конференциях, презентациях с лекциями, докладами, а также обучать 'новичков' и ко всему этому не забывать о своих должностных обязанностях. И вот так случилось что за три дня мне сообщили что нужно провести лекцию с действующими сотрудниками иной компании, а на то время я был в командировке. решил обратиться за помощью в данную организацию (зачтено), т.к. они работают еще и дистанционно что очень удобно, мне смогли там помочь. как раз по приезду мне выслали на почту работу. написали отличную лекцию, чувствуется в ней и опыт человека в этом направлении, который мне писал работу. Очень благодарен, будем впредь сотрудничать с вами, с уважением Дмитрий Николаевич

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