The French Revolution, the Russian Revolution And the Present Third World

Talks of revolution are in the air in the third world. The South Asia is being considered the centre for it. The strength of the hypothesis will be revealed in the future only. But the frustration of the masses in the poverty ridden third world is mounting along with the price hike. The people are fed up with the slogans and theories. However, the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution are more than the slogans and the theories. They are the result-oriented happenings. The world has been given a lot of heroes and villains by these two important historical events. Today's world is the global village where the tenants are the stake holders of one an other while the feudal lords are the stake holders among themselves. The tenants and the working class are more than the lords and the capitalists. The French Revolution and the Russian Revolution have proved that the groups, greater in number, won. The Russian Revolution in general and the French Revolution in particular are being used as a metaphor for the modern revolution. In the present third world, only the poor are not against the elite. The educated middle class is in forefront against the aristocrats. S.A. Smith gives a very fine analysis of this factor involved in the Russian Revolution. He writes," As early as the 1830s a social group had emerged that stood outside the system of social estates. This was the characteristically, Russian group, known as the intelligentsia, defined less by its socio-economic position than its critical stance towards the autocracy."(The Russian Revolution, a Very Short Introduction Chapter 1)

Present world is the world of electronic communication. So a peaceful revolution is expected as the ruling class is having wide opportunity to read the writing on the wall. However, today's violence is more dangerous. If the revolution comes, it will be different from the previous revolutions as the world has changed. There are a lot of similarities between the two revolutions which suggests that the present conditions in the third world will not stay for a long time. They match with the pre-revolution conditions prevailing in France and Russia. The French Revolution and the Russian Revolution occurred as a result of efforts and sacrifices of the common person of those two ages. Political leadership emerged with the passage of time. The intellectual played their role on another front. The Russian Revolution is not being idealized today because it is directly attached with the economic theory which is considered impractical. However, the both revolutions gave confidence to the lower classes which were deprived economically and politically.

The revolutions also proved that the privileged class never surrenders easily. They proved that the common person is stronger than the elite and the economic factor is the most important and the first motivating factor in the world. The political systems introduced by the dictators were inefficient as well as ineffective. The public representatives were expected to be the blind followers of the king. In the seventeenth and the eighteenth century, the king was absolute in France. Similar conditions were prevailing in the twentieth century Russia where Lenin had to flee to Finland. Lois XIV of France and Nicholas II of Russia did not learn from their mistakes. The General Estates of France had not met since 1614. Similarly, the Dumas of 1906 had no control over the state affairs. In fact, both the king wanted to eat their cake and had it. They did not surrender the power.

The poor made them do so. The conditions in the present third world are the same. One of the few differences is that the people having control over state affairs are greater in number and constitute a system much similar to Fascism. The rulers are totally insensitive to the problems of the masses.

Before the two revolutions, the peasants and the working class were highly dissatisfied. They were suppressed, not only politically, but also economically. They had no control over state affairs whereas they were enforced to pay heavy taxes. In France only the working class paid the taxes while in Russia, the conditions were almost the same. On account of it, the acts of terrorism became common. During the French Revolution, the hidden wrath of the deprived classes erupted and they beheaded three thousand people from the elite class.

In Russia, the anger was expressed before the revolution. The same scenario is expected in the third world. I am sure about it as the Russian Revolution was the replica of the French Revolution, the next revolution will be the replica of the Russian revolution. The working class, before the revolutions, moved to the cities and the situation became deteriorated.

Today, same thing is happening in the third world countries. If the population goes on moving towards the urban areas, their will be shortage of food and administrative crises. The big population will be used to in flare the anti-state activities. This will make the situation similar to those which brought the two revolutions.

Today, almost every country in the third world is engaged in a war against a group or a country. War and destruction are synonym in the economic context. War is fought with the blood of the lower class as their tax is used to kill their neighbors. In 1788, France was paying the debt of the wars which were fought one hundred years ago. In 1917, Russia was fighting wars on many fronts. During this year, the number of the casualities was one million. War was doing heavy losses. It was the economic depression, created by the wars that led the prices soaring to the sky. In Russia, in 1917, the prices of the food rose 500 to 700 percent. And in France the bread became scarce due the state's pro-war policies. The soldiers lost the spirit in the result less war. So they were ready to welcome any set of reforms that could stop the war. In this way, the ground for the revolutions was prepared.

This provided the politicians with an ample opportunity to get the support of the armed forces. Civil War (1918-1922) between the Red Russian and the White Russian was the result of the opposition of war from the Bolsheviks. Similarly, in France, the groups who were in the favor of war were killed by the revolutionaries.

Intellectuals have always opposed the war. Marx and Voltaire, along with the others intellectuals highlighted the exploitation that was being done by the rich under the umbrella of so called national prestige. Abbes Sieyes in 1787 said,"What is third state? Everything." The third state is one of the general Estates of France

that comprised of the poor.

In Russia, the religion was indirectly involved in the exploitation of the masses. S.A. Smith says about the Russian Revolution:

"The collapse of autocracy was rooted in a crisis of modernization." (The Russian Revolution, a Very Short Introduction, Chapter 1). Modern world is a Sphinx that puts a riddle before the main stake-holders of the world. If they are unable to solve it, she kills them. It is going to happen with the rulers of the third world. It is an established fact that today the civil rights cannot be suppressed in the name of religion. In France, the clergy was directly involved in looting the public. They were small in number but owned ten to fifteen percent of the land. They were exempted from every kind of tax. This was the thing that pinched the poor. In the present third world, the conditions are not different.

Only the common people pay the tax. The clergy has got the right to mix the politics with the religion. Soil of the third world is so fertile that million tons of grain is produced but 80 percent of the population is living either in poverty or below the poverty line. As the upper hierarchy and the clergy are corrupt, the common person has no respect for law and no regard for the religious values. Most of the third world countries are being ruled by military-clergy-feudal alliance. But now, the free media is highlighting the situation and motivating the common person to struggle for their rights.

The poor have been deprived of the basic facilities of life. They were deprived in the 18th century in France and in the 20th century in Russia. Thomas Carlyle writes about the plight of the masses before French Revolution in the following words:

"............their hand and toil is in every possession of man; but for themselves, they have little or no possession. Untaught, uncomforted, unfed; to pine dully in thick obscuration, in squalid destitution and obscuration, this is the lot of the millions..." (The French Revolution, a History, Book 1).

Today, the militaries of the third world countries are armed with the modern weapons but the children and the women are no more than worms creeping and prone to death at any time. And the shameless elite class and the hypocrite clergy are proud of them. The situation is so deteriorated that the things are no more going to improve. The revolution is imminent which will wipe out the exploiters and the present depressed class will be the rulers.

Today, the feudal are unable to defeat the positive minded scientists. They are hurdle in the propagation of education. But the doors of informal education through media are for everyone. Franois Fret says about the similarities of the situations in the following words:

"The passing of time may weaken.......sense of identification or on the contrary preserve and even strengthen its depending on whether the subject treated by the historian does or does not express the issue of his own time, his values and his choice." (Interpreting the French Revolution, Book 1, Part 1)

One should not expect the hundred percent same conditions in two given situations. Similarities should be kept in consideration. Only then the Aristotle's theory of identification will be applicable. The situation in the present third world supports the phenomenon.


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