A Question of Intent

Leading up to the October Revolution, the moderates lost control to the Bolsheviks in the Provisional Government partly due to Kornilov’s failed coup (which enhanced the Bolshevik’s credibility to the working class despite their lack of involvement in resisting said coup). Lenin at the time was leading the bolsheviks from afar, and urging for an insurrection, rather than a more or less peaceful transfer of power from the Provisional Government via the Soviets. Fitzpatrick writes that this “contradictory behavior” led his “old Bolshevik comrades, Grigorii Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev” to publicly and in a non-Bolshevik newspaper, publish their disapproval of the planned coup (Fitzpatrick 1994:63). Fitzpartick asserts that this public announcement angered Lenin “[b]ut in fact the advance publicity probably helped Lenin’s cause rather than hindered it”(ibid). Could it not be the case that Lenin’s good old friends leaked the information of the planned coup on purpose, to speed along the revolution?

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