Revolution and Counterrevolution: The Case of Finland 1917-1918


  • John Newsinger





The year 1989 marked the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution. In France itself, however, and in the capitalist world generally, the anniversary was "celebrated as a funeral to proclaim, with the help of the media and the fashionable historians, that the age of revolution is over. There was history but it has no future. The reign of capital is eternal." (Daniel Singer, "On Revolution," MR, June 1989) But in all this outpouring there was not been much about real historical revolutions—why they happen, what they are all about, and what happens if they suffer defeat. In this profoundly counter-revolutionary environment, it is useful to be reminded of concrete historical examples. Much of the world around is in ferment. The twentieth century has experienced more revolutionary upheavals than any before it, and it isn't over yet. The story of the Finnish revolution of 1917-1918 and its bloody repression, told here by John Newsinger, is a classic example. - The Editors

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