History subject to ideology

History subject to ideology

  • IIe Congress of the Communist International.

    BULLA Viktor (1883 - 1944)

  • Lenin addressing soldiers.

    GOLDSTEIN I.P.

  • Lenin speaking to soldiers, retouched photograph.

    GOLDSTEIN I.P.

To close

Title: IIe Congress of the Communist International.

Author : BULLA Viktor (1883 - 1944)

Creation date : 1920

Date shown: 1920

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Technique and other indications: From left to right, we can recognize: Armenian Karakhane (1889-1937) in front of the left column; sitting on the balustrade, Karl Radek (1885-1939), on his left Nicolas Bukharin (1888-1938), in front of the other column Maxim Gorki (1868-1936) and in the foreground Lenin; Zorin (1890-1937) wearing a hat and immediately to his left Zinoviev (1883-1936); with tie and white shoes the Indian M. N. Roy (1887-1954), the sister of Lenin Maria Ulyanova, with the beard the Italian Bombacci.

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Contact copyright: © All rights reserved

IIe Congress of the Communist International.

© All rights reserved

To close

Title: Lenin addressing soldiers.

Author : GOLDSTEIN I.P. (-)

Creation date : 1920

Date shown: 05 May 1920

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Storage location:

Contact copyright: © All rights reserved

Lenin addressing soldiers.

© All rights reserved

To close

Title: Lenin speaking to soldiers, retouched photograph.

Author : GOLDSTEIN I.P. (-)

Creation date : 1920

Date shown: 05 May 1920

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Storage location:

Contact copyright: © All rights reserved

Lenin speaking to soldiers, retouched photograph.

© All rights reserved

Publication date: January 2005

Historical context

The IIe Congress of the IIIe Communist International or Komintern (from Kommunistiche Internazionale) marks the true foundation of this new organization headquartered in Moscow. The delegates adopted there the statutes of the CI which stipulate that the “new international association of workers is founded with the aim of organizing a general action of the proletariat of the different countries, tending to one and the same end: the overthrow of the capitalism, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat and of an international republic of Soviets ”. To these statutes are added twenty-one conditions intended to hinder reformist socialists, including the constitution of an "underground body" capable of replacing the legal structures in times of civil war (3e), the formation of communist nuclei in the unions (9e), the obligation to carry out "periodic cleansing" of "petty-bourgeois" elements (13e), the “unreserved support of the Soviet republics” (14e). The lines of activity of the Communists were thus defined for decades.

Image Analysis

The first of the three photographs collected here was taken on the occasion of IIe Congress of the Communist International (July 21-August 6, 1920). From left to right, we recognize: Armenian Karakhane (1889-1937) in front of the left column; seated on the balustrade, Karl Radek (1885-1939), on his left Nicolas Bukharin (1888-1938), in front of the other column Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) and in the foreground Lenin; Zorin (1890-1937) wearing a hat and immediately to his left Zinoviev (1883-1936); with tie and white shoes the Indian M. Roy (1887-1954), Lenin's sister Maria Ulyanova, with the beard the Italian Bombacci.
The presence of Mr. Roy indicates the importance that Lenin attached to national and colonial questions: the Bolshevik revolution is destined to upset the whole world. Moreover Roy wrote the theses on the national question during the congress, and a few weeks later, from the 1er on September 8, the first congress of the peoples of the east is held in Baku. Delegates from Central Europe rub shoulders with Armenian, Uzbek, Persian, Arab, Khirgiz, Georgian, Chinese, etc. delegates.
This photograph, like so many others, will be retouched so that individuals who have broken with the CI like N. Roy or who have been purged like Radek or Bukharin disappear from it. Only Lenin and Gorky are kept in a reduced frame.
The second photograph is from May 5, 1920. Lenin addresses troops about to fight the Polish army, which has advanced eastward into territory the Bolsheviks consider theirs. On July 2, General M. Toukhachevsky would then have proclaimed: "The road of world fire passes over the corpse of Poland ..." His offensive was broken on the outskirts of Warsaw from August 15 to 20, the Red Army being forced into a hasty and disorderly retreat. The dream of reaching industrial Germany to restart the world revolution had fizzled out. The following year the two adversaries signed a peace treaty in Riga.
Below the platform stand Leon Trotsky and (in front of him) Lev Kamenev. From the thirties, the photo was retouched or cropped (document n ° 3). Trotsky, exiled on the island of Prinkipo in the Sea of ​​Marmara, disappears, as does Kamenev, who, belonging to the opposition to Stalin, no longer "deserves" to appear on the official photographs.

Interpretation

Once in power, Stalin intends to erase from memories the place occupied by the great figures of the Bolshevik Revolution. These photographic montages of course illustrate a man's desire to rewrite history for his own benefit while taking care to make his rivals forget. But they also reveal the deep nature of the totalitarian regime of communism. In order for the revolutionary project to triumph, ideology, propaganda and the manipulation of conscience permanently replace reality. In 1984George Orwell evokes this falsification of the past through the character of Winston, an official in the "Ministry of Truth," whose task is to destroy old documents every day and forge new ones. Thus, thanks to the technique, even the traces of history can be reconstructed in order to conform to the official truth of the moment.

  • Bolshevism
  • Communism
  • Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, says)
  • propaganda
  • Russia
  • Russian revolution
  • Communist International
  • ideologies
  • Orwell (George)
  • Stalin (Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, said)
  • Trotsky (Leon)
  • Comintern
  • Gorky (Maxim)
  • Kamenev (Lev Borissovich)
  • Zinoviev (Grigori)
  • Bukharin (Nikolai)

Bibliography

Marc FERROThe Russian Revolution of October 1917Paris, Albin Michel, collection "Library of the Evolution of Humanity", 1997.Malia MARTINUnderstanding the Russian RevolutionParis, Seuil.Richard PIPESThe Russian Revolutiontranslated from the American under the direction of Jean-Mathieu LUCCIONI, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1993.

To cite this article

Jean-Louis PANNE, "History subject to ideology"


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