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Revolution: 100 years young

Lenin’s socialist vision in capitalist world

In October of 1917, the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, seized power in Russia. To many socialist believers, the revolution represented the possibility of a turning point, of a rupture in the whole history of humanity since governments were created. 

Yet, their dreams of building a more equitable society were short lived and a recipe for universal happiness remains elusive. Capitalism now prevails everywhere in trade, propaganda, and mass media. Meanwhile, terrible inequality is still rampant around the globe and most people on Earth still live in horrific conditions.

Related: The mystery of Stalin's death

In light of these apparent failures, was the Great October Revolution really as earth-shaking as it appeared to be 100 years ago? To find out, we spoke to people who still view Russia’s 1917 Revolution as a significant global event. 

They include unrepentant Leninists from vastly different backgrounds and parts of the world, from a French philosopher and a Swedish entrepreneur, to a Turkish dance student and a Chilean artist. Despite the setbacks, the spirit of revolution still burns in their hearts and thoughts, and Lenin’s socialist vision illuminates their hopes for the future.

Nowadays, you constantly hear that the revolution and communism were horrible, monstrous crimes. It would seem the case is closed and the West has now entered an epoch of political slumber. 

But the participants in this film point out that much of today’s youth have come to view Lenin, the October Revolution, and the Red Banner in an increasingly positive light. Given the current state of the world, it is only a matter of time before revolutionary spirit awakes once more, they say.

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While it is doubtful that any future revolution will match the scale of Lenin’s, one participant thinks “a new way will be found and it won’t be a repetition but something new,” adding “I only know that if it happens, in whatever way, society will abruptly and suddenly change, but we know nothing of how it will happen.”

For a more in depth look at the spirit of the October Revolution still lives 100 years on, watch Scent of Revolution at RT Docs.