The hinge of fate is muffled. The powers that be don’t want us to hear its telltale squeak. If we did, we might see where it is actually located and to what it is actually attached. Pivotal events, events which shape our lives, are often concealed from us by forces which are themselves concealed. This is done for a very sound reason. If we knew the truth, we might stop underestimating ourselves. When we stop underestimating ourselves, even the most ordinary of us become capable of the most extraordinary things.
One grim afternoon in 1919, near a small town in the Ukraine, a couple of hundred ordinary peasants decided the fate of the rest of the twentieth century, and most people never even heard of the place, let alone of them. It’s too bad, it would make a hell of a movie. The shadow that the battle of Peregonovka cast upon history can only be compared to that cast by Tuetonberger Wald, or the siege of Tenochtitlan. Though it was the deciding move in the vast chess game of the Russian Civil War, the Bolsheviks were nowhere to be found. No surprise, and no problem, either. People have always been better off with out opportunists. Opportunists are worse than useless; they’re in the way. Had the people of Russia not demanded bread, land, and peace, no one would have ever heard of Lenin. Our own bosses would have us believe that if it had not been for Lenin and his bourgeois cronies, the people of Russia could have demanded as loud as they liked and all it would have gotten them was cut down by Cossacks, as they were during the previous centuries, and no one would have ever heard of them, either. Aspiring Lenins concur.
Nothing could be further from the truth. For one thing, it turned out the Cossacks weren’t all they were cracked up to be. For another, the Russian revolution was not a Bolshevik revolution. It was a spontaneous, simultaneous uprising of the Russian and subject peoples against a variety of intolerable conditions. It took a variety of courses. They compounded on each other, complicating the situation no end. The Russian empire disintegrated. Six months later the Bolsheviks usurped the revolution, declaring themselves the “government” of Russia when in reality they controlled only two cities out of an area that amounts to a sixth of the earth’s land mass. They were a distinct minority, as their very name itself belies.