Russia's October Revolution Calendar Flip of 1918

The October Revolution was more than a political coup; it was a time warp, with Russia trading calendars to modernize. The Bolsheviks were pragmatists, swinging between capitalism and socialism. A cinematic spectacle and a myth, it's still debated a century later.

Russia's October Revolution Calendar Flip of 1918
The Assault on the Winter Palace, the October Revolution's iconic moment. Credit: Wikipedia

In the history, where revolutions ignite and empires crumble, there's often more to the tale than meets the eye. Dive with us into the corridors of time as we unravel the peculiar case of the October Revolution – not just a revolution, but a time warp that shook Russia to its core.

Now, hold on to your Bolshevik hats because here's the twist: it all began not with a bang, but with a calendar flip. You see, before we get all giddy about October, we need to rewind to February 1918. That's when Russia decided to say “da svidaniya” to the old Julian calendar, lovingly adopted by Peter the Great back in 1700, and said “privet” to the Gregorian calendar. Yes, Russia switched calendars like some people switch Instagram filters.

Why, you ask? Well, it wasn't just about keeping up with the cool kids of the West, but about modernizing Russia. The Bolsheviks were basically the ultimate trendsetters, like the “Westernists” of their time, giving a good side-eye to those conservative “Slavophiles.” They wanted to bring Mother Russia into the 20th century in style.

But this wasn't about scrapping everything and starting anew; it was more like giving your grandma's vintage car a high-tech upgrade. As Emile Durkheim once said, socialism was all about “reconstructing present societies.” So, the Bolsheviks decided to build on the existing capitalist system, not bulldoze it like some radical futurists.

The Bolshevik bigwig, Lenin himself, understood that after all the revolutionary fireworks, there was a need to take a step back and accept that capitalism was here to stay, at least for a while. That's when the “New Economic Policy” (NEP) came into play – a bit of a capitalist interlude to patch up the country after the Civil War. Imagine Lenin with a toolbox, tinkering with socialism's engine while capitalism hummed away in the background.

But hey, this wasn't the end of the story. The Bolsheviks, as it turns out, were pretty darn pragmatic. They didn't just stick to one plan like a stubborn mule; they adapted and readapted, like a chameleon changing colors. They went from socialism to capitalism, and then back to socialism again, all while the world watched in amazement.

Fast-forward to 1961, Nikita Khrushchev boldly predicted that full communism would be sashaying its way into the USSR within twenty years. Well, spoiler alert, 1981 rolled around, and the only arrival was a certain Ronald Reagan, with his slick suits and capitalist ideals, ready to rock the Soviet boat.

Now, if this were a Hollywood movie, you'd expect an epic showdown. And oh boy, did the Soviets deliver! The “Assault on the Winter Palace” became the stuff of legends. Thousands of actors, led by artistic genius Yuri Anenkov and directed by the theatrical extraordinaire Nikolai Yevreinov, turned this event into a massive spectacle. It was like the Avengers of its time, but with more fur hats and fewer capes.

Then came the most impressive item: “October,” a film by Sergey Eisenstein and Grigory Alexandrov. This movie was the Soviet love letter to the October Revolution, complete with heroic feats, unwavering leadership, and masses that were class-conscious enough to put Sherlock Holmes to shame.

But hold on a minute, folks. Remember, history isn't just about what happened; it's about how we remember it. Just like a classic recipe passed down through generations, the October Revolution's myth was carefully crafted and nurtured. It wasn't just theater and cinema; it was the very fabric of Soviet historiography.

So, here we are, a century later, still peeling back the layers of the “October Revolution.” It's a history that's as complex as a Matryoshka doll, filled with debates, controversies, and enough twists to make Tolstoy raise an eyebrow.

Overall, whether you see it as a time-traveling calendar switch or a grand socialist experiment, the “October Revolution” remains a colorful chapter in Russia's storybook. It's a reminder that history, like a Matryoshka doll, holds hidden surprises that keep us coming back for more. So, let's keep the debate alive, one twist at a time.

In-Text Citation: Franco, Rainer Matos. ‘A 100 Años de La Revolución de Octubre En Rusia | Rainer Matos Franco’. Revista de La Universidad de México, Accessed 25 Sept. 2023.