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26/06/2011

The End of History - Chapter. 432

The 1917 Russian Revolutions can be traced directly back to 1905, with the 'Bloody Sunday' massacre in St. Petersburg where peaceful protesters were gunned down by the Russian Imperial Guard. What followed was over a decade of protests, strikes and insurgency. The Tsarist government responded with bouts of reform and oppression - offering limited concessions with the one hand, and whilst striking deadly blows with the other.

All that the Russian people sought were basic civil and economic rights - to have a say in how they were governed, to enjoy protection of the law, to be able to openly express their beliefs and opinions, to have jobs, to have food on the table - to have a measure of justice, freedom and dignity in their lives. The same needs and wants sought by so many others across the ages. What the writers of the Bible term as 'shalom' - complete, all-permeating peace.

Their struggle against a tyrannical monarchist ideology lasted twelve whole years.

And what followed this was seventy-four years of domination under the banner of a new idealistic yet equally tyrannical ideology, an ideology that many were seduced by, an ideology that offered a dream of utopia - 'Marxism'.

Since 1991, the Russian people have continued to struggle for basic civil and economic rights against a new more-pragmatist ideology of oligarchy, capitalism and nationalism - 'United Russia'.

The point? 

The struggle for justice, freedom and dignity can take decades, centuries even.

Revolution is no quick fix.

Domination systems will fall, but there is always the risk that new ones will emerge in their place.

The peoples of the Middle East face a long march towards justice, freedom and dignity. If we peoples of Europe and North America are to truly help, then our commitment will have to be long-term and our actions carefully taken with an eye on the past and future.

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