The Return of the Russian Revolution: Nature of and Perspectives on the Wave of Social Protest in Russia

by Alexei Gusev

1. The terms Thermidor and Bonapartism were born in France in XVIII-XIX centuries and later used by scholars and political thinkers to analyze general patterns of revolutionary and post-revolutionary developments in various countries. Thermidor means a victory of social and political forces that are hostile to the further progress of revolution and establish their own rule over society in the interests of the new elites. Bonapartism means a system in which the state bureaucracy, usually subordinated to one man at the top, obtains a high degree of independence from society, concentrates all power in its hands and rule by authoritarian methods; while serving social interests of economically dominating classes, it suppresses them, as well as other social groups politically. (Classical analysis of this phenomenon in France under Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, or Napoleon III [1851-1870], is presented in works of Karl Marx.)

2. In 2005 various in-kind social benefits for pensioners, the disabled and some other groups were transformed in Russia into cash payments. Since they did not really compensate the services taken away, it provoked a series of protests, mostly from pensioners.

3. The anti-fascist lawyer and the young journalist killed by Russian Nazis.