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The (excellent) historical journal Arzamas has a quiz, now translated into English, about your political compass location in the context of 1917 Russia.

You can take it here: http://arzamas.academy/materials/1269

My own result, probably unsurprisingly, was Black Hundreds.

political-compass-russia-1917

 
• Category: History • Tags: Russia 
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  1. I’m a Cadet. But I probably need more political knowledge of that moment to fill in my views more accurately.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    But I probably need more political knowledge of that moment to fill in my views more accurately.
     
    You make a good point--agree, it is difficult. Now consider a fact which works for many in the West who study Russia's history from Solzhenitsyn (that is to say study some bizarre concoction of historic and down right imagined "facts"), even Solzh in his, yet another 1990s, opus on "The Russian Question At The End Of The 20th Century" had to admit that Bolsheviks simply picked up the political power from the ground where it was laying because nobody wanted it. By 1917 the Russian State was basically dysfunctional as a result of several factors.
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  2. ussr andy says:

    Center SR

    feelsbadman.jpg

    but I ticked the middle circle a lot because I didn’t know what the question was asking and the historical context.

    Read More
  3. I got cadet, but then I’m not Russian, and in any case I find it difficult to judge things without using hindsight (mostly in relation to the continuation of the war…seems to me this was a disastrous idea and talk about “keeping our obligations to our allies” so much sentimental nonsense by stupid pro-Westerners…but maybe my German bias is clouding my judgment here :-)
    Interesting quiz though. I’d like something like this for Germany, but probably not going to happen.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    With the benefit of hindsight, continuing the war was obviously the correct decision from the POV of Russian national interests (morale wasn't great after the February Revolution, but could have been repaired over time like the French did after Verdun; the frontline was a safe distance away from core Russian territories; the US had entered the war in April 1917; agreements for the postwar period envisaged vast gains in territory and influence for Russa).

    That said, I think Germany getting defeated by Russia or Russia and the Allies getting defeated by Germany in WW1 would have been far preferable for both countries to the Nazi-Soviet trajectory we actually got.
  4. @German_reader
    I got cadet, but then I'm not Russian, and in any case I find it difficult to judge things without using hindsight (mostly in relation to the continuation of the war...seems to me this was a disastrous idea and talk about "keeping our obligations to our allies" so much sentimental nonsense by stupid pro-Westerners...but maybe my German bias is clouding my judgment here :-)
    Interesting quiz though. I'd like something like this for Germany, but probably not going to happen.

    With the benefit of hindsight, continuing the war was obviously the correct decision from the POV of Russian national interests (morale wasn’t great after the February Revolution, but could have been repaired over time like the French did after Verdun; the frontline was a safe distance away from core Russian territories; the US had entered the war in April 1917; agreements for the postwar period envisaged vast gains in territory and influence for Russa).

    That said, I think Germany getting defeated by Russia or Russia and the Allies getting defeated by Germany in WW1 would have been far preferable for both countries to the Nazi-Soviet trajectory we actually got.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    "continuing the war was obviously the correct decision from the POV of Russian national interests"

    I understand how it looked like this at the time, though in the end the results of that failed offensive in the summer of 1917 proved rather counter-productive from the point of view of the provisional government and arguably detrimental to Russia... But given German territorial ambitions I assume it wouldn't have been easy to try to extricate Russia from the war through a negotiated settlement. And of course it would have been hard to accept that hundreds of thousands had died in vain with nothing to show for it (which was true for the other combatants as well and a strong reason to continue fighting).
    , @Cagey Beast
    I agree with your last paragraph. The British Empire blew almost all its poker chips on WW1 and blew what was left on WW2.

    I ended up halfway between the Cadets and the Menchevik Defencists, BTW.
  5. @Anatoly Karlin
    With the benefit of hindsight, continuing the war was obviously the correct decision from the POV of Russian national interests (morale wasn't great after the February Revolution, but could have been repaired over time like the French did after Verdun; the frontline was a safe distance away from core Russian territories; the US had entered the war in April 1917; agreements for the postwar period envisaged vast gains in territory and influence for Russa).

    That said, I think Germany getting defeated by Russia or Russia and the Allies getting defeated by Germany in WW1 would have been far preferable for both countries to the Nazi-Soviet trajectory we actually got.

    “continuing the war was obviously the correct decision from the POV of Russian national interests”

    I understand how it looked like this at the time, though in the end the results of that failed offensive in the summer of 1917 proved rather counter-productive from the point of view of the provisional government and arguably detrimental to Russia… But given German territorial ambitions I assume it wouldn’t have been easy to try to extricate Russia from the war through a negotiated settlement. And of course it would have been hard to accept that hundreds of thousands had died in vain with nothing to show for it (which was true for the other combatants as well and a strong reason to continue fighting).

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    German territorial ambitions were not extravagant until Russia became incapable of resisting them. Unfortunately very soon after the March revolution Russia ceased to have a functioning government. This quiz is rather spoiled by that fact.
    AK's favourite Union of the Russian People was immediately suppressed in the "freest country in the world". It had never been organised as an electoral force, because the imperial government was not committed to the parliamentary system.
    , @melanf
    "But given German territorial ambitions (in 1917)"

    When von Ludendorff was de facto ruler of Germany? It was impossible
  6. inertial says:

    I ended up somewhere in the lower right quadrant. Apparently, there were no such political parties in Russia at that time. I suspect it would have been very different had I lived then and not 100 later. For one, I’d be some flavor of socialist, most likely. Almost everyone was back then.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whahae
    Am in the lower right as well. Thank god I'm not Russian.
  7. Cagey Beast says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin
    With the benefit of hindsight, continuing the war was obviously the correct decision from the POV of Russian national interests (morale wasn't great after the February Revolution, but could have been repaired over time like the French did after Verdun; the frontline was a safe distance away from core Russian territories; the US had entered the war in April 1917; agreements for the postwar period envisaged vast gains in territory and influence for Russa).

    That said, I think Germany getting defeated by Russia or Russia and the Allies getting defeated by Germany in WW1 would have been far preferable for both countries to the Nazi-Soviet trajectory we actually got.

    I agree with your last paragraph. The British Empire blew almost all its poker chips on WW1 and blew what was left on WW2.

    I ended up halfway between the Cadets and the Menchevik Defencists, BTW.

    Read More
  8. whahae says:
    @inertial
    I ended up somewhere in the lower right quadrant. Apparently, there were no such political parties in Russia at that time. I suspect it would have been very different had I lived then and not 100 later. For one, I'd be some flavor of socialist, most likely. Almost everyone was back then.

    Am in the lower right as well. Thank god I’m not Russian.

    Read More
  9. I consider myself far right but I ended up as a Cadet. I can’t imagine how insanely right wing somebody would have had to be to score with the Black Hundreds. The war shouldn’t have ever happened in the first place, what was the point of continuing it?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    It shouldn't have happened and the wrong side won, but from Russia's POV by 1917 continuing the war meant significant spoils for Russia, otherwise the sacrifices were for nothing.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    I consider myself far right but I ended up as a Cadet. I can’t imagine how insanely right wing somebody would have had to be to score with the Black Hundreds.
     
    To be more specific, I ended up virtually halfway between the Cadets and Black Hundreds (though marginally closer to BH).

    http://akarlin.ru/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/arzamas-1917-black-hundred.png

    Of course I was orienting around the rather desperate exingencies of that moment. In more normal times, I'd probably be fully around the Kadets.
  10. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website

    Ended up a cadet “leaning” towards authoritarian (y-coordinate is 2.5) but, obviously, answering the questions about War and war-aims is a tough challenge. I generally view those tests with irony and as I sort of entertainment.

    Read More
  11. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Randall Parker
    I'm a Cadet. But I probably need more political knowledge of that moment to fill in my views more accurately.

    But I probably need more political knowledge of that moment to fill in my views more accurately.

    You make a good point–agree, it is difficult. Now consider a fact which works for many in the West who study Russia’s history from Solzhenitsyn (that is to say study some bizarre concoction of historic and down right imagined “facts”), even Solzh in his, yet another 1990s, opus on “The Russian Question At The End Of The 20th Century” had to admit that Bolsheviks simply picked up the political power from the ground where it was laying because nobody wanted it. By 1917 the Russian State was basically dysfunctional as a result of several factors.

    Read More
  12. Stogumber says:

    So the Bolshevists were more democratic than the Menshevists and the liberal-conservatice Cadets?
    How come?
    Is this a new definition of democracy as used by some Russians?
    Or a continuation of the old, self-gratifying Bolshevist definition of democracy?
    Or is Arzamas arguing that the Bolshevists in 1917 were quite different from the Bolshevists after 1917?
    And why am I to believe that Arzamas is “excellent”?
    Can’t say that I understand this.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Or is Arzamas arguing that the Bolshevists in 1917 were quite different from the Bolshevists after 1917?
     
    This. It says so quite explicitly:

    In order to find out where you would have fallen, you need to take our quiz and evaluate 27 assertions about the most pressing problems in September 1917, after the Kornilov Affair had failed, but before the October Revolution took place. You should not use the Compass to define your modern preferences. The situations of the different parties is tightly connected to September 1917: the position of many – in particular the Bolsheviks – later shifted on certain issues, even so far as to land on the directly opposite pole.
     
  13. 5371 says:
    @German_reader
    "continuing the war was obviously the correct decision from the POV of Russian national interests"

    I understand how it looked like this at the time, though in the end the results of that failed offensive in the summer of 1917 proved rather counter-productive from the point of view of the provisional government and arguably detrimental to Russia... But given German territorial ambitions I assume it wouldn't have been easy to try to extricate Russia from the war through a negotiated settlement. And of course it would have been hard to accept that hundreds of thousands had died in vain with nothing to show for it (which was true for the other combatants as well and a strong reason to continue fighting).

    German territorial ambitions were not extravagant until Russia became incapable of resisting them. Unfortunately very soon after the March revolution Russia ceased to have a functioning government. This quiz is rather spoiled by that fact.
    AK’s favourite Union of the Russian People was immediately suppressed in the “freest country in the world”. It had never been organised as an electoral force, because the imperial government was not committed to the parliamentary system.

    Read More
  14. inertial says:

    So the Bolshevists were more democratic than the Menshevists and the liberal-conservatice Cadets?

    Yes, in 1917.

    Read More
  15. melanf says:
    @German_reader
    "continuing the war was obviously the correct decision from the POV of Russian national interests"

    I understand how it looked like this at the time, though in the end the results of that failed offensive in the summer of 1917 proved rather counter-productive from the point of view of the provisional government and arguably detrimental to Russia... But given German territorial ambitions I assume it wouldn't have been easy to try to extricate Russia from the war through a negotiated settlement. And of course it would have been hard to accept that hundreds of thousands had died in vain with nothing to show for it (which was true for the other combatants as well and a strong reason to continue fighting).

    “But given German territorial ambitions (in 1917)”

    When von Ludendorff was de facto ruler of Germany? It was impossible

    Read More
  16. AP says:
    @Greasy William
    I consider myself far right but I ended up as a Cadet. I can't imagine how insanely right wing somebody would have had to be to score with the Black Hundreds. The war shouldn't have ever happened in the first place, what was the point of continuing it?

    It shouldn’t have happened and the wrong side won, but from Russia’s POV by 1917 continuing the war meant significant spoils for Russia, otherwise the sacrifices were for nothing.

    Read More
  17. @Stogumber
    So the Bolshevists were more democratic than the Menshevists and the liberal-conservatice Cadets?
    How come?
    Is this a new definition of democracy as used by some Russians?
    Or a continuation of the old, self-gratifying Bolshevist definition of democracy?
    Or is Arzamas arguing that the Bolshevists in 1917 were quite different from the Bolshevists after 1917?
    And why am I to believe that Arzamas is "excellent"?
    Can't say that I understand this.

    Or is Arzamas arguing that the Bolshevists in 1917 were quite different from the Bolshevists after 1917?

    This. It says so quite explicitly:

    In order to find out where you would have fallen, you need to take our quiz and evaluate 27 assertions about the most pressing problems in September 1917, after the Kornilov Affair had failed, but before the October Revolution took place. You should not use the Compass to define your modern preferences. The situations of the different parties is tightly connected to September 1917: the position of many – in particular the Bolsheviks – later shifted on certain issues, even so far as to land on the directly opposite pole.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SFG
    Yeah, you really have to know your modern Russian history. I'm not sure how many Americans could tell you what parts of the revolution had gone on by 1775, for example. I was actually a lot more skeptical of socialism than I usually am, given that I know how it turned out over there.
  18. @Greasy William
    I consider myself far right but I ended up as a Cadet. I can't imagine how insanely right wing somebody would have had to be to score with the Black Hundreds. The war shouldn't have ever happened in the first place, what was the point of continuing it?

    I consider myself far right but I ended up as a Cadet. I can’t imagine how insanely right wing somebody would have had to be to score with the Black Hundreds.

    To be more specific, I ended up virtually halfway between the Cadets and Black Hundreds (though marginally closer to BH).

    Of course I was orienting around the rather desperate exingencies of that moment. In more normal times, I’d probably be fully around the Kadets.

    Read More
  19. I am far away from the political forces of 1917 Russia (lower right – one square up and left from the center of that quadrant).

    I find that very reassuring. The idea that I would ever fit in in Russia is kind of alarming.

    Read More
  20. SFG says:

    Lower right as well, though close enough to the center it gives me Menshevik Defensist.

    I’d actually be more social-democratic if I didn’t know how socialism actually turned out in Russia.

    Read More
  21. utu says:

    So in Russia Bolsheviks are considered pretty democratic? Who does believe in this?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    In September 1917, yes they were considered to be that.
  22. Ray P says:

    Democratic-right would align with Russia’s liberals e.g. Prince Lvov, first prime minister after Nicholas II abdicated. Is follower of Roman Ungern-Sternberg off the scale?

    Read More
  23. @utu
    So in Russia Bolsheviks are considered pretty democratic? Who does believe in this?

    In September 1917, yes they were considered to be that.

    Read More
  24. iffen says:

    This was somewhat interesting. I scored as a Right SR. Someone with more brainpower than me should compare our current political position to where we would have fallen out in 1917.

    Read More
  25. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    I took the test twice, ending as a Menshevik Defensist the first time and in no-man’s land between them and the Black Hundreds the second. I suppose this would be more accurate if I were more familiar with the Russian situation and the exigencies of the moment. I also wound up hitting “Neutral” pretty often, either because I didn’t care, or because I thought the question was a detail of policy.

    Some things (federalization, for instance) would probably be (to my thinking) desirable to some extent in general in the late Russian Empire, but 1917 would have been the wrong time to get started.

    A thought: How is an authoritarian supposed to respond to “X is helpful for democracy” or something of the sort? I’d expect “Neutral” would be the only possible position there.

    Read More
  26. SFG says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Or is Arzamas arguing that the Bolshevists in 1917 were quite different from the Bolshevists after 1917?
     
    This. It says so quite explicitly:

    In order to find out where you would have fallen, you need to take our quiz and evaluate 27 assertions about the most pressing problems in September 1917, after the Kornilov Affair had failed, but before the October Revolution took place. You should not use the Compass to define your modern preferences. The situations of the different parties is tightly connected to September 1917: the position of many – in particular the Bolsheviks – later shifted on certain issues, even so far as to land on the directly opposite pole.
     

    Yeah, you really have to know your modern Russian history. I’m not sure how many Americans could tell you what parts of the revolution had gone on by 1775, for example. I was actually a lot more skeptical of socialism than I usually am, given that I know how it turned out over there.

    Read More

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