Revolutions erupt when the old order is already dead, unable to defend itself and devoid of the strength needed to survive. With the Bolshevik’s seizure of power in 1917, Russia became the first European country in which a start was made on implementing the new world envisioned by Lenin and Trotsky. Following Marx’s instructions, the followers of the communist ideal built their image of the future on collective rights, the class struggle, and the promise of social justice and complete social equality. As they sang in their anthem – The Internationale – communists wanted to permanently erase the past, and therefore saw the nation state – built on traditions stretching back centuries, or even millennia – as their principal enemy. In a spirit of internationalism, they made several attempts at introducing the dictatorship of the proletariat (Berlin in November 1918; Hungary in March 1919; Bavaria – April 1919), but only in Russia did their creation prove to endure. Fascism in Italy and National Socialism in Germany bore similarities to communist- style revolutions – with the notable difference that they rejected internationalism and laid special emphasis on their national character. In Italy Benito Mussolini rose to power in 1922 and then consolidated his rule, while in Germany in November 1923 Hitler failed to seize power in the Beer Hall Putsch.
„Everywhere men who would have been regarded as shady adventurers before 1914 had acquired power."
H. G. Wells
„A merciless terror must be employed."
V. I. Lenin
„Our myth is the Nation and the greatness of the Nation."
„Your time is over. From now on, your place is on the dung heap of history."
„No, we do not forgive: we demand vengeance!"
„No one should be spared. They should be hanged, my comrades."
„Socialism means brutally sweeping away the ruling class."
„The proletariat at the factories loudly shouted: ‘Down the dictatorship!’"
Sándor Ék: Kun Béla Addresses the Workers (oil on canvas)
György Konecsni: Volunteering for the Red Army (oil on canvas)
István Balázs: Tibor Szamuely (aged chalk casting)
István Balázs: Aurél Stromfeld (aged chalk casting)
Árpád Somogyi: Béla Kun (aged chalk casting)
B. Farkas.: Smiths (bronze casting)
György Kolozsvári: Marx and Engels (paper, coal, wood)
(Hungarian National Museum)