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The Critical Turning Point

There are critical points in history, but they cannot be predicted. Many of you have heard me talk about one that caught my attention. Before the 1905 revolution in Russia, the repression was extremely heavy. Executions and pogroms and massacres took place, and the people cowered and cowered and cowered. Resentment grew, but nothing decisive happened. The Czar and his satraps1 had every reason to think they could continue to rule in their dictatorial way, because every desperate rebellion had been successfully put down in blood.

On the battleship Potemkin, which was stationed in the Black Sea, conditions were very rough, as everywhere. There had been a lot of attempts at rebellion and a lot of cruel repression, but the lid was still on. Then one morning, one sailor looked down at his mush and saw weevils in it again and could not abide it anymore. He picked up the mush and put it very firmly in an officer’s face. Supporting him, the entire crew mutinied, took over the battleship and its radio room, and steamed up and down the shores of the Black Sea, radioing a call for rebellion to everyone on land. The people responded, and the 1905 revolution began. It wasn’t finally successful, but it laid the foundation for a successful one in 1917 that made great gains until it was sold out2 by its leadership at a later date. One sailor picked up one bowl of mush.

What will be the critical point in our intriguing and tense situation? We don’t know, but it will occur.

Harvey Jackins
From page 310 of “From the Men’s
Workshop,” in The Rest of Our Lives

1 “Satraps” are subordinate officials.
2 “Sold out” means betrayed.


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00