The chapter under consideration deals with the Bolsheviks’ expansion, which shaped the development of the relations between the countries of the Middle East and Russia. It is important to note that though Lenin claimed it was important for nations to become independent, Bolsheviks made everything to re-conquer eastern territories. This Bolsheviks’ imperialistic policy made natives of the eastern territories develop strong hostility to the Russians.
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Interestingly, Bolsheviks claimed that the power of the proletariat is the most humanness order to build. They also promised to help nations conquered by the czar’s regime to regain their freedom. At the same time, Lenin claimed that the East did not have the working class to help the peasantry to build a democratic and just society. Lenin also stated that “[i]n effect this meant that the peoples of the East were not yet ready to exercise their right to be free” (Fromkin 476). At that, Stalin believed the nations should be subordinate to the central power, i.e., the power of Moscow. Basically, the short-term goals of the two leaders were similar.
It is also important to note that religious beliefs and cultural traditions made people of the East oppose the new order. Natives of the East were against the rule of the proletariat, and Lenin inevitably fought the majority. Fromkin provides an example of Turkistan, which reveals the experience of other countries of the Middle East. Eventually, “[l]ike other such colonies, it found that its economy was exploited for the benefit of its European masters” (Fromkin 477). Thus, the Bolsheviks’ policy did not differ from the policies of other imperial European countries, which tended to exploit people of other countries.
Therefore, the author provides insights into the development of relations between European Russia and the Russian East. The author also explains the reasons which made Bolsheviks move farther. The new ruling group was afraid of any external threat which could come from such countries as China or Persia.
It is possible to claim that the author reveals some of the reasons (or rather major reasons) for complicated relations between European Russia and some countries of the Middle East. Bolshevik’s policies contributed greatly to the development of such tense relationships. Bolshevik’s imperialism can be regarded as another example of European empires’ attitude towards the countries of the Middle East. Thus, Bolsheviks considered the countries of the East to be an inseparable part of their huge empire. This meant that Bolsheviks could exploit people, lands, etc. of that part of their empire.
Admittedly, such an imperialistic policy evoked resistance in the people of the East. People of those countries acknowledged that any force which came from the west was hostile. No matter what promises Europeans made, the people of those countries turned out to be deceived. Of course, the East developed a specific profile of the Western country. The East tended to be hostile to Russians.
To sum up, the chapter focuses on the relations between Russia and the Russian East in the 1920s. The author provides insights into the development of hostility to Russians in some countries of the Middle East. The author states that Bolsheviks, who claimed to bring a new better order, actually continued the imperialistic policy of czarist Russia. This was one of the ways of exploitation which made people of the East detest and distrust the Russians. The events of the 1920s, to a great extent, shaped the development of the relations between the countries of the Middle East and Russia.
Fromkin, David. A Peace to End All Peace, New York, NY: Holt Paperbacks, 2001. Print.