The Bolshevik Color Revolution of 1917 and Prigozhin’s 2023 Gambit: Trotsky, Russell, and the War on Civilization - I
by Matthew Ehret-Kump on 05 Jul 2023 0 Comment

Amidst this week’s strange attempt to instigate a military coup from the head of Russia’s Wagner Group [June 24-ed], President Putin took a loud stand calling out the operation as a foreign directed insurgency with parallels drawn from the chaotic revolution of 1917.


Just as in 1917, the nation was at war with an enemy on the verge of defeat, and just as in 1917, foreign manipulations using fifth columnists resulted in sucking the nation into Civil War. Putin stated:

“Exactly this strike was dealt in 1917 when the country was in WW1, but its victory was stolen. Intrigues and arguments behind the army’s back turned out to be the greatest catastrophe, destruction of the army and the state, loss of huge territories, resulting in a tragedy and a civil war…


Russians were killing Russians, brothers killing brothers. But the beneficiaries were various political chevaliers of fortune and foreign powers who divided the country and tore it into parts. We will not let this happen.”


Now I don’t know if the events catalyzed by Prigozhin’s attempted coup are part of a ‘game within a game’ designed to flush out fifth columnists while providing a head fake to western strategists… OR if this was an authentic coup. But what I do know is that there are historical processes at play which too few recognize and which President Putin understands very well. Some might think Putin’s comparison to the 1917 revolution to be hyperbole, or a disrespect for the glorious Soviet revolution. They would be mistaken.


Aborting a System of Win-Win Cooperation


The sad fact is that neither the Bolsheviks nor Mensheviks which emerged onto the stage of history at the turn of the 20th century were organically arising “peoples’ movements”. Upon deeper analysis conducted by historians like Anthony Sutton, Kerry Bolton, and Robert Cowley, both organizations which eventually merged into a singular force, enjoyed vast financial patronage of western imperial powerhouses such as Paul Warburg, Jacob Schiff (head    of Kuhn, Loeb & co.) and even Lord Alfred Milner - head of the newly formed Round Table Movement.


These characters bankrolled much of the Bolshevik movement as early as 1905 in order to destroy a truly revolutionary process that was spreading across much of the world in the wake of the Civil War.


One of the leading champions of this revolutionary process was Lincoln’s former bodyguard and the first Governor of Colorado William Gilpin. Governor Gilpin envisioned a world of sovereign nation states united by rail lines stretching through the Bering Strait and bringing all the continents and cultures into harmonious co-existence. In his famous 1890 ‘Cosmopolitan Railway’ Gilpin stated:


“The cosmopolitan railway will make the whole world one community. It will reduce the separate nations to families of our great nation… From extended intercommunication will arise a wider intercourse of human ideas and as the result, logical and philosophical reciprocities, which will become the germs for innumerable new developments; for in the track of intercommunication, enterprise and invention invariably follow and whatever facilitates one stimulates every other agency of progress.”


Describing the obvious brotherhood of Russia and the USA in spearheading this project, Gilpin wrote:

“It is a simple and plain proposition, that Russia and the United States, each having broad, uninhabited areas and limitless undeveloped resources, would by the expenditure of two or three hundred millions apiece for a highway of the nations through their now waste places, add a hundred fold to their wealth and power and influence. Nations which can spend in war their thousands of lives – the lives of the best and bravest of their sons and citizens – can surely afford a little of their surplus wealth and energy for such a work as this.” [p.35]


The American System Goes Global


Gilpin was not alone in this vision. In fact, he represented a network of statesmen spread all across the globe who recognized that the only way to break out of the endless cycle of wars, usury, and corruption, which the Hobbesian structures of the British Empire maintained globally, was through the adoption of an anti-Free Trade system known as “The American System of Political Economy”. This was a very different concept of “America” than the Pax Americana which has run roughshod over the world since WWII.


In Russia, this process found its champion in the figure of Sergei Witte (Finance Minister and Minister of Transportation from 1892-1903) who led a faction of the Russian intelligentsia in a struggle for progress and cooperation both internally and with allied nations against powerful forces committed to feudalism both within the Russian oligarchy and externally.


The regressive forces which Witte had to contend with included powerful reactionary   traditionalist forces who yearned for the good old days before Czar Alexander II freed the serfs and on the other extreme, the emergence of vast clusters of anarchist movements threatening to burn down the state in a replication of the Jacobin frenzy of the French revolution.


As Martin Sieff has demonstrated through his many writings on Prince Kropotkin, many of these anarchist networks enjoyed the patronage of powerful forces that cared little for the plight of the working class.


The international spread of the American System between 1876-1905 took the form of large-scale industrialization and railroads. The funding mechanism was located in a practice that has fallen out of favor in the West (although has made a powerful comeback in China in recent years) called ‘dirigisme’ — the emission of productive credit from state banks.


It was Witte who had spearheaded the Trans Siberian Railway’s construction between 1890-1905 with plans to extend rail lines to China and beyond utilizing state directed capital and a blend of private enterprise. A fuller exposition of Witte’s fight will be unveiled in the next installment.


The British Empire which always relied on keeping nations divided, underdeveloped and dependent on the use of maritime shipping was not amused. By controlling the international maritime choke points, the tiny island was able to exert its influence across the globe. Through the vigorous enforcement of laissez-faire doctrines of free trade, nations were blocked from protecting themselves from the financial warfare launched by the city of London against victim states (speculative volatility, usury, cheap dumping, cash cropping, and drug running). Anyone wishing to engage in long term planning in the building up of the land-based transport corridors via rail, roads, and industry would be easily sabotaged if the British System were shaping their world.


The international movement to break this system of evil was the only real revolutionary process animating the world during this time.


The Bolshevik Counter-Revolution: An Anglo-American Fraud


In 1905, Wall Street financier Jacob Schiff had given $200 million to the Japanese to assist their victory against the Russians during the 1904-05 Russian Japanese war. This generosity ultimately earned the banker the Medal of the Rising Sun in the Meiji Palace in 1907.


After crippling the Russian state and military (it’s navy was wiped out during the war), Schiff turned his attention to financing revolutionary activities within Russia itself. How money was spent by Schiff was difficult to say until 1949, when Schiff’s grandson John Schiff bragged to the New York Journal that his grandfather had given $20 million “for the triumph of communism in Russia.”


American journalist, and Schiff asset George Kennan, played an instrumental role as perception manager of the revolution and bragged that he had converted 52,000 Russian soldiers imprisoned in Japan into Bolshevik revolutionaries. A March 24, 1917 interview recorded in The New York Times celebrating the revolution read:

“Mr. Kennan told of the work of the Friends of Russian Freedom in the revolution. He said that during the Russian-Japanese war he was in Tokyo, and that he was permitted to make visits among the 12,000 Russian prisoners in Japanese hands at the end of the first year of the war. He had conceived the idea of putting revolutionary propaganda into the hands of the Russian army.


The Japanese authorities favoured it and gave him permission. After which he sent to America for all the Russian revolutionary literature to be had…

‘The movement was financed by a New York banker you all know and love,’ he said, referring to Mr Schiff, ‘and soon we received a ton and a half of Russian revolutionary propaganda. At the end of the war 50,000 Russian officers and men went back to their country ardent revolutionists. The Friends of Russian Freedom had sowed 50,000 seeds of liberty in 100 Russian regiments. I do not know how many of these officers and men were in the Petrograd fortress last week, but we do know what part the army took in the revolution.’”


Schiff himself jubilantly stated to the New York Times, March 18, 1917:

“May I through your columns give expression to my joy that the Russian nation, a great and good people, have at last effected their deliverance from centuries of autocratic oppression and through an almost bloodless revolution have now come into their own. Praised be God on high!”


Historian Kerry Bolton wrote of New York Federal Reserve director William Boyce Thompson who had been installed as head of the American Red Cross during the 1917 revolution and was largely recognized as the true U.S. ambassador to the government, saying:

“Thompson set himself up in royal manner in Petrograd reporting directly to Pres. Wilson and bypassing U.S. Ambassador Francis. Thompson provided funds from his own money, first to the Social Revolutionaries, to whom he gave one million rubles, and shortly after $1,000,000 to the Bolsheviks to spread their propaganda to Germany and Austria.”


Writing in 1962, historian Arsene de Goulevitch who experienced the events of 1917 first-hand wrote:

“In private interviews, I have been told that over 21 million rubles were spent by Lord Alfred Milner in financing the Russian Revolution… The financier just mentioned was by no means alone among the British to support the Russian revolution with large financial donations.” (1)


According to his own accounts, during the four months Leon Trotsky spent in New York in 1917, much of it was spent hobnobbing with the upper crust of Wall Street and being driven around in limousines (2).


It is also noteworthy that after Trotsky was arrested by Canadian authorities while en route back to Russia with tens of thousands of dollars of Wall Street money, it was none other than Claude Dansey (Cecil Rhodes disciple, deputy chief of the new MI6 and founder of US military intelligence in 1917!!) that directly intervened to liberate Trotsky and company.


Leon Trotsky’s Immortal Treachery


Leon Trotsky, who Lord Milner, Schiff, Paul Warburg etc., always intended to be the leader of the movement that would take control over the dead bodies of the Romanovs, was fortunately ousted by the saner forces around Joseph Stalin in 1927.


As historian Grover Furr masterfully documents using recently declassified material, testimonies, and other evidence from archives in the USA and Russia, Leon Trotsky made several attempts to return to power in Russia after his expulsion. He didn’t do this alone, however, but largely with the help of fascist forces in Britain, Japan, Ukraine, and Germany all the way until the moment he met his untimely end in 1940. This will be the subject of a future review of Grover Furr’s work (3).


For all of Lenin’s many problems, he differed from Trotsky on two interconnected points of 1) a general belief in voluntarism and 2) a rejection of the theory of permanent revolution.


Where Lenin believed that productive labour could be channeled towards the improvement of productive forces of society, Trotsky believed that any such effort at peaceful productive improvement would lead only to decadence. Permanent revolution was thus needed to keep workers from falling into sloth amidst the eternal striving for global class struggle. In 1914, a frustrated Lenin spoke of Trotsky’s fetish saying: “he [Trotsky] deserted the Mensheviks and occupied a vacillating position, now co-operating with Martynov (the economist), now proclaiming his absurdly Left ‘permanent revolution’ theory.”


Another point of conflict between Lenin on the one side and Trotsky on the other centred on whether or not Russia should continue to participate in WWI.


Where Lenin wanted to bring Russia out of the insane conflict in the first moments of their coup in 1917, Trotsky and his close ally Bukharin demanded that Russia stay in the war with the aim of converting it into a total pan European (and ultimately global) revolution. Trotsky’s commitment to global socialist revolution vs Stalin’s commitment to “socialism in one country” was at the heart of an unbridgeable divide between the two revolutionaries throughout the years.


Upon taking charge of the Russian economy, Trotsky and Lenin unleashed a destructive wave of economic reforms titled ‘The New Economic Policy’ (NEP) that saw vast liberalization of the entire state with western corporate powers sweeping in to buy up former national utilities for pennies on the dollar. The most powerful figure of the western magnates to be granted full access to buy up Russia under this new policy was Occidental Petroleum’s Armand Hammer (1898-1990) who was only forced to leave Russia the moment Trotsky was kicked out (and returning to dominance in the weeks after Stalin’s 1953 death).


Later on in life, Hammer described how Lenin told him:

“We do not need doctors, we need businessmen… communism is not working and we must change to a New Economic Policy.”


Working closely with Lenin and especially Trotsky, Hammer became the principal moderator of nearly every business deal made between the Soviet government and western corporations during the 1920s which saw Russia sink into brutal economic enslavement to foreign powers at a pace which would not be seen again for over 60 years.


The vast liberalization of the Russian economy during the dark 1920s paralleled closely the Perestroika program of free trade/privatization of the 1990s and it is no coincidence that George Bush Sr dubbed this program of Balkanized looting of Russia ‘Operation Hammer’.



(1) Czarism and Revolution, published by Omni Publications in Hawthorne, 1962 French edition, pp. 224, 230)

(2) Leon Trotsky: My Life, New York publisher: Scribner’s, 1930, p. 277

(3) One of the best and more recent among Furr’s pioneering writing on this topic can be found in his New Evidence of Trotsky’s Conspiracy, Erythos Press, 2020. Furr’s website is also an invaluable resource.


(To be concluded …)


This article was originally published on The Last American Vagabond.

Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review, and Senior Fellow at the American University in Moscow. He is author of the ‘Untold History of Canada’ book series and Clash of the Two Americas trilogy. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide Foundation. He is a regular contributor to Global Research. The original source of this article is Global Research. Copyright © Matthew Ehret-Kump, Global Research, 2023. Courtesy

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