Industrial relations and the economic crisis of 1917

Paul Flenley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the major consequences of recent work on the social history if the 1917 revolution has been to change our understanding of the dynamics of the relationship between political leaders/parties, governments and 'the masses'. In particular workers are no longer depicted simply as part of an irrational mob vulnerable to manipulation by political groups. Recent studies of the working classes have talked of the 'rationality' of working class demands. Workers came to support the Bolsheviks in 1917 not simply through the cunning of the Bolsheviks' propaganda but because the latter's analysis increasingly appeared to coincide with developments which workers experienced around them. Moreover, as Diane Koenker points out, the fact that workers were already predisposed to see things in class terms meant that the Bolsheviks' class-based analysis and solutions to the existing situation were even more appealing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-209
Number of pages26
JournalRevolutionary Russia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991


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