Russian army officers take the oath of allegiance to the October Revolution, 1917. 
(By Everett Collection/Shutterstock)

We think we’re safe from revolution. We’re wrong—it’s already in the works.|

When the Russian Revolution toppled the czar and put the Bolsheviks into power, the civilized countries of western Europe had good reason to tell themselves it could never happen to them. Russia was a barbaric country with a lopsided social structure, masses of peasants and no middle class to speak of. Their political system was a relic of the past, a time when street revolutions still happened. The rest of Europe was more modern, with constitutions and parliaments and labor unions. Any political conflict could work itself out through those proper channels.


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