The Uses of History, 24 – Russia the Long-Suffering, 6 – Revolution 1917, 1

The reformists and revolutionaries had never ruled anything, and that indeed would engender the only possible outcome, disintegration of all cohesion and orderly rule into anarchy that could only be remedied by imposition of another absolutism. That eventually emerged, as quoted above, in the form of “a fearsome set of internationalists and logicians buil[ding] a sub-human structure upon the ruins of Christian civilization”.

The Uses of History, 23 – Russia the Long-Suffering, 5 – 1914-1917

…. all the shortcomings and failures to reform the administration and the infrastructure of the Empire, along with the rampant nepotism and self-absorption of the aristocracy in its management of affairs at the highest level, came home to roost. Massive territorial losses, dreadful casualties, abominable failures of supply that left the armies woefully short of everything essential, accumulated to sap morale in the army and navy, and leave the civilian population in desperate straits. Even then, the Tsar was virtually deaf to appeals to take drastic action and enable capable men to take charge of every aspect of the national war effort.

The Uses of History, 21 – Russia the Long-Suffering, 3 – 1904-1917

For Russia, the defeat had been beyond shocking. The humiliation opened the door to think the previously almost unthinkable. The need for real and deep reform in the social, political, economic, and military realms was flagrantly obvious. Whether the willpower to accept and do what must be done could be mustered and sustained remained to be seen. Given enough time, perhaps it could happen without another revolutionary outbreak.

The Uses of History, 5 – From France to Russia, 1812-1917, 2

When Alexander had acceded to power in 1801, the idealists had placed high hopes that he, a young man himself, could be shown and persuaded that things had to change for the sake of the Russian people and the Empire itself. By 1825, the lower-grade officers (ranks below general – Generals and Marshals could only be upper-level nobles) had lost hope in Alexander or any of the established authorities of ever being willing or able to allow even the most modest reforms.