ARTICLE TITLE: The Russian Proletariat at the End of the 19th and Beginning of 20th Centuries Revolutionary Vanguard, Hegemon, or Marginal Actor?
AUTHORS: Mironov B.
ABSTRACT: Due to a low cultural level, the workers could not play the role of the revolutionary vanguard and hegemon in the revolutionary movement. But they became easy prey for radicals and revolutionaries, who mobilized the proletariat as a solution for their political program. The proletariats radicalism and aggressiveness had demographic and psychological originsunfavorable gender, age, and family structure and a state of frustration. There were six times as many men as women; the age profile was slanted in favor of youth; almost half of men and two-thirds of women were not married. Because of the imbalance of the sexes, workers were preoccupied with sex, angry, and dissatisfied with life because in a country where family and children were highly valued, many people had neither one nor the other. In a situation where the satisfaction of fundamental, basic needs was a real impossibility, workers developed a conflictual, negative emotional state of frustrationdissatisfaction, disappointment, fear, irritation and even despair, which often manifested as aggressive behavior directed against a real or imaginary source. As frustrated people they easily involved themselves in political protest movements, becoming easy prey to various political and religious prophets, who sympathized with them and promised a quick change in their lives for the better, if they would follow their principles and appeals
KEYWORDS: Russian proletariat , estate composition of workers , gender and age structure , labor movement , complaints , strikes , Russian Revolution of 1917 , manipulation of public opinion , Bolsheviks