Released By The Revolution - Alternative View

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Released By The Revolution - Alternative View
Released By The Revolution - Alternative View

Video: Released By The Revolution - Alternative View

Video: Released By The Revolution - Alternative View
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In 1917, the Bolsheviks who came to power, along with the main slogans "All power to the Soviets!" and “Down with the war!”, there was another one, which they later tried to forget about. It sounded like this: "Free women from family slavery." Well, I mean … let's make them free for free love.


The session of the Revolutionary Court in Moscow's Khamovniki in June 1918 made a lot of noise. The owner of the shop, Martyn Khvatov, found himself in the dock, not guilty in the field of trade, but as the creator of the "Palace of Love of the Communards".

Not only a businessman, but also an adventurer by nature, after the 1917 revolution, he composed, printed and pasted in Moscow "The Decree on the Socialization of Russian Maidens and Women", allegedly issued by the Moscow Free Organization of Anarchists. By the way, at that time the anarchists were allies of the Bolsheviks and were part of the power structures. The very idea of the Decree, which consisted of 19 points, boiled down to the elimination of injustice: it should not be such that the best representatives of the fair sex belong to the bourgeoisie, and the working people are content with the rest. The measure is drastic: from May 1, 1918, all women between the ages of 17 and 32 are removed from private ownership and declared common property.

Of course, Khvatov did not forget about the financial component. For the maintenance of "common property" each worker must deduct 10 percent of his earnings, and non-labor elements - 100 rubles a month. This money should be paid to nationalized women and their children.

From words the clever shopkeeper turned to deeds: in the house he inherited in Sokolniki he founded the "Palace of Love of the Communards". The first room had ten women, the second had ten men, and the third had a double bed for carnal pleasures. They were not provided free of charge: Khvatov took 100 rubles from each hunter. He shamelessly appropriated the money, and the Palace supported the contributions of the Communards.

The institution of the new type did not last long: the indignation of the inhabitants reached those in power, and a trial was held in the club of the "Hammer and Sickle" plant. Khvatov faced five years in prison, but during the meeting, Alexandra Kollontai, People's Commissar for State Charity in the Soviet government and a supporter of the new morality, made a bright speech. The court, under the onslaught of a convincing minister, backed down: the accused was acquitted. However, funds were collected from him, which he managed to collect from lovers of romantic meetings, and the house itself was requisitioned. True, it would be better if the shopkeeper went to prison: the next day he was shot by anarchists in his own shop. The self-made Decree badly tarnished their reputation - they did not publish anything like this about free love.

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But the Bolsheviks, long before October 1917, preoccupied with a new theoretical foundation for gender relations after the victory of the revolution. This was first discussed in London in April 1905 at the III Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party. The task was set for 26-year-old Leon Trotsky: to make the idea of free love attractive to the masses. By that time, he had already parted with his first wife, Alexandra Sokolovskaya, from whom he had two children, and became friends with Natalya Sedova. In a word, I had some experience in this area.

The positions of Trotsky and Vladimir Lenin at that time were similar: both believed that the family is a bourgeois concept, the proletariat needs freedom of morals, and all prohibitions regarding sexuality should be lifted.

A representative of the fair sex, Inessa Armand, who in 1912 wrote a brochure "On the Women's Issue", where she also advocated freedom from marriage, was also involved. By the way, she also managed to be married twice and by the age of 29 she had five children.

The above-mentioned Alexandra Kollontai also wrote her opus "Love and New Morality", where she sharply opposed the bonds of legal marriage. She is also credited with the sensational phrase: "Having sex is like drinking a glass of water." In fact, it belongs to the hero of one of Kollontai's short stories. However, the very theory of a "glass of water" was then very popular.

However, in the pre-revolutionary period, at numerous rallies, a much more moderate call was sounded, which was supposed to attract the fair sex to the side of the Bolsheviks: "Free women from family slavery!" Plus the right to vote, a salary equal to that of men, the ability to decide for itself what surname to take after marriage. But after October 1917, excesses began on the ground: fans of the "strawberry" pulled out and corrected the ideas that once sounded in the key they needed. Moreover, this was no longer an amateur performance "a la Khvats", but quite official decisions.


In Saratov, the provincial council in March 1918 issued a decree "On the abolition of private ownership by women" - a sort of next stage of nationalization after factories, banks and landlords. According to the document, all women from 17 to 32 years old were declared the property of the people (with the exception of those who had five or more children) and went into general use. True, the decree had to be urgently canceled, since an angry crowd gathered in front of the stock exchange, where the Council was located, and demanded that the author of the opus be handed over to them.

A similar path was taken in the Council in Vladimir, where women 18-32 years old were declared state property. The newspaper “Vladimirskie Vesti” gave explanations on this score: “Any girl who has reached the age of 18 and has not married is obliged, under pain of punishment, to register with the free love bureau. A registered person is given the right to choose men between the ages of 19 and 50 as her husband-wife …"

In Yekaterinodar (now Krasnodar), they came up with an extraordinary encouragement for especially distinguished Red Army soldiers. They were given a mandate that allowed them to acquire a kind of a harem: "The bearer of this mandate is given the right to socialize in the city of Yekaterinodar 10 souls of girls aged 16 to 20, according to his own understanding." How many girls managed to socialize, history is silent …


The Western press was actively writing about such excesses, publishing materials under shocking headlines: "Legalized prostitution", "Socialization of women as Bolsheviks", "Russia on the outskirts of civilization - a taboo on creating a family", etc. Even to Vladimir Lenin, who in September In 1920, I had a conversation with the English writer Herbert Wells, I had to make excuses and explain that the new government was not involved in the Khvatov decree - all this is a counterrevolutionary invention.

Indeed, the Bolsheviks quickly drew the right conclusions, and excesses with free love disappeared into oblivion. Moreover, the Soviet propaganda machine, starting in the 1930s, worked in the opposite direction. For example, the press angrily branded a locksmith from the Trekhgornaya Manufaktura factory who was courting two girls at the same time. Organizational conclusion: the guy was expelled from the Komsomol.

Decades of active upbringing in the spirit of the Soviet family were not in vain, a confirmation of this was the phrase that went down in history "There is no sex in the USSR, we are categorically against it."