What explains the Bolshevik party’s survival in power? Textbooks in the USSR gave a confident answer to this question. Their argument was that the party had not and could not have anticipated every emergency; but they claimed that its fundamental principles saw it through and that the Soviet government’s social and economic reforms made it permanently attractive to most workers, peasants and conscripts [27; 28]. Foreign observers, at least those outside the world’s communist parties, went along with this. Detractors asserted that really the Leninist regime was unpopular and that only dictatorship kept Lenin and the Bolsheviks in power. The Bolshevik party was supported only by a minority in society. It conducted a savage terror to win the Civil War and maintain itself in the peace that followed. It had a fanatical leader in Lenin as well as fanatical doctrines. Reinforcing the worst traditions of tsarism, it imposed an appalling one-party regime and exploited the cultural backwardness of the society it ruled .
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Experimental Construction, 1917–1927
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number