To What Extent Was Lenin Successful In Implementing Communist Ideology After The Revolution? (1917 1924)

999 words - 4 pages

To what extent was Lenin successful in implementing communist ideology after the revolution? (1917-1924)
Lenin as a political realist and theorist used different means in attempting to implement communist ideals in Russia. After taking power in 1917 Lenin soon found that Marx’s original ideas would have to be adapted to the situation in Russia. There was a lack of industry and the proletariat was disorganised and small without the presence of a leader. Lenin utilised pragmatism effectively to secure his position this was shown in his changes of economic policy in 1921 and the use of violence in the form of the Cheka even though it meant he was turning away from basic communist principles. ...view middle of the document...

After the chaos of the civil war, war communism had showed a decline in output (grain fell to 37.6 million tonnes by 1921 and heavy industry fell 20% from 1913). War communism wasn’t a carefully thought out policy but rather a quick policy change by Lenin in order to centralise his forces in hope to remove opposition during the civil war. The system hardly looked viable after the war as economic productivity slumped and famine was imminent.
As a result of war communism in 1919 the worker’s opposition began to form, they consisted of unionised workers. More worryingly in 1921 the opposition grew and included the sailors of Kronstadt naval base, who had been staunch supporters of the Bolsheviks in 1917. The uprising of socialists which called for “soviets without communists” goes to shows that the government abandoned its original principles. The people who had first supported the Bolsheviks were now opposing them which shows Lenin detracted from Marxist ideology to a big extent.
The unrest at home caused Lenin to realise that he had to relax economic policy, especially the unpopular measures associated with war communism. In March 1921, the New Economic Policy (NEP) was introduced, this was a dramatic change in policy as it encouraged trade between peasants and returned a degree of capitalism and private trade to the economy. The NEP succeeded in helping to restore the economy but caused a split in the Bolshevik party where the “Rightists” argued for continuation of the policy to ensure that Bolshevik party would remain in power and the “Leftists” believed it betrayed communist ideals and believed that rapid industrialisation was more important. The introduction of the NEP could suggest Lenin was wrong about his communist ideals that Russian socialism can exist if capitalism is avoided.
Some of Lenin’s decisions were not great ones. In November 1917 Lenin allowed the people to vote as a way to appear true to his word....

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