Why did the Bolsheviks go AWOL

I'm writing a paper for a history class I'm taking on why the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia despite criticisms from orthodox marxists and even those within their own party. Any thoughts?

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Lenin was extremely power hungry and only considered his own opinions correct and wouldn't even form a coalition with the 2 other socialist parties which would have given him a huge majority.

I was gonna touch on Lenin's revolutionary urgency, reading a lot of Lenin's theory on imperialism, which was a big theoretical casus belli for the Bols kind of reeks of a need for any kind of excuse.

Mensheviks, SRs etc wanted to have liberal democracy and capitalism.

Lenin and most Bols agreed. Many SRs and Mensheviks joined their line in October.

I think Lenin, Trotsky, Kautsky and maybe Rosa should provide you with the theoretical framework you need. You might want to ask /marx/ for the specifics

Because Lenin was the only one to recognize the historical opportunity that the instability in Russia offered and managed to blackmail the rest of the Bolsheviks into going along with his plan. When all the other leftists are either going full bourgeois 'democracy', just sitting it out, or using tremendously ineffective and decentralized forms of organization, Lenin's simple mass appeal of bread and peace combined with his highly organized central command structure made him a winner. In the end, what mattered is who could place themselves at the head of the mass of angry workers and peasants and organize them to achieve their particular goal. Lenin was the one who managed this.

No they didn't. The other parties wanted soviet democracy and capitalism.


One thing I was mulling over that sounds a lot like what you just said was Lenin's foresight that it would be incredibly more difficult to organize an effective revolution against an established capitalist class. Maybe he just wanted to strangle capitalism in its cradle and start socialism right away? Gonna be up all night, the paper is dude tuesday T__T

Lurk more faggot.


The democracy in the soviet union was the true will of the working class. Lenin undermined the interests of the working class.

The intellectual roots of this development are in Lenin, Parvus and Trotsky, dating way back to the 1905 revolution. The experiences with the revolution, which involved the middle-classes making "concessions" to Tsardom, lead many of the russian socialists to believe that yes, Russia needs a period of bourgeois capitalism and democracy, but the bourgeoisie in Russia was not strong, determined or independent enough from the Tsar and foreign capital to achieve it themselves.

Lenin's writings following that period, particularly when attacking Plekhanov (the main "orthodox marxism" guy in Russia who was against the left-wing turn of both revolutions) can give you idea of that:


Later, this theoretical notion was further vindicated, in their view, by the fact that moderate Socialists allied with the Cadets and continued to defend the war and the government. So now it wasn't just a theoretical divergence from orthodox Marxism, it was about practical questions as well.

I haven't read this yet, but the debate with Kautsky probably contains what you want:

How can you possibly believe this after observing how 'democratic' governments consistently fuck the people and do everything within their power to service the needs of private interests?

"Soviet democracy" with capitalism would have been indistinguishable from liberal democracy post-civil war

He's not talking about that period.

The other parties were not capitalist but agrarian socialist. Lenin could have just formed a coalition with the mensheviks to gain a majority. Then wrote socialism into the new constitution.

I'm talking about the soviets that Lenin overthrew that were legitimate will of the proletariat.


this is probably gonna help me a lot, I have to give a critique of the Bols from a Menshevik perspective too, thanks!


Repeating Lenin by Slavoj Zizek has some good insights on what was so unique about Lenin, particularly under the header "Entre nous: If they kill me…"

Those soviets weren't going to represent the will of the proletariat though. They were going to roll over for the bourgeoisie.

so basically the same argument used against communism (that it doesn't work, every historical instance failed) but you switched a couple words around to demonize really existing democracy.

Here's Rosa if you're interested, be sure to check the works from preface to the Organizational Questions too.

No they were not. All the parties were socialist.
Mensheviks - Socialist
Bolsheviks - Socialist
Socialist revolution party - Agrarian socialist

1. Originally the soviets were open to even the bourgeoisie and supported mostly the Mensheviks and SRs, who were participating in the Provisional Government, which was merely the new government of the ruling class and supportive of the imperialist war effort. Just naming yourself socialist is inconsequential if your actual politics consist of compromise with the bourgeoisie.
2. After the Lenin & Co overthrew the provisional government, the soviets overwhelmingly elected the Bolsheviks. Evidently they were on Lenin's side in refusing to compromise with the ruling class and ending the war. The 'socialist' parties you idealize so were abandoned by the people because they did not actually pursue their best interests but the interests of the ruling class with which they strove to curry favor. Indeed, many of their members realized this and defected to the Bolsheviks.
3. Winning a civil war against professional armies and foreign invaders with such a super decentralized form of government would be almost impossible. Some centralization under the rule of the party which they had just elected themselves was sensible.
4. Furthermore, the soviets still retained a fair portion of their power as local democratic councils during Lenin's rule, with this structure of grassroots democracy indirectly being the source of all higher appointments leading up to the ministry. It was only during Stalin's reign that this power was totally dismantled.
Stop idealizing the other leftist parties and demonizing the Bolsheviks. There's a reason people rallied behind Lenin and it's not because the other parties were just about to give them direct democratic utopia.

Not really? It's a purely Marxist interpretation of politics; the state is a tool for the promotion of class interests. As the bourgeoisie is the dominant class in our society, the state pursues the best interests of the bourgeoisie. This can be confirmed by observing the so-called democratic states in actions. True rule by the people will require a radical reshaping of the government, not merely shifting around some seats for the benefit of self-described leftist reformists.


Democracy is a tricky beast, easily manipulated if not kept secure, and used as a false god when revolutionaries "demolish democracy." If a revolutionary force overtook a government where the elections are firmly controlled by the interests of capital, are they enemies of democracy and the will of the people?

I do think its important to have democracy in any society, but its a really tenuous subject. It's like a frail butterfly you have to keep safe less someone fucks it up.

democracy is subservient to whatever groups own the media since that is how opinion is formed. I'm sure there is a study out there somewhere that analyzes the relationships of who wins elections and who gets funded by the owners of major mass media. I think the syndicalists had a better frame work for having the people speak their voice but only during their time.

liberty without socialism is muh privilege, injustice. socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality.

Did you forget to take off your shit posting flag?

The Bolsehvik party was the will of the working class, numb nuts. The Menshevik-SR Soviets they demolished were supported by peasants. I hope you don't call yourself a Socialist, because it's clear you value liberalism and democracy more as principles.

The SR and Mensheviks were still socialists just agrarian socialists. The Bolsheviks could have just formed a coalition with one and wrote socialism into the constitution. I don't value democratic capitalism because frankly it can't exist. But socialism without democracy is a return to feudalism. In capitalism they pretend you have a choice in anti-democratic socialism they put a gun to your head.


Read up on what contemporaries and friends described Lenin especially when someone beat him in an argument or proved him wrong. He acted too much like a religious zealot and less like a wise revolutionary.

In the end, he rightfully fell because he Lenin was of bourgeois background and upbringing. He couldn't help being porky in nature, which is why he lost out of Stalin who is of true proletarian background and upbringing as the proles themselves saw themselves in Stalin and were incapable in Lenin and only gave him the bare minimum respect due for his role in the revolution.

democracy is no shield. Venezuela is also a democracy as if that wasn't a joke. Democracy only pits the people against themselves while those in power laugh


On Lenin

It was because Lenin was a wealthy eurocentric white supremacist who executed gays and prostitutes and his other reactionary beliefs.

Remember that banker porkies backed his "revolution". It was subverted from the start. He was a porky ploy and that's the real reason why communism always fails because porky is always one step ahead and subverts the glory of the proletarian revolution.

Anyone can say they're socialist fam, it's meaningless. You have to look at the content of their platform and their actions.

Not direct and soviet democracy.

this angle of history should be explored

Links to platform?

This is some next-level shitposting.

No, they didn't.

Which is why the SU legalized homosexuality right?

Well read the April Theses about why they took power. After the February revolution, the provisional government continued the predatory imperialist war e.g with the Kerensky offensive rather then ending it immediately. The desire to end involvement in the war should be sufficient reason to support the revolution.

Some minor criticisms were legitimate but they were often put aside for the fundamental needs of the situation. Amongst the Mensheviks for example there were some Menshevik internationalists that joined the Bolsheviks.

Well Zinoviev and Kamanev did have some criticisms about the timing of the revolution, they both changed their minds later and agreed to continue on as before.

The german bankers iirc supported him in order for him to throw a wrench in Russia for petty political shit. They were also jewish btw

Lenin like instantly made those not a thing so it really shows the strength of that form of government

הלך הביתה

Well they hadn't really been started yet. He just sort of won the revoultion and dissolved it.

Germany was encircled on both sides by predatory imperialist powers, the tsardom/provisional government, and britain and france in the west.

Ending this imperialist encirclement so that you can focus all your forces in place giving you an actual chance at victory is not "petty political shit"

Yes, Sverdlov for example was Jewish and he was one of the most heroic people in the period, and a great organizer of the revolution. There are many more heroic Jews throughout history, their sacrifices and achievements will be remembered.

well given later in history germany would experience a communist civil war then a real war with the USSR then get half their country divided to be part of the USSR I would say it was a bad call. Just like the US made a bad call funding the mujahideen in afghanistan

So much for actually writing a coherent response. This place never fails to disappoint in its never-ending supply of idiots who have never read a book on anything yet feel fully qualified to discuss the subject regardless.

The war against the USSR was started by the Nazis not by the imperial German government, kaiser Wilhelm didn't even live to see Hitler's invasion of the USSR. It was Hitler's ideological desire to invade the USSR that brought ruin to Germany, nothing else. Until then things were going relatively well for them.

Well no the USSR was preparing for war with Germany and had plans to invade even massing troops on the border.

gets into it though it is of course biased against the most evil NAZEEEES. but the plan to strike the USSR before their preperations were complete was reasonable with german military theory. It's most likely that a Tsarist Russia would have been isolationist at the time and not acted against Germany.

but things like funding the enemy of my enemy always lacks the thought of what happens if said enemy wins

The Soviets had a ten year pact with the German government, that would have lasted until 1949 and they deliberately went out of their way to avoid any hostilities until then. There is no evidence to the contrary.

Hitler was retarded and far stupider then the imperial government that preceded him. This has nothing to do with much good and evil. Its about competence. The imperial government did everything they could to avoid a two front war. Hitler on the other hand went out of the war to declare war on both the Soviet Union and the United States.

No then the entente would still exist in tact and they would never even had a chance as they would have fought a war on two fronts from the start.

Yeah dude everyone did do a pinkie promise so I'm sure things like pacts and an alliance from 30 years ago would have mattered a lot

They broke their own pact, making them the aggressors in the eyes of the whole world. The Soviets couldn't have broken the pact even if they wanted to as indicated in retarded conspiracy theories, they needed time to build up their forces and fortifications.

do you mean the rest of the capitalist countries in the world? Seems weird that you're so focused on that. Also the ussr massing troops for an attack is them breaking the pact. what need is there for fortifications if they're fighting on german land. You are not suited for the real politik it seems

They needed defensive fortifications and forces in order to defend themselves from any potential aggressors. Rather it was Britain and France or a fascist power like Germany.

Remember that Britain and France had plans to bomb the Soviets because of the Soviet-German pact, with operation pike and they even flew reconnaissance missions. They also planned operations in the north. But the fact that these countries had plans to attack the Soviet Union doesn't mean that it went to war against them, which demonstrates the difference between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

Many states have plans to attack others, but they in the end are just that plans. Like operation pike they don't always end up getting executed. Potential hypothetical plans are no basis for a predatory war. And that is exactly what the Nazi invasion was, it was predatory as described by the Lebensraum concept and they even went up to Moscow and went far beyond what would have been needed for defence.

You are just making up that attack part. Hypothetical plans are no excuse for a predatory war in any case.

Yes, the rest of the capitalist countries in the world, which otherwise would not be inclined to support the Soviets would end up doing so. This created a rather unnatural alliance.