Lenin And Populism

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The revolutionary, Vladimir Lenin, led the Bolshevik Party for the Russian Revolution to achieve a socialist state. Lenin took several parts of the Marxism doctrine and added to it in order to make it more applicable to Russia. He believed in the dictatorship of the proletariat and the class struggle, however, an elite group would lead the revolution, instead of the masses. Along with Marxism, Lenin used other theories and practices to encourage the Revolution. Populism “influenced the tactics and techniques of Lenin and Bolshevism”, Lenin took the idea of promoting self-interest and believing in nothing from nihilism, and he took the use of violence from anarchism, which helped justify the Red Terror (Packet). Lenin’s goal was to overthrow …show more content…
Populism is the doctrine of achieving social justice and equality. The populists in Russia formed the Social Revolutionary Party, whom the Bolsheviks were against. However, Lenin had to gain the favor of the working class and peasants. He used propaganda, and he promised the people that he will give them the things they want. The peasants still wanted more land, there was a shortage of food, and they wanted World War I to end. He also agreed with radical populists that “it was suicidal to wait for the masses to become educated” and that the people needed to take power as soon as they can (Packet). Lenin used this when he urged “all forces must be mobilised”, or else all that they worked for will go to waste (Packet). Besides populism, Lenin used nihilism to advance the revolution. Nihilism is the belief in nothing. This philosophy came about in another revolutionary time in Russia. Lenin used this because he promoted socialism for his self-interest. Lenin achieved the dictatorship of his elite group and worked to get rid of anyone that went against him. This leads to the use of anarchism to promote his goal. Once Lenin got into power, a civil war broke out and he faced significant opposition. Thus, the Red Terror took place, which was a violent act to eliminate enemies. These applications of various philosophies allowed Lenin to change Russia into a communist …show more content…
The Provisional Government did “triumph over the dark forces of the Old Regime” and granted several civil liberties (Packet). However, the leader of the government, Alexander Kerensky, wanted to continue the war with Germany and promised to redistribute land to the peasants, but never went through with it. The Petrograd Soviet wanted the war to end because it was draining Russia’s army, which had no spirit to fight anymore. This allowed the revolution to push forth and Lenin gained more followers. In the April Theses, Lenin stated that there is “no support for the Provisional Government” (Packet). The Bolshevik Party joined the Petrograd Soviets and won the majority of the Constituent Assembly. Through this, Lenin achieved the dictatorship of the proletariat. He created the Congress of Soviets and the Council of People’s Commissars. Lenin’s greatest goal was to achieve the international Marxist movement in Europe. Once Lenin would remove capitalism from Russian society, then it will “aid in world labor movement… which has… developed in Italy, England, and Germany” (Packet). The transformation of Russia into a communist state was a step towards accomplishing this

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