A History of Socialism in Russia and the Bolshevik Revolution

A History of Socialism in Russia and the Bolshevik Revolution

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Category: World History and Cultures Essay
Subcategory: U.S. History
Words: 2281
Pages: 8
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Document details
Category: World History and Cultures Essay
Subcategory: U.S. History
Words: 2281
Pages: 8

Unless we accept the claim that Lenin's coup gave birth to an entirely new state, and indeed to a new era in the history of mankind, we must recognize in today's Soviet Union the old empire of the Russians -- the only empire that survived into the mid 1980's (Luttwak, 1). In their Communist Manifesto of 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels applied the term communism to a final stage of socialism in which all class differences would disappear and humankind would live in harmony. Marx and Engels claimed to have discovered a scientific approach to socialism based on the laws of history. They declared that the course of history was determined by the clash of opposing forces rooted in the economic system and the ownership of property. Just as the feudal system had given way to capitalism, so in time capitalism would give way to socialism. The class struggle of the future would be between the bourgeoisie, who were the capitalist employers, and the proletariat, who were the workers. The struggle would end, according to Marx, in the socialist revolution and the attainment of full communism (Groiler's Encyclopedia). Socialism, of which Marxism-Leninism is a takeoff, originated in the West. Designed in France and Germany, it was brought into Russia in the middle of the nineteenth century and promptly attracted support among the country's educated, public-minded elite, who at that time were called intelligentsia (Pipes, 21). After Revolution broke out over Europe in 1848 the modern working class appeared on the scene as a major historical force. However, Russia remained out of the changes that Europe was experiencing. As a socialist movement and inclination, the Russian Social-Democratic Party continued the traditions of all the Russian Revolutions of the past, with the goal of conquering political freedom (Daniels 7)....

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