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The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia$
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Robert V. Daniels

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780300106497

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300106497.001.0001

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Left Communism in the Revolutionary Era

Left Communism in the Revolutionary Era

(p.105) Chapter 9 Left Communism in the Revolutionary Era
The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia

Robert Daniels

Yale University Press

“Left Communism” was a faction within the Communist Party in Russia. Adopting the principles of the Russian Revolution of 1917, Left Communism had a dogmatic commitment to Marxism and an idealistic belief in the struggle for the perfect society. Opposition outside the party was suppressed gradually in the first half of 1918, but internal Communist opposition to Vladimir Lenin's policies persisted until after the end of the civil war. The distinctive signs of the Left Communist tendency first became visible in the form of opposition to Lenin's leadership. The Bolshevik Party's left wing vigorously opposed the new regime's actions in foreign affairs. When civil war broke out in May 1918, the communist left saw an opportunity to fight for the immediate implementation of the utopian communist goal. The doctrine of revolutionary culture, the roots of which could be traced to Aleksandr Bogdanov in the early 1900s, may well be the most exotic and certainly the most enduring contribution of Left Communism. This chapter explores the rise and fall of Left Communism in Russia during the early twentieth century.

Keywords:   civil war, Left Communism, Communist Party, Russia, Russian Revolution, Marxism, Vladimir Lenin, Bolshevik Party, revolutionary culture, Aleksandr Bogdanov

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