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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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The Left Opposition and the Evolution of the Communist Regime

The Left Opposition and the Evolution of the Communist Regime

(p.167) Chapter 14 The Left Opposition and the Evolution of the Communist Regime
The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia

Robert Daniels

Yale University Press

During the mid-1920s, the Soviet Union saw the eruption of a running controversy between the leadership of the Communist Party and the movements of protest collectively known as the Left Opposition. These opposition movements occupy a central place in the evolution of Stalinist Communism. They challenged the Soviet regime under the leadership of Joseph Stalin and Nikolai Bukharin for slowly losing its quality as a workers' state. The Left Opposition's desperate struggle to prevent the Communist system from evolving in the original direction of the Russian Revolution and its own crusade for socialism were doomed to fail. Marxism was the philosophy of the Left Opposition, but it was their literal devotion to the premises of Marxism that ultimately led to their downfall. The demise of the Left Opposition enabled the Stalinist form of rule that combined party bureaucracy and Marxist-Leninist ideology to become entrenched for a long time. Along with the Right Opposition and the Ultra Left, the failure of the Left Opposition can be attributed to disunity, indecision, tactical errors, and confusing purpose.

Keywords:   socialism, Soviet Union, Communist Party, Left Opposition, Communism, bureaucracy, Joseph Stalin, Nikolai Bukharin, Marxism

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