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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 Communist Oppositions and Post-Stalinist Reform

The Communist Oppositions and Post-Stalinist Reform

(p.390) Chapter 34 The Communist Oppositions and Post-Stalinist Reform
The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia

Robert Daniels

Yale University Press

During the first dozen years of Soviet rule, the Communist oppositions encompassed all the waves of criticism in the Bolshevik/Communist Party that resisted the decisions and policies of Vladimir Lenin and of the leadership that succeeded him. Their story sheds light on the Soviet background of post-Communist Russia and their travails highlight the multistage revolutionary process that created and shaped the Communist regime. In addition, their historical existence challenges the ideological assumption that the only way to understand Lenin and Leninism properly is Joseph Stalin's way. Leon Trotsky has often been represented as the first Stalinist, a notion that stems from the image he established during the period of War Communism as the ultimate militarist and apologist for terror. The rightists, the party of Thermidor, did their best to adapt Marxism and proletarian dogma to the reality of a predominantly peasant country. In contrast, Stalin focused on exploiting the economic difficulties of the New Economic Policy to enhance his personal power. It was up to Boris Yeltsin to reject the October Revolution and the practice of a tempered socialism.

Keywords:   oppositions, Vladimir Lenin, Russia, Joseph Stalin, Leon Trotsky, Communism, Thermidor, Marxism, New Economic Policy, socialism

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