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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 Bolsheviks and the Intelligentsia

The Bolsheviks and the Intelligentsia

(p.52) Chapter 4 The Bolsheviks and the Intelligentsia
The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia

Robert Daniels

Yale University Press

The role of the Russian intelligentsia in the revolution has often been downplayed due to their alleged alienation from practical affairs, their commitment to some kind of abstract doctrine, and their moral disconnection from the autocracy and class privilege. The cultural dichotomy between this theorizing elite and the toiling masses is evident, for example, in the prestige conferred on academic pursuits in Russia and in the long-standing classification of the Soviet population into workers, peasants, and “toiling intelligentsia.” However, the simple distinction between intellectuals and masses does not provide an adequate explanation for revolutionary and post-revolutionary Russia. This chapter examines the role of the intelligentsia, particularly the literary intellectuals, in bringing about the revolutionary movement in Russia. It also looks at the rise of the rebellious quasi-intelligentsia and their association with the Bolshevik Party of Vladimir Lenin, their link to Communism and the Russian Revolution, and the emergence of Joseph Stalin as leader of the quasi-intelligentsia.

Keywords:   intelligentsia, Russia, intellectuals, masses, quasi-intelligentsia, Bolshevik Party, Vladimir Lenin, Communism, Russian Revolution, Joseph Stalin

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