In early 1920s only 5-7% of the russian population supported Bolsheviks.

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Joined: 14-08-13
Nov 13 2017 22:58
In early 1920s only 5-7% of the russian population supported Bolsheviks.

Very interesting talk by a specialist on the labor movement during the Russian revolution - historian Boris Pavlov. I've read the documents of the "Anti-Bolshevik workers ' movement in 1918", which he published. In 1918 Pro-Bolshevik euphoria of the working class disappeared. Workers in large factories were angry over the repression and hunger. There is a huge anti-Bolshevik workers movement (Assembly of representatives of the Factories and Plants). But it was defeated by the Bolsheviks.

In early 1920s for the assessment of the Russian sociologist Pitirim Sorokin only 5-7% of the population supported Bolsheviks. This estimate coincides with the results of the elections to Councils of rural deputies in 1925. According to results of the semi-free elections in rural Councils in 1925, Bolsheviks received 3.6% of the seats in the Councils. The peasants were 85% of the population...

None of the slogans of Bolshevism was executed in reality, power was not transferred to the Councils of workers ' and rural deputies, farmers have not received land, the workers have not received the factory to the self-government. The authoritarian state bureaucracy became the total owner and exploiter of the worker.

Nevertheless, Bolsheviks ruled the country for decades. This disappointing result means many things...

Joined: 22-10-06
Dec 11 2017 11:37

I'm actually surprised it was that high... As I noted in section H.6 of An Anarchist FAQ:

This account of workers' protest being crushed by the so-called workers' state raises an important theoretical question. Following Marx and Engels, Lenin asserted that the "state is nothing but a machine for the suppression of one class by another" [Collected Works, vol. 28, p. 259] Yet here is the working class being suppressed by "its" state. If the state is breaking strikes, including general strikes, by what stretch of the imagination can it be considered a "workers' state"? Particularly as the workers, like the Kronstadt sailors, demanded free soviet elections, not, as the Leninists then and now claim, "soviets without Communists" (although one soviet historian noted with regards the 1921 revolt that "taking account of the mood of the workers, the demand for free elections to the soviets meant the implementation in practice of the infamous slogan of soviets without communists." [quoted by Aves, Op. Cit., p. 123]). If the workers are being repressed and denied any real say in the state, how can they be considered the ruling class? And what class is doing the "suppression"? As we discussed in section H.3.8, Bolshevik ideology adjusted to this reality by integrating the need for party dictatorship to combat the "wavering" within the working class into its theory of the state. Yet it is the party (i.e., the state) which determines what is and is not wavering. This suggests that the state apparatus has to be separate from the working class in order to repress it (as always, in its own interests).

The falling away of popular support for the Bolsheviks dates to spring of 1918, before the start of the civil war. That was when the Bolsheviks started to gerrymander, pack and disband soviets -- soon after, the ideology changed to reflect the reality: the notion that a dictatorship of the party was needed to implement the dictatorship of the proletariat (because the masses where "backward," "declassed," etc. -- as shown by their opposition to the party!).

rubra's picture
Joined: 17-12-17
Dec 17 2017 18:50

I find it fascinating how such a small number of people can accomplish such a feat. Makes me have hope for the future of libcom/ancom