Bolsheviks

The red Jacobins: Thermidor and the Russian revolution in 1921

Lenin and Trotsky.

Stalin was the gravedigger of the Russian Revolution, as conscious agent of the bureaucratic elite that stole power and bloodily repressed opposition. But did Lenin and Trotsky’s earlier suppression of party factions fatally secure his passage to total power? Mark Hoskisson argues that the anti-Stalinist left has underestimated the significance of 1921 in sealing the fate of the revolution

Stalin was the gravedigger of the Russian Revolution, as conscious agent of the bureaucratic elite that stole power and bloodily repressed opposition. But did Lenin and Trotsky’s earlier suppression of party factions fatally secure his passage to total power? Mark Hoskisson argues that the anti-Stalinist left has underestimated the significance of 1921 in sealing the fate of the revolution

Stalin: Why and How - Boris Souvarine

Boris Souvarine

Souvarine describes Stalin's path of ascent to power as master of Party and State.

As Party Secretary, Stalin assumed control over the Orgraspred and Uchraspred, organs which allocated Party posts throughout the USSR and which dictated the composition of conferences and congresses (including those where his Party rivals, such as Trotsky, were defeated);

Spartakism to National Bolshevism - the KPD 1918-24 - Solidarity

Leibnecht speaks to workers - 1918

An account of the emergence of the KPD (The German Communist Party) in the early days of the German Revolution - as a break from the Social Democratic Party - through its decline and transformation into a tool of the Russian Bolshevik regime.

Initially a federation of radicals in favour of workers councils, the article traces the Party's steady degeneration through bureaucratisation and opportunism; and its role as a counter-revolutionary tool of Russian Bolshevik foreign policy, following Moscow directives to undertake dubious 'uprisings' and enter alliances with fascists and nationalists (the "Schlageter Line").

Rapprochement; how the Bolsheviks came to love capitalists - EH Carr

Lenin's Rolls Royce - one of 15 custom-made for Party use

In this short excerpt Carr describes the speedy development of close links between the young Bolshevik regime and Western capitalist powers.

This included the supply of weaponry to the German Army at a time when it was crushing uprisings of communists and workers (for more on the Bolshevik relationship with the German military see;
http://libcom.org/history/spartakism-national-bolshevism-kpd-1918-24-solidarity).

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Trotsky, the Left Opposition and the Rise of Stalinism: Theory and Practice - John Eric Marot

Leon Trotsky.

Through a critical examination of the limits of SWP guru Tony Cliff's analysis, Marot demolishes the popular myth that Trotsky and his Left Opposition within the Bolshevik Party in Russia were, during the 1920s, a heroic attempt to defend working class interests against a Stalinist 'socialist construction' and repression that they disagreed with. An effective factual antidote to leftist and ICC-type left-communist apologetics for Trotsky and Trotskyism's anti-working class character in Soviet Russia.

1919-1922: The Workers’ Opposition

Leading Workers' Opposition activist, Alexandra Kollontai

A short history of a group within the Russian Communist Party that struggled against the increasing party bureaucracy and for trade union control over industry which, by 1922, had been forcibly disbanded by the party.

The Workers Opposition began to form in 1919, as a result of the policies of War Communism, which set a precedence for the domination of the Communist Party over local party branches and trade unions. During the civil war, the Workers Opposition began agitating against the lack of democracy in the Communist Party as a result of the centralising actions of the party’s bureaucracy.

Counter-revolution and the Soviet Union - Gregori Maximov

The Red Army enter Tblisi, February 1921

Short essay by famous Russian anarchist, Gregori Maximov, on the defeat of the 1917 revolution by counter-revolution from within.

Taken from the Bulletin of the Kate Sharpley Library, No. 14 (March 1998), can also be found on the KSL website here.

Medvedev, Sergei Pavlovich, 1885-1937

Petrograd Soviet, 1917

Story of the life of Bolshevik metal worker and member of the Workers' Opposition group, Sergei Medvedev, who, like many others who criticised his party's bureaucracy, was executed by the party he spent the majority of his life serving.

Sergei Pavlovich Medvedev was a Russian Bolshevik revolutionary, metalworker, and trade union organizer. Born into a peasant estate, he grew up in the countryside near Moscow and in St. Petersburg. After receiving a primary school education, he began factory work at age thirteen. He first worked at the Obukhov factory in St. Petersburg and participated in the 1901 Obukhov strike.

Kollontai, Alexandra, 1872-1952

Alexandra Kollontai, 1952

Short biography of the Bolshevik feminist Alexandra Kollontai who played a crucial role in the Workers Opposition movement.

Alexandra Kollontai was a major figure in the Russian socialist movement from the turn of the century through the revolution and civil war. During periods of exile she was also active as a speaker and writer in Germany, Belgium, France, Britain, Scandinavia and the United States.

Women fighters in the days of the great October Revolution - Alexandra Kollontai

Revolutionary Russian women in 1905

In this article, written in 1927 (well after the Bolshevik consolidation of power), Alexandra Kollontai describes the leading role in which women played in Russian Revolution of 1917. Though heavily Bolshevik in focus, it describes well the activity of working class women in the revolution.

The women who took part in the Great October Revolution – who were they? Isolated individuals? No, there were hosts of them; tens, hundreds of thousands of nameless heroines who, marching side by side with the workers and peasants behind the Red Flag and the slogan of the Soviets, passed over the ruins of tsarist theocracy into a new future...