War Communism and the hopes for revolution in the west were abandoned in early 1921.
The Bolsheviks did not have reliable information about the conditions in Europe.
The situation in Germany by the late summer of 1918 seemed to be the most promising to the Bolsheviks and, from a Marxist perspective, it was the most important because of Germany's high level of industrialization.
The German Council of People's Commissars resembled the Bolsheviks only in name.
It had not taken power from Prince Max but rather accepted it from him, which is a crucial point in terms of claims to legitimacy.
Until regular elections could be held, it had been formed as a temporary government.
The leader of the German Council, Friedrich Ebert, was a member of the antirevolutionary branch of the SPD.
He was not a fan of the Russian model and the only way to get long-term legitimacy was to have westernstyle elections.
Ebert was determined to prevent a repetition in Germany of the events in Russia, and instead of backing away from a military alliance, Ebert accepted offers of support from the German military to help crush the German revolutionary left.
The left did not have a unified leadership or an agreed-upon revolutionary doctrine.
Many people talked vaguely of doing as they had done in Russia.
The path of the German revolution was different from that of the Bolsheviks.
The German path reflected not only decisions by leaders but also deeper realities, as the German military was less weakened and discredited than its Russian counterpart.
The German general staff would remain an independent power well into the Nazi period.
The German state bureaucracy did not fall as the tsarist bureaucracy did, nor did Germany's major political parties suffer the same fate.
The Germans understood that the Americans would be hostile to a Communist Germany because of their abundant food supplies.
The idea of copying or even allying with Soviet Russia at this point seemed suicidal to many Germans.
The collapse of Austria-Hungary opened the way for a Bolshevik-style revolution, but most of the new regimes, or successor states, set up at the end of the war were anti-Communist.
As the Red Army entered Polish territory in 1920, the Polish people failed to rise up to welcome it.
The Red Army was driven back beyond prewar borders by a Polish counteroffensive.
The soviet regime that came to power in Hungary in 1919 was similar to the Russian model in that the Hungarian Communists came to power because their opponents were weak.
Anti-Communist forces destroyed the Soviet Republic of Hungary.
There was a brief Communist takeover in the former kingdom of Bavaria, but it was easily defeated.
It was noted that most of the Communist leaders in Hungary and Bavaria were Jews.
At this time, Hitler began his political career.
With victory in World War I, British and French leaders faced their own left wing parties from a position of relative strength.
The left in western Europe was larger and more angry than before 1914, but the proponents of violent revolution remained disorganized.
Most of the general population in Britain and France opposed a proletarian dictatorship.
Many voted for candidates from anti-Communist and ultra-nationalistic parties.
The people in France were very angry.
Posters depicting a hairy, Jewish-looking revolutionary with a bloody knife between his teeth appeared throughout France, warning of the horrors that were to come.
The Socialist Party was defeated in the elections.
The results of the efforts to establish Communist parties in western Europe based on Bolshevik principles were not very good.
The Comintern was founded by the Bolsheviks in the summer of 1920 and held a congress of aspiring revolutionaries in Moscow.
The Red Army appeared to be marching into Poland.
The Comintern oversaw the creation of Communist parties in all European countries, but the newly formed Communist parties failed to make a revolution, and the Poles defeated the Red Army.
By early 1921, as Soviet Russia moved toward the New Economic Policy, western Communist parties tended to lapse into the position of waiting for the next revolutionary wave.
They were assured by their Marxist convictions that new revolutionary conditions would appear.
European Marxism and Russian Bolshevism are considered to be historic failures from the perspective of the early twenty-first century.
After the fall of the Soviet empire at the century's end, that judgment was not widely accepted.
To describe the November Revolution and Bolshevik rule in the 1920s and 1930s as successful is problematic.
The soviet regime became a symbol of future possibilities.
Even within the Communist movement, the promise or deeper meaning of the Bolshevik Revolution was highly disputed.
Russia was poorer in 1921 than it had been during the war.
There were 20 million people who lived within the confines of the former Russian empire who had died and millions more who had suffered terrible tragedies.
The industrial growth that had seemed so promising from 1890 to 1914 had been wiped out, and the former Russian Empire had dropped from being a great power to what could be described as a highly vulnerable peasant republic.
The peasant majority in Russia was ruled by a dictatorship of the proletarian minority of the party that claimed to speak for the workers.
"democratic centralism" came to mean rule from the top by an entrenched party elite, all of whom had come to rely on Lenin to assure party unity and coherence.
The re-introduction of a kind of capitalism to Russia was overseen by this alleged party.
Without the spread of proletarian revolution to the advanced economies of the west, the precarious, contradictory Bolshevik regime seemed destined to fail.
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