17 Stalinist Russia and International Communism -- Part 1
The years of the New Economic Policy were calm in Soviet Russia.
The country began to recover economically after 1921, approaching prewar levels of productivity by late 1927, largely attributable to the country's pragmatic embrace of market incentives, although good weather had much to do with it.
The contradictions and dilemmas of Bolshevik rule had not been solved.
After a series of strokes began in 1922, they were made all the more pressing.
By the late 1920s, it became clear that Stalin was in control of the party and the country after a few years of uncertainty.
Stalin initiated revolutionary change, remaking the economic base of the country and eliminating, through "blood purges," a large part of its ruling cadres.
Stalin is an example of the power of a will in history.
Stalin is responsible for more deaths and human suffering than Hitler because he ruled over a large country for twentyfive years and Hitler only had power for twelve.
It was published by John Wiley & Sons.
Communism continued to rule in Russia for nearly a half-century after Stalin's death.
After World War II, Communism spread into eastern Europe, Asia, and Cuba, whereas the appeals of Nazism collapsed.
The voice of the future for many, especially after the start of the Depression in late 1929 and the launch of the "second revolution" of collectivization, came from Russia and Germany, who were among the most aggrieved of the losing powers of World War I.
Stalin and Hitler were initially dismissed as laughable and laughable, only to rise in esteem to the point of being considered nearly divine.
Their life stories and personality were vastly different.
Stalin, active as a revolutionary in Georgia, on the southern fringes of the tsarist empire, was relatively unknown among the leading Bolsheviks.
The leader of the party was Lenin.
By the early 1920s, Stalin was better known outside of Russia than other leaders.
"Stalinism" would have been considered crazy in those years.
By the time of the party congress in 1939, Stalin had become a towering presence and had risen above all other party leaders.
Most of the Old Bolsheviks were either in prison, in exile or in their graves by that year.
In the 19th century Russia's opponents argued that only a ruler with great powers could prevent the tsarist empire from dissolving into chaos.
A Napoleon who pushed the revolution forward in an extreme fashion would be presented by Stalin.
Many outside observers did not know what to think of the new rulers of the diminished empire after the Red Years.
With the introduction of the NEP in March 1921, the rule of the Bolsheviks seemed to change in nature, since that policy was widely viewed in the west as a chastened withdrawal from Communist principles.
In 1922, Germany, France, and Britain extended diplomatic recognition to Soviet Russia.
The United States delayed until November 1933 after the New Deal came into power.
By the mid-1920s, Europe's capitalist countries themselves were enjoying economic recovery, suggesting that the world proletarian revolution was fading into a highly uncertain future.
The dilemma of proletarian revolutionaries ruling a bourgeois-peasant country had by no means been solved.
The NEP was hesitant in its response to the opposition to Bolshevik rule.
In economic, social, and cultural terms, the Bolsheviks seemed to be assuming a conciliatory posture after March 1921.
The rule of the Bolsheviks became more dictatorial.
The recognition by party leaders of the grave dangers of factionalism was the reason for the increased emphasis on military-like discipline within the Bolshevik Party.
In the early 1920s, the Bolsheviks presented conflicting faces to the world.
They wanted the Soviet Union to be recognized as a normal state.
The Communist International continued its activities under the direction of the Bolsheviks in order to overthrow other states.
The economic recovery of the NEP contributed to anxiety about the future and to growing differences within the party.
The industrialization debate, in which the party's right or liberal wing called for a continuation of gradual industrialization under the NEP, and the party's left wing looked to an accelerated and "
The terms of debate with Russian Marxism are easy to misunderstand.
The leaders of the Bolsheviks agreed that Soviet Russia needed to industrialize on its own, with no help from outside the country, because of the fact that "left" and "right" in Soviet Russia had a tenuous relation to what those terms meant elsewhere.
All agreed that the ultimate victory of Communism in Russia could only be achieved after the capitalist world capitulated to proletarian revolution.
The left and the right believed in different approaches to the peasants, with the left believing in a more cooperative stance and the right believing in a free market.
The peasants were threatened by too much "squeezing" of them.
The differences between "cooperation" and "coercion" came down to a matter of emphasis rather than stark different paths, at least until early 1928.
The struggle for power among Lenin's lieutenants became intertwined with the different perceptions of what was required economically.
When he suffered a mild heart attack in the middle of 1921, the leader of the party was in poor health for over a year, with periods of recovery followed by a paralyzing stroke in 1922.
He was laid to rest just short of fifty-four years of age after suffering a further major stroke.
There was a huge problem with the legacy of Lenin's death.
The creation of the Bolshevik Party, the success of the November Revolution, and the survival of the Communist Party were all due to the personal involvement of Lenin.
After 1917, Lenin was credited with keeping party differences within manageable proportions, even though he was often derided as a "splitter" in the prewar period.
He gradually won the respect of his younger lieutenants, who often differed with him but eventually accepted his decisions.