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About Russia, Its Revolutions, Its Development and Its Present


Michal Reiman

The author analyzes modern Russian history from a new perspective. Due to the ideological heritage of the XIXth and XXth centuries, the social settings of the sociopolitical history of the USSR (1917–1945) have not been fully identified. Detailed examination of ideological and political concepts shows that the revolution of 1917 became not a middle class, proletarian movement, but rather a plebeian one. The misjudgment by the new power enabled growth but caused tremendous losses of human lives and material damages. Socialization of economy and strict centralization led to a new social structure and established terror as an instrument for social reorganization. WWII revealed the necessity of a correction of these developments, but the events of the Cold War circumvented any further considerations.

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2. The “Building Socialism” in the early 1920s


The War Communism and the NEP

The implementation of Soviet economic policy began with a wave of expropriations of private businesses and other measures, necessitated by the post-revolutionary turmoil and the emerging needs of the Red Army. The latter safeguarded Bolshevik power during the civil war, which continued to be fought until 1920, the year in which the plan to construct a socialist society took on better defined contours. The set of economic relationships that came into being during this era later received the label ‘war communism’. At the Tenth Congress of the Russian Communist Party / Bolshevik in 1921, Lenin described these as measures that had been forced by the civil war.

But their true nature had come out at the All-Russian Congress of Soviets six months earlier, in December 1920, when a plan that had been proposed by Lenin’s government to develop the nonmarket economy was approved. It anticipated that the monetary system would be abolished, along with the circulation of currency and monetary institutions, including banks. Peasants were to be relieved of their rights to manage their own assets and their farm produce. Industry, particularly heavy industry, was emphasized. It was to be funded by increased contributions of grain from the peasants, by borrowing and loans from abroad, and by granting economic concessions to foreign entrepreneurs. The energy to feed this construction was to come from increased oil and coal mining in Baku and Donbas and, in the future, from the...

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