HISTORY to the war costs and effort

 

 

 

HISTORY

 

The
Soviet Union had its roots in the October
revolution of 1917, when Bolsheviks led by Lenin overthrew the Russian
Provisional Government. In 1917, two revolutions swept through Russia, ending centuries of imperial rule and
setting motion political and social changes that would lead to the formation of
the Soviet Union. In March, growing civil
unrest, coupled with chronic food shortages, erupted into open revolt, forcing
the abdication of Nicholas II (1868-1918), the last Russian czar. Just months
later, the newly formed provisional government was itself overthrown by the
more radical Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924). By 1917, most
Russians had lost faith in the leadership ability of Czar Nicholas ii. His
government’s corruption was rampant, the Russian economy remained backward, and
Nicholas repeatedly dissolved the Russian parliament established after the 1905
revolution, whenever it went against his will. The first phase of the Russian
revolution that occurred in 1917 was a by product of Russia’s significant
involvement in the world was I. Militarily, Russia was weaker when compared to
the mighty industrialized Germany and due to this Russian casualties in the war
were very high in number compared to previous wars. The economy was devastated
due to the war costs and effort and only then did the moderators join Russian
radical elements in order to overthrow the czar. The February revolution which
got its name due to Russia’s
use of the Julian calendar until February 1918 began on March 8 1917 when
people’s anger and frustration for break broke out on the streets of Petrograd
(St. Petersburg
now). These protests and angry mobs included many industrial workers and they
refused to stop even after police forces taking action.

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These
mobs of irate and angry people along with Petrograd’s
workers destroyed various police stations. On March 11, the troops of the Petrograd army garrison were called out to quell the
uprising. In some encounters, regiments opened fire at the mobs but the
protests kept continuing and the troops began to waver. That day, Nicholas
dissolved the parliament again. The revolution maximized when various regiments
of the Petrograd garrison defected to the
cause of the protestors and also subsequently soldiers elected new deputies to
the Soviet. The imperial government was forced to resign and the parliament
formed a provisional government that peacefully vied with the soviet for
control of the revolution. An issue was ordered that said soldiers would only
obey those orders that did not contradict to the soviet. The next day, Nicholas
II was abdicated from the throne and after his brother refused to take over,
czarist autocracy came to an end.

 

BOLSHEVIK
REVOLUTION: As the aftermath of the February revolution, power was shared
between the weak provisional government and the Petrograd
soviet. Then on November 6 and 7, a revolution led by Bolshevik leader Vladimir
Lenin launched a nearly bloodless “coup d’etat” against the
provisional government. The leftist Bolsheviks took over many government
buildings and enterprises and soon formed a new government headed by Lenin
himself. Lenin became the leader and the virtual dictator of the first Marxist
state in the world. His government made peace with Germany, nationalized industry and
re-distributed land. Even though the start was with fighting the white
anti-Bolsheviks, their defeat established the red USSR
or the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics. After Lenin, the
consecutive leaders that took over the USSR
were Joseph Stalin, Georgy Malenkove, Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Yury
Andropov, Konstantin Chernenko and Mikhail Gorbachev after which the cold war
ended with the end of the mighty Soviet Union.

 

SOCIALIST
POLICY

 

Since
most of the left literature concentrates on the productive economy of a social
order or on the role of the state in relations of productions, it is important
to put our attention into the poor distribution policies of the same societies.
Soviet Union can be divided into phases
depending upon military and economic regimes of the time and also the self
contradictions between Lenin’s socialist regime and Stalin’s fascist one. To
make an economy about “distribution of wants”, socialist policies are very
helpful if implemented properly and economic growth uniformly becomes a
necessity. Under Stalin’s rule, heavy dominance off labor market demands an
unremitting drive for industrialization was very significant. Even though
policies should have been more towards equalization, somehow the western and
eastern Europe was unsuccessful in coming up
with a way that reassures full employment along with human and generous
treatment of the unemployed. It is in the education system where original
socialist values of democratization and optimization of one’s self interests
should be given prime attention to. Somehow, access to higher education
reflected already established patterns of inequality and education inculcated
the discipline imposed by industries otherwise rather than propagating freedom
conductive to creativity. Health care, cheap and equal in standards should be
available to all in the socialist system but however in the Soviet
union, the picture was a little different. Thrust towards
industrialization and high technology had led to serious deficiencies of health
care along with low investments in preventive care. The pressures of economic
factors on housing policies were quite similar. The same industrialization led
to unplanned urbanization between 1926 and 1939. The aim of social policy being
successfully and perfectly implemented in the Soviet did not always give
egalitarian results as well. There were significant amount of inequalities
present in the labor market also. Marx’s main writings did not only include
scientific critical analysis to capitalist mode of production but also to
transform the society into a more and more egalitarian socialist society.  It is wrong to say that the soviet did not try
to achieve its socialist goals but the difference between human emancipation
and removal of private property took a long time and that just became an
example of a failed socialist state and also kept the question open for the
perfect one. Even if we say that the soviet ruler’s statements and efforts
towards an intention were genuine, that their only aim was to achieve the set
goals of a socialist state in terms of production and equity, it can be said
that their intentions have been unrealistic as they somehow misread the nature
of their task of transition. To conclude, we can say that the Soviet
Union consisted of socialist forms of ownership of property but
capitalist factors prevailed within the system very significantly.

 

 

SOVIET’S
RULERS AND THEIR OWN POLICIES

 

 

NAME

SUPREME
RULE

NOTES

VLADIMIR
LENIN

30TH
December 1922-21st January 1924

He
was the chairman of the Council of People’s commissars and also was the
informal leader of the Bolsheviks since their inception. He was also the
leader of the Russian Soviet Federative
Socialist Republic
and also the leader of USSR
until his death.

Joseph
Stalin

21ST
January 1924- 5TH March 1953

He
was the general secretary from 3rd April 1922 to a point till he
resigned from the office. His reign became more of a dictatorship and also
many policies were altered during this time.

 
 
 
 
George
Malenkove

 
 
 
 
5TH
March 1953- 8TH February 1955

 
 
 
 
Succeeded
to all Stalin’s but lost the position to Khrushchev due to their constant
power struggle against each other.

Nikita
Khrushchev

8TH
February 1955-14TH October 1964

He
served as the first secretary of the central committee of the communist party
of soviet Union. Due to the ‘anti-party group’ crisis, he was fired from all
his posts.

Leonid
Brezhnev

14TH
October 1964- 10TH November 1982

He
was renamed as general secretary of the central committee and later changed
himself as chairman.

Yuri
Andropov

12th
November 1982- 9th February 1984

General
secretary of the central committee and chairman of the presidium.

Konstantin
Chernenko

13th
February 1984- 10th March 1985

General
secretary of the central committee and chairman of the presidium.

Mikhail
Gorbachev

11th
March 1985- 25th December 1991

The
day following his resignation, soviet union was finally dissolved. Enjoyed
the same positions during his reign.

Gebbady
Yanayev

19th
August 1991-21st August 1991

Took
power during the two days of the failed attempt to make 1991 soviet coup
d’etat work.

 

 

WHY
DICTATORSHIP?

 

Official
Soviet Marxism contented that the soviet state represented the working class
and was therefore a more ‘people’s party’. However, the world knows as it was
finally agreed to that the Soviet Union
leadership was more of a dictatorship from about 1928-1988. Those who speak
psychologically instead of sociologically/historically, speak of the
personality of Joseph Stalin. Those who speak technologically, speak of the
initial low level of soviet technology. The real picture is a little more
complex where even though class structures took the center of the periphery,
socio political and economic reasons also had a great role to play in it. Pre-Revolutionary
Russia
was ruled by autocratic forces and landed nobility without any democracy in
power. The country was 80 percent agricultural with very low productivity and
the peasantry population was very poor economically who were only concerned
with survival and not really political democracy. The industrial base, working
class and the middle class formed very weak basis for democratic development to
happen. The start of the USSR
happened after the world war which followed a lengthy civil war and also
significant foreign intervention which did not act as the best base for
democracy to occur. The revolutionary political party was a small, persecuted,
and highly disciplined and almost at all times staying underground, group and
hence even this scenario did not act as the best stage for democratic politics.
The former working class which had learned socialist and democratic ideals were
largely killed off the warfare and the new communist party was filled with
recruits from the peasantry who had very less background in politics. In this
situation, the party leadership was all-powerful and there was almost no room
for debate. After Stalin defeated all possible oppositions, he held sole power.
The debate was then declared over and decision made to rapidly industrialize
the nation using workforce from peasantry. In short, a forced march towards
industrialization was decided by a small minority and then implemented in an
underdeveloped country without the acceptance of the majority. The elite class
like in every other country, benefited from this rapid industrialization as
they were the sole consumers and hence they let the process go and helped in
maintaining the dictatorship.

 

SOVIET IDEOLOGY

 

In the earliest period of the
soviet revolution, when it still had the power of a mass movement, there were
striking new innovations and ideas arising in many different areas of the
nation. There was militant feminism, new schools of art and also fascinating
debates arising in various new subjects. The most popular debate of that time
became that on economic development which formed many ideas that impacted the
third world in various ways. One line in the soviet economic debate argued for
a very slow and balanced growth of industry and also provision to private
farmers to grow rapidly. But in contradiction, it also said that agricultural
surplus earned should be used in industrial growth. As the power invested only
in the hands of one, the final decision was most certainly for industrial
growth. This decision had immense ramification for the development of forces
and relations of production. This decision was only led by stalin and
determined by only his earlier life experiences. The new relations of class
that emerged, the level of development and the new types of political
institutions that formed forced us to think that soviet had created it’s own
Marxist ideology. This official ideology was designed to justify and apologize
for the dictatorship prevalent in the soviet but it was a complete distortion of
Marx’s own critical analysis. Marx’s ideology’s most significant belief was
that class conflict would end only when capitalism was overthrown but in this,
workers and peasants were used to develop industries which according to me were
nothing different than other capitalist countries.

 

 

 

FALL OF THE SOVIET UNION

 

Mikhail Gorbachev believed that
to develop the soviet, it was necessary to build good relations with other
nations, especially the United
States. Even as president of US called USSR the evil
state and also created a massive military build up, Gorbachev promised to keep
violence out of the way. He also announced that he would withdraw soviet troops
from Afghanistan
which was fighting a war there since a long time. The policy of non
intervention had important consequences for the Soviet
Union but first it caused the eastern European alliances to
crumble down. The first revolution against USSR
occurred in Poland
where the mass protested for freeer elections to happen. The Berlin
wall fell and at the same time, the ‘velvet revolution’ occurred in Czechoslovakia
which overthrew their communist government. This atmosphere of possibility made
way for the downfall of the union itself. Frustration with the bad economy gave
rise o various protests and slowly republics started breaking away from the USSR which ultimately gave in to the fall of the
Soviet Union.

 

PERSONAL INFERENCE

 

The main problem with any country
trying to implement socialism or communism is that it is ‘trying’ to implement
it. As Marx’s ideas say that no one charismatic leader or revolutionary
political party can bring about change in any nation. His assumption clearly
states that communism or socialism will only occur when there will be revolts
from the working class and not any leader trying to convince them to revolute. There
was obviously a relation between socialism and Soviet
Union’s socialism but sadly this relationship was only of
contradiction. Since its origin, the soviet had attempted to harness energies
of its own population and oppressed people to seize state power. One weapon
used in this entire process was that the state claimed to have been using
Marx’s ideals to go towards a more and more socialist society. The leaders have
at every instance destroyed the norms of socialism and created their own
practices according to their own convenience. As for the world’s second major
propaganda system, association of socialism with the soviet union and its
clients served as a powerful ideological weapon to enforce conformity and
obedience in the state capitalist institutions to ensure the flow of rent to
the owners of these institutions. Even Lenin who is said to be the Marxist, who
could go nearest to Marx himself in the cases of ideology, enforced a thought
implemented type of nation.  Hunger for
power which became very prevalent in the soviet and traces of ideologies fading
very slowly made the downfall of the system more rapid. Dictatorship,
capitalist system within communism, exploiting freedom in the name of
liberalism and only one country trying to implement the system instead of it
happening with the revolts arising from around the world seems like a few
significant reasons for the

dissolution of THE MIGHTY SOVIET UNION.