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War communism and NEP

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Introduction

War communism and NEP As soon as the Bolsheviks seized power they introduced now economic measures that gave substantial power to the proletariat and peasants in the form of their own affairs. This in a slight manner portrayed their commitment to the Marx theory of communism and an equal ideology. Even though, they wrote of the evils of capitalism, there own ideas once they came to power was rather vague. To Lenin, the party must govern the state for 'the people' and control all businesses and industry by the state for 'the people'; so that wealth could be distributed evenly to all the people. Eventually classes would disappear and a new equality class would be formed for all. To allow a degree of flexibility for the Bolsheviks, they never confirmed how long this would take so they could justify their policies and adapt to any crisis. Economic policy 1917 Initially there were some radical new policies brought in to suit the radical politics of a far left wing party. The land degree abolished all private ownership of lands without compensation. New formed land committees would distribute land to the peasants, this in effect just legalised what had already happened. In other areas such as workers in industry were giving more rights; they had the right to elect a committee that would control industrial enterprises. In the armed forces, all ranks were abolished and replaced with committees and in the legal system; the workers elected 'people courts'. ...read more.

Middle

It was clear that War communism would not survive post war Russia and a clear indication was that communism would eventually fail. The unpopularity of War communism among the peasants leads to a drastic change in policy to try and restore order from the resentment of the peasants. This caused the Tambov Rising that saw a huge number of peasants to riot of requisitioning of grain and was only put down when 50,000 red troops were ordered into the area. This pressure on the government increased as the Krontsdat revolt of March 1921 occurred. This revolt outside of Petrograd by a group of sailors was highly alarming as these men were the symbol of the October revolution as they played a huge part for the Bolsheviks in gaining control. However, the Bolsheviks propaganda machine labelled these men as White revolutionaries to try and stop lowering further of morale. The revolt was over the growing power of the government and how they treated the workers and not been static with their policies. The slogan been 'Soviets without Bolsheviks', meaning the country can survive as a equal state of communism however do not need the help of the Bolshevik party. The revolt was put down and secured by the leadership of Leon Trotsky however this caused Lenin to finally decide he needed to change his policies concerning the economy. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even though NEP was considered as a capitalist policy and had many critics; it still however had some support as it started Russia, to begin to recover in economic strength. In 1921 at the end of the Civil war, grain production was at only 37.6 million tons, however within just 3 years it rose to 51.4 million tons yet it still was not the original levels of 1913 or pre-war years. However this increase was an incredible boast to the Bolshevik moral as it showed this government can recover a nation state. As NEP started to cause growth within Russia, it answered many critics of Lenin so his power started to be less questioned. Nonetheless, Lenin had shown his skills as a pragmatist, willing to compromise ideology in the short term to ensure long term gain. The retreat to capitalism under NEP can also be a reflection of validity of Bolshevik ideology. Had Lenin been wrong to assume that socialism could be achieved without going through a stage of capitalist development first? The NEP can be seen as an acknowledgement that the Russian economy was not ready for socialism. Reasons for NEP * To increase food production by giving the peasant an incentive to grow more and increase moral. * To get the economy going again after the chaos of the civil war. An element of private trade would give the workers and small businesses an incentive to increase production and restart industry. * To quell any threat or opposition towards the Bolsheviks, such as during the Kronstadt mutiny or Tambov rising. ...read more.

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