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War Communism was a complete failure. How valid is this statement?

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Úna Richards 10/03/2013 War Communism was a complete failure. How valid is this statement? War Communism was a failure in that it led to famine in the Russian countryside, as well as widespread opposition from the Russian population, most notably from the Kronstadt sailors. However, this is not to say it was a complete failure. There were some aspects of success to War Communism; it established equality of men and women; the economic policy equipped and fed the Red Army, and as a result, the Red Army was able to defeat the Whites. Therefore, War Communism was not a complete failure. There were several reasons for the introduction of War Communism. It was used in a pragmatic sense, as it was a response to the military exigencies of the civil war. Indeed, it aimed to feed and equip the Red Army and increase the likelihood of a White Army defeat. The effectiveness of this particular aim of War Communism was demonstrated through the success of the Red Army during the civil war. ...read more.


The heavily enforced policy was able to eliminate capitalist aspects of Russia, e.g. private property, and implement communist economics instead. War Communism, in this sense, was a fundamental aspect of the Bolsheviks? revolutionary strategy. The cheka senselessly stamped out any political opposition groups or political resistance that they encountered or rooted out. Arguably, this aim within War Communism wasn?t a failure and was largely successful, as Bolsheviks remained in power, and the communist regime was kept until 1991-2. In spite of the successful maintenance of Bolshevik power, some of the methods used as part of the policy were massively unpopular. This was demonstrated through the Kronstadt uprising that took place in March 1921, the naval soldiers wanted greater freedom. Many took part but the Red Army quickly and brutally put it down, many died. This incident was particularly significant, as the people that resided in the area of Kronstadt previously formed the ?pride and glory of the Russian revolution? but were now extremely unhappy with the conditions of War Communism, as well as the communist regime in general. ...read more.


As a result, there were simply not enough workers to run fully functioning factories. This was a key failure of War Communism; Lenin?s decision to hand over control of factories to the workers proved detrimental to the Russian economy. It wasn?t a complete failure, however, Lenin?s decision and policy of War Communism allowed women to take on different jobs, helping to increase sexual equality. Overall, War Communism had both successes and failures and therefore cannot be called a complete failure or a complete success. Its failures; however seem more major, such as the 1921-4 famine. Food output decreased dramatically in the three years, and many died as a result. This is not to say that its successes weren?t significant, War Communism?s role in sexual equality triggered further positive changes for the women of Russia. Arguably then, Lenin?s policy wasn?t a complete failure but due to the severity of the problems created by War Communism it can be categorised as a failure that had some successes albeit of small-scale. ...read more.

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