• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The strategic retreat of NEP (New Economic Policy), Lenin said, was forced on the Bolsheviks by desperate economic circumstances, and by the need to consolidate the victories that the revolution had already won.

Extracts from this document...


The strategic retreat of NEP (New Economic Policy), Lenin said, was forced on the Bolsheviks by desperate economic circumstances, and by the need to consolidate the victories that the revolution had already won. Its purpose was to restore the shattered economy and to calm the fears of the non-proletarian population. NEP meant concessions to the peasantry, the intelligentsia, and the urban petty-bourgeoisie; relaxation of controls over economic, social, and cultural life; the substitution of conciliation for coercion in the Communists' dealings with society as a whole. But Lenin made it very clear that the relaxation should not extend into the political sphere. Within the Communist Party, 'the slightest violation of discipline must be punished severely, sternly, ruthlessly': When an army is in retreat, a hundred times more discipline is required than when the army is advancing, because during an advance everybody presses forward. If everybody started rushing back now, it would spell immediate and inevitable disaster . . . When a real army is in retreat, machine-guns are kept ready, and when an orderly retreat degenerates into a disorderly one, the command to fire is given, and quite rightly, too. - As for other political parties, their freedom to express their views publicly should be even more strictly curtailed than during the Civil War, particularly if they tried to claim the Bolsheviks' new moderate positions as their own. ...read more.


In 1920, when the Second Comintern Congress discussed the prerequisites for admission to the Comintern, the Bolshevik leaders insisted on imposing conditions that were clearly based on the model of the pre-1917 Bolshevik Party in Russia, even though this meant excluding the large and popular Italian Socialist Party (which wanted to join the Comintern without first purging itself of its right wing and centrist groups) and weakening the Comintern as a competitor with the revived Socialist International in Europe. The '21 Conditions' for admission adopted by the Comintern required, in effect, that the member parties should be nunorities of the far left, recruiting only highly committed revolutionaries, and preferably formed by a split (comparable with the split between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks in 1903) in which the party left had demonstratively separated itself from the 'reformist' centre and right wing. Unity, discipline, intransigence, and revolutionary professionalism were the essential qualities of any Communist party operating in a hostile environment. Of course, the same rules did not necessarily apply to the Bolsheviks themselves, since they had already taken power. It could be argued that a ruling party in a one-party state must, in the first place, become a mass party, and, in the second place, accommodate and even institutionalize diversity of opinion. ...read more.


Nevertheless, Lenin emphasized that 'all members of the Russian Communist Party who are in the slightest degree suspicious or unreliable . . . should be got rid of' (that is, expelled from the party); and, as T. H. Rigby comments, it is difficult to believe that no Oppositionists were among the almost 25 per cent of party members judged unworthy.9 While no prominent Oppositionists were expelled from the party in the purge, members of the opposition factions of 1920-21 did not all escape without punishment. The Central Committee's Secretariat, now headed by one of Lenin's men, had charge of appointments and distribution of party personnel; and it proceeded to send a number of prominent Workers' Oppositionists on assignments that kept them far from Moscow and thus effectively excluded them from active participation in leadership politics. The practice of using such 'administrative methods' to reinforce unity in the leadership was later greatly developed by Stalin, after he became General Secretary of the party (that is, head of the Central Committee's Secretariat) in 1922; and scholars have often regarded it as the real death-knell of internal democracy within the Soviet Communist Party. But it was a practice that originated with Lenin and arose out of the conflicts at the Tenth Party Congress, when Lenin was still the master strategist and Stalin and Molotov were his faithful henchmen. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Compare the views about the nature and development of Carl Rogers and George Kelly. ...

    Rogers' theory stresses that it is the individual's own comprehension of his or her experiences that is important, rather then the therapist's professional interpretation (Rogers, 1951). Kelly founded what is known as the personal construct system. He suggested that our personal constructs reflect our constant efforts to make sense of

  2. The Foreign Policy of an Islamic Presidential Democracy.

    Similarly, Algeria incurred difficulties with Iraq over its involvement in the peace talks concluding the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq. This proves that although Algeria shares a cultural identity with the Arab-Islamic nations, distance separates it from the rest of the Middle East.

  1. Socialist uses of workers' inquiry

    Inquiry should also aim to decisively eliminate ambiguities that persist in our theoretical formation, that is the theory elaborated in Quaderni Rossi, because as other comrades have already pointed out many aspects of this draft of a theory are arrived at only by antithesis; they are drawn from a critique

  2. Russia's Political Party System as an Obstacle to Democratization

    The APR served a more well-defined constituency tied to farming interests and believed the KPRF to be too ideologically compromising, however, and rebuffed the offer. It was in the more fragmented democratic center that the need for alliances was greatest, but nothing came of such efforts.

  1. How did Lenin add to Marxism up to 1905, and with what consequences?

    In this pamphlet, there were three main points that Lenin made in relation to the role of a revolutionary party. "An organisation of revolutionaries must contain primarily and chiefly people whose occupation is revolutionary activity... This organisation must necessarily be not very broad, and as secret as possible."

  2. Power and Politics in Organizations: Public and Private Sector Comparisons

    which doing so is not what the other person wishes or prefers. Power and Organizations The Role and Anatomy of Power Struggles Power, and the struggle over it, describe the essence of the political process. Rothman and Friedman (in this volume)

  1. The study of international or rather global politics, seeks to provide an account of ...

    his authority is recognized and a state exists or it is not recognized and anarchy exists. All the powers of government are inherent in the sovereign: legislation, the administartion of justice, the exercise of force and the organisation of intitutions of government (Sabine 1973:435).

  2. Are political parties better understood as reflections of ‘social cleavages’, or products of strategic ...

    The church-state conflict cast the centralizing, standardizing, and mobilizing forces of the national government against the traditional influence of the Catholic Churchvi. In the face of a growing secular government, the church sought to protect its established corporate privileges. The Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century also generated two new social cleavages.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work