The Russian Revolution 2 Essay Research Paper

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The Russian Revolution 2 Essay, Research Paper The Fate and Justification of those who opposed the Revolution During the time of Revolution in Russia, the main leaders were Stalin Trotsky and Lenin. During their reign they dealt with those who resisted the revolution using various methods, most of which were very brutal. The most common methods used by these leaders were: arrest, terror, imprisonment, transportation to Siberia, execution, torture, exile and liquidation. The use of such measures to strike out at those who opposed the revolution were justified in many ways by Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin. When Lenin and the Bolsheviks came to power the situation in Russia was very unstable as was the position that the party held. Lenin was willing to take any measures he saw

necessary, no matter how brutal, to ensure the success of his revolution and party. Almost as soon as Lenin came to power he implemented a reign of terror. Lenin saw the use of terror as a necessity and soon after the coup in October 1917 he asked Kamenev How can one make revolution without executions? [Laver (1994:62)]. Given the fact that the Bolsheviks were a minority when they came to power and that they had many political opponents such as the Mensheviks and the Socialist revolutionaries it is probably correct of Lenin to say that terror and subsequently executions were unavoidable. Later Lenin stated to Trotsky: Do you really think that we will be victorious without using the most cruel terror? [Laver (1994:62)] This comment suggests that Lenin may not have agreed wholly

with the use of terror but maintained that it was necessary for the success of the revolution. Lenin was so convinced that the use of terror would ensure the success of the revolution that in December 1917 he authorized the feared Dzerzhinsky to set up the Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Speculation (CHEKA). The CHEKA was responsible for Dealing with suspect political opponents, saboteurs and other counter-revolutionaries. The CHEKA Dealt with these opponents of the revolution with varying measure ranging from arrest to murder. Lenin took full responsibility for the actions of the CHEKA and justified its use as a force to counter the opposition s terror, that is combating terror with terror. Lenin also initiated a class war aimed at the kulaks or

richer peasant farmers. This war began in August 1918 when Lenin issued the following order aimed at these kulaks because they were resisting his regime, in particular the requisition of food: Ruthless war must be waged on the kulaks! Death to them! Hatred and contempt for the parties that support them The workers must crush the kulak revolts with an iron hand, for the kulaks have formed an alliance with the foreign capitalists against the toilers of their own country. (Civil War in the Villages, August 1918) [Quoted in Laver (1994: 62)] Lenin has justified his actions against the kulaks by fabricating a relationship between them and the foreign capitalist the enemy of any Marxist believer. No such relationship existed the kulaks were simply unhappy because their harvest was

being taken forcibly from them by food requisitioning units. Some groups such as the Tambov Greens fought back effectively for a short time until the army was called in and a massacre occurred. Lenin s class war against the kulaks was mostly successful. When an assassination attempt was made on Lenin and another party member on the 30th of August 1918 Lenin stepped up his terror campaign and many executions followed often supported by little evidence. In a party speech soon after Lenin continued to justify his use of terror: The CHEKA is putting into effect the dictatorship of the proletariat, and in this sense it is of inestimable value. Outside of force and violence, there is no way to suppress the exploiters of the masses. This is the business of the CHEKA and in this lies its