Bolshevik Seeds

In the late 19th century, Marxist thought had been imported and heavily disseminated in Russia. People from all social classes were fed up with the czar’s autocratic rule and sought greater freedom. The normative ideas of Karl Marx and his theoretical ‘history’ of socialist states attracted many minds. The Russian Social Democratic Worker’s Party was an underground, revolutionary party that sought political and social change in Russia. It wanted to end the capitalist empire and give power to the proletariat. However, its members were divided into two main camps. In what would be later known as the Menshevik party, members wanted to appeal to people of all classes and slowly transition the government into a democratic polity before making it a socialist state. The Bolsheviks, on the other hand, were more aggressive. They believed that revolutionaries should be militant and fully dedicated to the cause to completely transition the empire into a socialist state. The seemingly small discrepancy was brutally divisive between the two factions. It almost seems trivial to completely break apart over a trivial matter of a game of ‘what if’. After all, the best way to learn to swim is to jump in the water, not sit by the fire with your pipe.

Freeze. Russia A History.


3 thoughts on “Bolshevik Seeds

  1. To your point, in some ways I think the Bolsheviks did just want to jump in and “learn how to socialism” as it were. The Mensheviks wanted the society to progress as naturally as possible, whereas their counterparts wanted to get straight to the socialism. You do a good job of breaking down the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks to their fundamental roots.

  2. Great job on showing how the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks differed even though they were from the same party. And I understand that it seems like a small difference on the way they believe things should be done, but that is still a problem that is faced today around the world. This could help to understand how delicate society was at this time period as well. These people seemed to be so ready and desperate for change that people were willing to go about achieving a goal in so many different ways. Ultimately, one fraction of the party would prevail, but it does go to show that more than likely the people fighting for the proletariat and proletariat themselves had not had a long track record of working together for the common good.

  3. i thought you did a good job of distinguishin the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks, i have always had a hard time distinguishing between the two. Thank you for shedding some light on the subject, good post!

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