How Far Had the Bolsheviks Created a 'Totalitarian State' by 1924?

1066 WordsMay 4, 20135 Pages
A totalitarian state, is a where the central government of a state does not tolerate any parties with opposing views and exercises complete dictatorial rule over all or most aspects of life. Lenin, the leader of the Bolsheviks, took many measures in an attempt to create a totalitarian state, including the dissolution of Constituent Assembly, the use of decrees and the establishment of a secret police group called the Cheka. However there were also some ways in which he failed to achieve full totalitarianism. The most basic characteristics of a Totalitarian state, are lack of free speech and state control over the media. This is important to establish social control over the state. Lenin's described free speech as 'bourgeois prejudice',…show more content…
The creation of the secret police and the establishment of the gulags and labour camps, are signs that Lenin had created a successful totalitarian state, and could assert physical control over the people. The introduction of War Communism during the Russian Civil War, is evidence of Russian moving towards a Totalitarian State. Many aspects of War communism were totalitarian in nature. For instance the creation of a Supreme Economic Council, formed to take complete control over the Russian highlights the central control over the most vital aspect of the state, that the Bolsheviks enforced. Other measures include the requisitioning of excess grain from the Peasants. Many of these policies were met with opposition, particularly among the agricultural peasants. This opposition was in turn met with brutal force, which was another example of the nature of complete state authority. War communism continued on until the end of the Civil war, by which time the Bolshevik forces had succeeded in crushing all opposition. The success of the red forces meant that Russia was a step closer in becoming a Totalitarian state, as they were now the most powerful party in Russia, with complete control over all its territory. Upon the creation of the USSR, Lenin introduced new rule that would ensure greater totalitarian control. Only communists would be able to stand for the soviets, and so this meant that the communist party had the true control over the
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