Bolshevik is the term for a faction of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party. His ideology consisted of implanting a dictatorship of the proletariat, that is, where the workers exercised power.
The Bolsheviks were the most radical wing of the Russian workers' party, drawing inspiration from the ideas of Karl Marx. Their main leader was Vladimir Lenin, and later they were joined by Leon Trotsky.
The aim of the Bolsheviks was to overthrow the Tsar's regime, which was an absolute monarchy. That is, the working class did not participate in any way in decision-making.
It is worth noting that there are those who use the word Bolshevik as a synonym for person with left-wing ideas.
Pillars of Bolshevik Thought
The main pillars of Bolshevik thought were the following:
- Its objective was to establish a dictatorship of the proletariat where the means of production (capital goods) became the property of the collective or of the State.In this way, the capitalists would be expropriated of those assets that, according to their thinking, allow them to take over part of the workers' effort.
- It proposed the union of the workers and peasants to overthrow the czar and the bourgeoisie.
- He proposed to expropriate the landowners and hand over their large estates to the peasants.
- It follows the principles of democratic centralism, a system by which the decisions of the political party are made from a high-ranking body that is elected by the militants, and whose decisions are mandatory for all members of the organization.
History of the Bolshevik movement
The Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party was founded in 1898, bringing together groups that followed the ideas of Karl Marx. In 1903, when the second party congress was held, between London and Brussels, a clear difference was made between two factions.
On the one hand, there was the moderate-minded Mensheviks (Russian for members of the minority) group. These were outnumbered at the aforementioned congress by the most radical faction, the Bolshevik side (meaning member of the majority). Later, in 1912, there was the definitive distancing of both groups.
Some time later, with the February Revolution of 1917, the tsar was overthrown, installing a provisional government led by Aleksandr Kérenski. But the Bolsheviks staged a coup in October of that same year, seizing power.
Later, the Russian Constituent Assembly, elected in November 1917 and which had a majority opposed to the Bolsheviks, was dissolved by Lenin the same day the results were known. In this way, the Bolsheviks concentrated power.
It was then that the way was paved for the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, formally founded in 1922, and which lasted until 1991, where a mainly centralist and statist economic model was implemented.