To what extent was Lenin successful in implementing communist ideology after the revolution? (1917-1924)
Lenin as a political realist and theorist used different means in attempting to implement communist ideals in Russia. After taking power in 1917 Lenin soon found that Marx’s original ideas would have to be adapted to the situation in Russia. There was a lack of industry and the proletariat was disorganised and small without the presence of a leader. Lenin utilised pragmatism effectively to secure his position this was shown in his changes of economic policy in 1921 and the use of violence in the form of the Cheka even though it meant he was turning away from basic communist principles.
One factor that made Lenin a successful communist leader was that he was able to change his approach and ideas to suit the situation of his country. After the revolution in 1917 Lenin and the Bolshevik party took over the government and inherited an economic problem. The war was causing this problem to increase and worsen. Lenin wanted to end to the war as soon as possible and signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918 despite strong opposition from the Bukharin and the Bolshevik Central committee. This resulted in a heavy blow as 32 per cent of Russia’s agricultural land, 54 percent of its industry and 34 per cent of its population was lost. This was accepted by Lenin despite the Bolsheviks desire to fight on, because he realised the dire political and military situation at home. This shows that Lenin was a realist and pragmatic by using different approaches to ensure the survival of his revolution even if it meant compromise with communist views.
Communism was first established by Lenin in the form of “war communism” during the civil war between the Whites and Reds. The nationalisation of industries, introducing of rations and the abolishment of private trade was seen as an application of communism ideology by many. After the chaos of the civil war, war communism had...