Transition from Communism to Democracy: A Case Study of Russia’s Democratic Transition
Communism is a political system that has been used time and time again, where all property is publicly owned and people are paid according to their needs and abilities. Many countries used this political system in the years following 1917–such as Croatia and Russia–and is still used today. The ideology of Communism or more specifically Marxism is shown in the book The Communist Manifesto. Karl Marx, writer of The Communist Manifesto, stated that ““The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” Alluding to these class struggles eventually leading to a grand revolution. The revolution would inspire the proletariats (workers) to rise against the bourgeoisie (capital class that owns most of society’s wealth and production means) and create a world where property is publicly owned and wealth is distributed fairly among all people. The Marxist ideas were previously utilized by many countries and most of them were taken over and turned into totalitarian states. These ideas go against the ideas of communism and the corruption is one of the reasons for the fall of communism which led Croatia and Russia to transition into democracy.
The Rise of Communism
Communism as Karl Marx states has existed since the beginning of time. However it wasn’t until the 19th century when the Russian workers widely accepted the ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles. The workers enjoyed the system of communism due to their many negative experiences with tsarist rule. Tsar Nicholas II’s inadequacy as both a leader politically and militarily as shown when he appointed himself as Commander-in-Chief in order to increase morale. The short-term failures of Nicholas II along with the long time oppression and anger of the people led to Russia becoming a ticking time bomb that waited for any sort of push. This push came during the February Revolution in 1917, in the February Revolution the revolutionaries forced out the tsar’s government and created a provisional government run by past aristocrats and nobility. The provisional government stayed in power until Red October also known as the Bolshevik Revolution, this revolution, after succeeding caused Russia to become the first modern communist country. Russia then became known as the United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) in 1922. After the Bolshevik Revolution Vladimir Lenin came into power in the newly developed USSR. Lenin died in 1924 which allowed Joseph Stalin to maneuver through the political ranks and become the dictator of the USSR. Stalin created his own form of communism, apart from Marxism, which is now known as Stalinism.
Stalinism was an attempt by Joseph Stalin to remedy the faults of Marxism as Marxism did not take into account many necessities for modern governments and didn’t account for a socialist revolution in a backwards country such as Russia. Marxism expects a socialist uprising into...