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HIS351 October 22 - New Economic Policy: Politics

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HIS351 – October 22, 2012 1 NEP, Succession and Opposition Politics 1921 - 1926  Industry was state controlled and basically completely nationalized by 1921 NEP  Strikes in major cities fuel the rebellions that are cropping up o Primarily Kronstadt  The economy seemed to be collapsing o Left Bolsheviks kept saying that everything was withering away and a communism country would replace it o Their opposition said that it might just be massive inflation that was a cause of a bad economy  March 1921, 10th party congress o Peasant Brest-Litovsk, emergency response o Re-establish trade between the countryside and the city  There was no invitation for internal trade because the state was requisitioning grain and not distributing it to everyone equally  Historiography, T: pragmatic response of Lenin to save power, R: Legitimate (humane) alternative to Stalinism  Workers' Opposition was supported by the rank and file party members o They felt that the revolution wasn't following what they wanted it to, their goals weren't being met o They didn't want nationalization, they wanted a worker-run economy o Wanted syndicalism and got centralization  Trotsky wanted the unions to be state organs o Unions as organs of production, the means of organizing labour o Unions as labour exchanges  Lenin wants the labour/trade unions to not be part of the state but work on behalf of the state o They wouldn't have control over the economy, nor would there be any bargaining between them  At the conclusion of the Congress, Lenin won and it lead to a ban on factionalism in the party o Control the party as a means of not supporting seperation in the state o The party had other things to worry about and therefore they shouldn't be arguing amongst themselves o The Central Committee had the power to expel factions (that they defined) o Lenin sees the party as being in retreat because of NEP and therefore he pushes the faction ban o There could be factions until the decision was made, after the decision was made then there could only be one party line  A tax replaced grain requisitions  They wanted to change fiscal policy and therefore went onto the gold standard that stabilizes the economy because inflation goes down  There is a denationalization of small industry but heavy industry is still nationalized (arms, banks, metals, train = commanding heights)  NEP legalizes the acts of the bagmen so that there is distribution of grain  People saw war communism as real communism and they therefore rejected NEP HIS351 – October 22, 2012 2 o Lenin remakes NEP in 1922 - 1923, saw it as a way of building up the superstructure o Wanted to build up the working class Death of Lenin  On top of the legitimate power that Lenin had being the head of the SNK and a member of the Politburo and the Central Committee, he had informal power that came from being the face of the revolution and predicting the revolution and the economy  He was also a part of SNK committees that had social but not political power, they made decisions and then the party ratified them  Politburo, Orgburo and the Secretariat were the three organs of the Central Committee of the party. These three organs prove that the party was becoming centralized because all decisions that were made flowed through or to these three sections of the party o The politburo held the real power o The orgburo was the main seat of organization of the party  Controlled where and why people were placed where, was an executive committee within the executive committee o The secretariat was in charge of appointments o Stalin was a part of all 3 parties and the General Secretary of the Secretariat and though the position was seen as one without authority, Stalin ended up in the seat of power (he was at the center of a flow of power)  Increasing centralization, Stalinist support was in all parts of the party  The party still had splits even though there weren't any factions  It became a split between intelligentsia and practicing revolutionaries  Everyone except Stalin was considered intelligentsia by the rest of Russia and Stalin was considered to be the practicing revolutionary o It became a split between theorists and practical work  Lenin was supposed to support Trotsky but he never got better and then he died... Succession Crisis  Left Opposition = Trotsky vs. the World since he didn't ally with anyone, not really  Zinoviev and Kamenev Opposition vs. United Opposition = Stalin and Bukarin  There was an agreement for collective leadership in the face of the death of Lenin o Because he was the glue that was holding them together, it all went down the drain  Trotsky was the Commissar of War, Zinoviev was the head of the Comintern and in charge of the Leningrad party/apparatus, Kamenev was the head of the Moscow Soviety and was in charge of the party, Stalin was the General Secretary of the Secretariat o Power would go to who could use their initial support base to gain support for them as Lenin's replacement  Kamenev and Zinoviev had local power bases and they weren't big enough or influential enough to gain them mass support in the party o They don't have enough people who could move up far enough in the party in order for what they want to happen  Trotsky had the support of the Army and therefore had enough people that he could have mobilized enough support for himself but he's afraid of coming off as another Napoleon and therefore doesn't utilize his army support to take power (didn't want Bonapartism)  Stalin had a lot of things working for him o He was at the center of the flow of power and had patron-client relationships with
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