Communism: Soviet Empire and Utopian Dreams

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Origins of Communism for secondary level history class

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Communism: Soviet Empire and Utopian Dreams

  1. 1. Communism Soviet Empire and Utopian Dreams
  2. 2. 1991 1917 Soviet Union Communist Movement 2007 1848 The History of Communism was defined by the interests, needs and goals of the Soviet Union for most of the 20th Century . Russian Revolution Fall of USSR … but there was more to Communism than just the USSR . Hugo Chavez
  3. 3. Marxism : Karl Marx , 1818-1883 The theory behind Comunism “ Workers of the World, Unite ! You have nothing to lose but your chains !” <ul><li>Classical Economist, Philosopher and Journalist </li></ul><ul><li>History is shaped by “Class Struggle” </li></ul><ul><li>New productive technologies create new social groups who eventually have a Revolution ! </li></ul><ul><li>Ancient--->Feudal --->Capitalist--->Socialist---> </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalists exploit workers by taking “surplus value” </li></ul><ul><li>History has scientific laws just like nature </li></ul><ul><li>Revolution was coming soon ! </li></ul>Friedrich Engels : Supported Marx’s writings and political activity $$$
  4. 4. RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 1917 ! “ Ten Days That Shook The World ” Tsar Nicholas II “ The Unlucky” WWI Exhausts Russia Democrats, Liberals and Moderate Socialists overthrow Tsar in February, 1917 Bolsheviks & Anarchists topple Provisional Government in October Lenin creates the Red Guards & CHEKA secret police - launches “ Red Terror” against “ Class Enemies”. Tsarist “ Whites” fight back
  5. 5. Lenin's New Soviet Order “ Former Classes” “ Rich” Peasants & Middle-Class Capitalists & Priests Nobility & White Guards Poor and “ Middle” Peasants Workers Bolshevik Party “ Soviet People” “ Enemies of the People”
  6. 6. The CHEKA: Lenin's Sword and Shield “ Iron Felix” Dzerzhinsky The first Soviet Secret Police were known as “The CHEKA” All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-revolution & Sabotage Used Terrorism, Torture, Assassination and Espionage Had its own special elite military units and concentration camps Separate from regular criminal police ( MVD) and military intelligence (GRU) Spied on everyone Answered only to the leadership of the Bolshevik Party Known by many names - GPU, OGPU, NKVD, MGB and KGB CHEKA -KGB badge
  7. 7. Lenin's Totalitarian Bolshevik Party Party Members Local, Provincial, Regional, Republic Party Officials ( “ Nomenklatura” ) Central Committee Secretariat Politburo Leader Power was rigidly centralized in a pyramid Discipline was harsh
  8. 8. Lenin and Stalin Lenin set down the brutal rules for the Soviet System. Stalin built that system into a global power Lenin was willing to share power & tolerate some debate inside the Party. Stalin insisted on absolute obedience and all the power. Lenin took great risks to spread Communist Revolution. Stalin wanted security and power for the Soviet Union even if it harmed the chances for Communist revolution elsewhere.
  9. 9. Lenin’s death set off a fearsome power struggle between Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky with terrible consequences for the Russian people….

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