David Marks Staff asked 4 years ago

To what extent

To what extent had Lenin established a totalitarian state in 1924?

I’m doing this for my A levels next week, I have studied his regime a bit, but what are the main factors of his rule to take into account when disussing the extent of his totalitarianism.

In the essay I will have to ‘argue’, meaning write arguments for both cases : where he did achieve totalitarianism and where it failed. It would be very helpful to even point me in the right direction on how to discuss this question. Thank you in advance 🙂

1 Answers
David Marks Staff answered 4 years ago

Lenin was not the creator of the totalitarian state. His actions did initiated the process. In the beginning Bolshevik government had the Left Socialist Revolutionaries’ members in it. These members walked out in protest of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty. The party was banned after they were implicated in the 1918 Kronshtadt uprising. This was the stepping stone of a totalitarian state.  Soon after this the Civil War came about. This became an excuse for the Bolsheviks to use brutal methods in requisition and organization of labour force. This was the second step towards a totalitarian state. Along with this there was the foundation of the Secret Police Service. They tortured brutally and had swift trials by the three party members (Troika) and ended with swift execution. This took the state another step towards becoming a totalitarian one. The party started having both political and regular officers in army. This ensured the usage of violence is monopolized by the party. Finally Stalin 10 years later put the final nail in the coffin by controlling all aspects of human life and thus turning the state into a totalitarian one.