Old Bolshevik and leader of the Communist party in Moscow. See Trotskyists and Purges.
There were some old Bolshevik revolutionaries still high in the party in the 1930s who suggested a return to more moderate policies of the NEP era. An example of these was Bukharin.
Within the communist party, Bukharin led the moderate group referred to as the "rightists." They were concerned about the effects of collectivization on the people and urged a more gradual approach with greater latitude for small, private business(as in NEP). Bukharin was also editor of the official party paper, PRAVDA. Of the old Bolsheviks, Bukharin was perhaps the most popular and charismatic. Stalin became jealous and suspicious of him and had him denounced as a "rightist" who wanted to restore bourgeois capitalism. He was put through a purge trial sham and executed in 1938.
Purges and Purge Trials
1936-> After the Kirov assassination a period of terror set in. 16 old Bolsheviks went to trial. Zinoviev and Kamenev charged with Kirov's assassination(even though it was really Stalin's agents who had done it). All confessed in open court. Now know how these confessions were extracted - terror of family members. Told that only way to save loved-ones from imprisonment, torture, or death was to confess. Were also "interrogated" for hours by "experts." The following year another 17 old Bolsheviks were subjected to the same treatment. In the high corridors of power in Moscow and Petrograd it seemed that no-one was safe.
In 1937, this military commander and 7 other generals were accused of Trotskyism and conspiring with the Germans and the Japanese. They were summariliy shot. Purges continued at all levels. KGB disclosed later that from 1930 to 1953, 3 3/4 million people were tried for counterrevolution and of these 3/4 of a million were executed. Many others ended up in prison or gulags(prison/labor camps) where they died.
West European Marxists in late 19th and early 20th centuries came to accept existing states and believed workers lot could be improved through democratic process. (More rigorous Marxists called this "opportunism" and decried it.)
Anti-war socialists met here in Switzerland in 1915 and drew up a program calling for peace without annexations or indemnities. (Lenin was included at this meeting. Saw war as sellout to capitalism and imperialism.) In fact, most other Socialists in W. Europe were NOT anti-war and jumped on the patriotic bandwagon and advised workers to help in war effort.
The Zimmerwald group split. Most regarded peace as the aim but the left wing, inspired by Lenin and the Russian emigres, wanted revolution not revisionism. They wanted the war to continue, believing it would hasten the revolution.
In Germany and other socialists in Europe were favoring the more gradual approach after WW I. For many, the violent revolution that Lenin had fostered was not to be emulated. Even Marxists like Bernstein and Kautsky did not have the stomach for Lenin's methods.
Karl Libeknecht and Rosa Luxembourg were two Germans who accepted the Bolshevik revolution and organized the Sparticist movement in Germany. In January of 1919 they tried to overthrow the majority socialist government as the Bolsheviks had overthrown the Provisional Govt in November of 1917 Received aid from Lenin. Failed uprising. Leaders executed.
Fundamentalist Marxist. Hungarian. Turned to Bolsheviks in Russia for help and set up and maintained a Soviet-style regime in Hungary for several months in 1919 until overthrown.
Was established in Karl Marx in 1860s. Fizzled after failure of Paris Commune in 1871.
Founded in 1889. Met every 3 years until 1914 and in a post-war meeting in Berne, 1919. Small minority wanting revolution as in Russia. Moved to Moscow and founded Third International.
Lenin's dream was to discredit moderate socialismand realise the dictatorship of the proletariat. The first Congress of the Third International was haphazard - 1919. Second Congress in 1920 included the extreme left parties of the 37 countries represented. Parties adhering to Comintern had to drop the word "socialist." Showed the big competition between socialism and communism. Both, after all, were competing for the same support - namely, the working class. The top communists in Russia had powers in the Comintern. Zinoviev led the group. Comintern was abolished in WW II as a gesture of goodwill toward the allies.
1924. This was a letter in which the head of the Comintern, Zinoviev, urged the British workers to provoke revolution in Great Britain. Publication of this letter in the British press was a major reason why the Conservative Party won the following election and the fledgling Labor Party lost under Ramsay McDonald.
At the Second Congress of the Comintern, members endorsed the program written by Lenin-examples of points: party committment, repudiate reform socialism, propagandize labor unions, infiltrate, follow order of Comintern, legal and extra-legal methods, expel weak members. Was trying to make the Comintern a weapon for revolution.
By mid-30s and with Facism on rise, Russians advised Communists in Europe to ally with socialists and advanced liberals in "popular fronts" in defence against facism which had targetted Communists/Socialists.