Socialist Worker

Isolation and defeat

Issue No. 1677a

THE LEADERS of the Russian Revolution knew that the new society would be strangled at birth by the capitalist powers if it remained isolated. So revolution would have to be an international phenomenon. The Western powers, realising this, moved quickly to isolate Russia. The country was invaded by 14 capitalist powers which backed the reactionary 'White Army' during the civil war that followed. The motor of the revolution, the working class, was slaughtered and atomised.

There was a real hope that the workers' revolution would spread to other countries. At the end of the First World War there were revolutions and challenges to the capitalist order across Europe. But the working class, most crucially in Germany, failed to take power. This international defeat, and the ruin of the Russian economy, paved the way for the dictator Stalin.

By 1929 Stalin had clawed his way to power over the broken body of the revolution. Stalin then unleashed terror, wiping out all the leaders of the 1917 revolution. Vast numbers of people were subjected to show trials and hauled off to labour camps.

A river of blood separated the Bolsheviks from Stalin's regime. Stalin was in power and had completed the counter-revolution. He set about the forced industrialisation of Russia so as to compete with the Western powers. He used the Communist International to direct the policy of Communist parties across the world in the interests of the new ruling class in Russia.

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Sat 18 Dec 1999, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1677a
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