BIG BANG OF COMMUNISM: THE BOLSHEVIKS’ DESTRUCTION OF THE RUSSIAN CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY AND THE MAKING OF THE FIRST COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIP (NOVEMBER 1917-JANUARY 1918)
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This essay examines the suppression by the Bolsheviks in January 1918 of Russia’s first democratically elected parliament, the All-Russian Constituent Assembly, and the various steps taken and arguments used by them during the preceding weeks to achieve this goal. Although Lenin and his Bolshevik party had never intended to tolerate the emergence of the Constituent Assembly as a competing political institution to their so-called Soviet democracy, they had to take care to present their repressive intervention as a rational and inevitable act from a revolutionary point of view. This crucial historical episode reveals the true character of the communist movement and communist ideology, which developed into one of the most dangerous threats to European democracy. There were several socialist parties in Russia who tried to fight the Bolsheviks and to present a democratic-socialist alternative, in particular the moderate (‘Right’) wing of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party. The last section of this essay pays some additional attention to Viktor Chernov, a leader of the democratic group of Socialist-Revolutionaries and the President of the Constituent Assembly. In 1921 he fled to Czechoslovakia, where he lived until 1929.
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