Revolution and the ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’

Marc Mulholland

in Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199653577
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744594 | DOI:
Revolution and the ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’

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The outbreak of the Great War was not immanent in capitalism as such. However, industrial militarism shaped its form, and capitalism became significantly ‘corporatized’ during its course. For Lenin, the war marked the point at which the progressive role of the bourgeoisie exhausted itself. The October 1917 Revolution spread the revolutionary gospel of soviets and the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’, and the Communist international (Comintern) abandoned the parliamentarianism of pre-war socialists. The post-war revolutionary wave in Europe was significant, but its energies divided between the inspirations of Wilsonianism and Bolshevism. Majority opinion outside Russia was somewhat pro-democracy but against socialist transformation.

Keywords: 1917 Russian Revolution; soviets; communism; Bolshevism; Woodrow Wilson; Wilsonianism; Comintern; Democracy

Chapter.  10189 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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