What is Bolshevism? Who were the Bolsheviks? Bolshevik is the Russian word for the majority. In the division within the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party (RSDIP), those who defended the same opinion with Lenin achieved a congressional majority, and after this date, the other name for defending Leninist views was Bolshevism.
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Who were the Bolsheviks?
The Russian word, which means Bolshevik, pro-majority, is the pro-Lenin group, one of the parties in the divergence between Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov at the Second Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party held in 1903 as a result of the disagreement on the membership definition of the newly established party. At the congress, the pro-Leninists will be called Bolsheviks, which means majority in Russian, as the majority of them will be called Bolsheviks, and the minority Martovs will be called Mensheviks. Although there were attempts to unite between the two sides after the congress, unification would not take place and a definite separation would be experienced in 1912. The Bolsheviks will take power with the October Revolution and establish the Soviet Union.
Lenin and Martov supporters are called “bolshinstvo” (majority) and “menshinstvo” (minority) in Russian according to their position at the congress. As the delegates at the congress constantly switch sides, the union will fail and the party will actually split into two.
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What is Bolshevism?
The Bolsheviks tried to organize a centralized and disciplined party that would overthrow the tsarist regime in a mass workers’ revolution. The Bolsheviks sought to form a party of mass and class-leading militant workers who could lead the Russian workers in an uprising. Although the Bolshevik party was not the leading party, it was closely linked to the party administration embodied in the central committee within the framework of democratic centralism. Party membership practiced by the Mensheviks was more flexible and they cooperated more easily with other political parties. The Bolsheviks, on the other hand, will not cooperate especially with liberal parties, but will enter into defined alliances with other socialist parties.
However, in his speech at the International Women’s Council, Lenin said that Bolshevism was “exposing the falsehood and hypocrisy of bourgeois democracy” an ideology that gathers all state power in the hands of the oppressed and exploited masses in abolishing the private ownership of the land, factories and facilities”.
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