The Role of Ideology in the Power Struggle

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The future: World Revolution v. Socialism in One Country.

At the heart of the dispute between Trotsky and Stalin in 1924 was the question of how the Bolshevik Revolution should be protected. During the Civil War, Western powers had sent troops to aid the enemies of the Bolsheviks and it seemed likely that these capitalist countries would attempt to crush the world's only socialist state.

Trotsky believed that the answer was a pernament revolution, spreading the revolution across the world. Lenin and Trotsky had established the Comintern in 1919 and its aim was to promote revolutions around the world. Trotsky believed that aiding the socialist revolutions around Europe would mean that the Soviet Union would not be isolated as the country would create socialist allies. Stalin was dismissive of Trotsky's ideas.

Stalin partly developed his idea of Socialism in One Country because he did not like Trotsky and was in competition with him to replace Lenin. However, he also recognised that the policy was over-optimistic and unpopular. Attempted revolutions in Germany and Hungary had been crushed and it was clear that attempts by the Soviet Union to inspire workers' uprising could lead to war. Stalin recognised that war was impossible economically and psychologically; the country and the people had been shattered by the combined impact of the FWW and the Civil War. Socialism…

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