References: Bolshevik

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STAR: For instance what do they call you Red for? Your hair ain’t no red.
RED: No, but they say my neck is.
STAR: Red neck? I know what that means. That means a Bolshevik!

The Bolsheviks (Russian: Большеви́к IPA: [bəlʲʂɨˈvʲik], derived from bolshinstvo, “majority”) were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903 and ultimately became the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Bolsheviks seized power in Russia during the October Revolution phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917, and founded the Soviet Union.

Bolsheviks (or “the Majority”) were an organization of professional revolutionaries under a strict internal hierarchy governed by the principle of democratic centralism and quasi-military discipline, who considered themselves as a vanguard of the revolutionary proletariat. Their beliefs and practices were often referred to as Bolshevism. The party was founded by Vladimir Lenin, who also led it in the October Revolution.

Starting from 1918, Bolshevism became the official ideology of the Soviet Russia (later Soviet Union). In early 1920s the party was about to split into factions, but opposition was quickly suppressed, and almost all opposition leaders were executed in 1930s. They believe in radical socialist principles such as land redistribution and the supreme power of the state.

Political philosophy

The Bolsheviks believed in organizing the party in a strongly centralized hierarchy that sought to overthrow the Tsar and achieve power. Although the Bolsheviks were not completely monolithic, they were characterized by a rigid adherence to the leadership of the central committee, based on the notion of democratic centralism. The Mensheviks favored open party membership and espoused cooperation with the other socialist and some non-socialist groups in Russia. Bolsheviks generally refused to co-operate with liberal or radical parties (which they labeled “bourgeois“) or even eventually other socialist organizations, although Lenin sometimes made tactical alliances.

During the First World War, the Bolsheviks took an internationalist stance that emphasized solidarity between the workers of Russia, Germany, and the rest of the world, and broke with the Second International when its leading parties ended up supporting their own nations in the conflict.


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