As we know, Bolsheviks seemed to overthow Provisional Government easily in November Revolution. Many political parties are inspired and feel like taking over the same way. War Communism also contributed widespread economic ruin, and as a result Lenin got a lot of oppositions. However, Lenin overcame those challenges in the end.

Question: Why and How did Linin keep his position secure? What made Lenin survive? How was Lenin different from the Tsar, who failed in getting rid of his oppositions?

  • 7
    This is the subject of entire books. Can you clarify and specify what you find missing (or dubious) from the relevant Wikipedia articles on the revolution and the civil war?
    – Semaphore
    Jan 7 '18 at 11:05
  • Some books just mention how Lenin put down oppositions, but do not explain how Lenin convince people that he is a good man. Is Propaganda so efffective that Lenin's people will support him even if the reality was bad?
    – Ma Joad
    Jan 7 '18 at 11:18
  • 2
    Have you read the articles I supplied above? Putting down resistance doesn't necessarily have to do with convincing people Lenin "is a good man". See also this article.
    – Semaphore
    Jan 7 '18 at 11:22
  • Start by reading "The Gulag Archipelago" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Jan 7 '18 at 15:11
  • Do you mean "How could ..." or "How did ..."? The former is clearly off topic as a contra-factual investigation. If the latter, please correct your question. Jan 7 '18 at 17:33

This is a good and easy question.

Lenin won because he was a ruthless opportunist without a shred of consciousness.


Lenin did not hesitate to order mass executions and incarceration (in concentration camps) of anyone "tangential" ("прикосновенный") to a counterrevolutionary plot.


Lenin did not hesitate to change his policies 180° when they could not be carried out. E.g., the change from War Communism to New Economic Policy or from "Peace Decree" to Brest-Litovsk.

Of course, his enormous personal charisma was critical in keeping his followers during such dramatic turns.

No compunctions

As Lenin wrote in "State and Revolution", any war conducted by a Communist state is just -- by definition.

He considered whatever he was doing at the moment to be blessed by History and its prophet Marx.

  • 1
    Ok. But why the Tsar, who also used those strategy, failed?
    – Ma Joad
    Jan 8 '18 at 4:49
  • The Tsar was bound by traditions, religion, (limited) consciousness, (limited) "civil society" whose acceptance he required &c &c. Basically, he was neither ruthless, nor an opportunist - and could not afford being one.
    – sds
    Jan 8 '18 at 13:57

I agree with the first comment of Semaphore, and can recommend a book: Orlando Figes, A people's tragedy. Russian revolution 1891-1924, 1996. On my opinion, this is the best book on the subject of those which I read. (Most books written by Russian authors are biased in one way or another).

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