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Lenin's New Economic Policy

This research examines the reasons behind Lenin's adoption of the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1921 in the wake of the Soviet revolution in 1917. The research will set forth the principal elements of the NEP and the context in which it emerged as an issue for the Bolshevik/Communist government, and then explore the literature of the Soviet state with a view toward identifying factors that positioned Lenin to promulgate the policy.

In order to understand Lenin's adoption of the NEP, it is necessary to appreciate Lenin's ideological commitment to international socialist revolution, the establishment of the War Communism policy (precursor of the NEP), as well as the dynamic situation of revolutionary governance in Russia from the time of the 1917 success of the Bolsheviks until 1921, when the NEP was officially adopted by the Soviet government. The strength of Lenin's ideological commitment was undoubtedly reinforced by the ineffectuality and disintegration of both the Romanoff dynasty and the provisional revolutionary government of Krenesky, which allowed Lenin's radical Bolshevik wing to appropriate revolutionary leadership and control of Russia's state apparatus. Strongly influenced by Marxist ideology, Lenin advocated "the necessity of creating a strong and active revolutionary Marxist group that would lead the proletariat in their struggle for an immediate social revolution" (Vernadsky, 1961, pp. 275-6). Invoking the slogan "peace, land, bread" and in concert with fellow Bolsheviks Stalin and Trotsky, Lenin gathered adherents among civilians and the military and successfully dislodged Russia from the Great War in 1917 by means of a separate peace with the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk. That allowed the revolutionary government to focus on events inside Russia.

Lenin appears to have absorbed Marx's view that the international socialist revolution was a historical necessity and that the content of revolution was dictatorship of...

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Lenin's New Economic Policy. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:27, March 31, 2020, from