The Civil War ruined the new government’s dream of a Communist utopia. To what extent do you agree with this statement? Use evidence to support your answer.
The Bolshevik government’s blueprint for their ideal communist utopia was outlined in Lenin’s speech at Finland Station with the phrase “peace, bread, land”. While civil war ruined their ideal of peace, their promise of bread and land fell short due to the failings of their communist society. Lenin believed he had achieved his goal of peace through withdrawing from World War I. However, the Civil War destroyed the communist utopian strive for peace. Lenin had not intended to be at war again after withdrawing from the World War. Rather, it was Kerensky’s White Army that caused peace to fail in the Bolshevik communist society. Marxist historians such as Hill would argue that War Communism was not true communism, however revisionist historians argue that it was communism that simply failed. The revisionist argument is supported by Lenin’s introduction of the ideally capitalist New Economic Policy (NEP) that proved an admission to the failure of communism. This communism was a major failure in that many were left starving and the Bolshevik promise of bread was not fulfilled. Finally, land was redistributed but it was not good quality land and it came at the price of terror. This is evident in Lenin’s telegraph with instructions for implementing communism by “hang... kulaks” and taking their land for peasants. The land was not what was expected from Lenin’s promise and so failed in that regard also. Lenin’s communist utopia promised peace, bread and land. While all their ideals were not implemented in Russia’s while with communism, bread and land failed due to the failings of war communism. It was only peace that was not fulfilled out of the Bolshevik’s control due to the civil war and the White Army.
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