Mensheviks definition Mensheviks vs Bolsheviks ideology

Mensheviks definition

Political grouping arose from the division of the Socialist Workers’ Party of Russia. In this article we will give you the definition of Mensheviks.

The Mensheviks, or Party of Minorities, were a political grouping, created in 1903, that grew out of the division of the Socialist Workers’ Party of Russia.

These differed from the Bolsheviks mainly by their nonviolent methods of carrying out a revolution against the tsarist regime.

Led by their main reference Yuli Martov , the Mensheviks were a more moderate political faction that had managed to occupy certain relevant positions during the last years of the Russian monarchy.

The group argued that for the revolution of the proletariat to occur, they had to be accompanied by the intellectuals of  the bourgeoisieThey believed that by supporting capitalism, workers could come  to power and implement the socialism they defended.

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After the October Revolution of 1917 , which ended the regime of the Romanov Tsars, who had ruled Russia for 3 centuries, the Bolsheviks dissolved the National Assembly and the Mensheviks began to be expelled from their government posts.

This group was on the political scene until 1918 , a year after the Russian Revolution , since at that time an ideological persecution began, whereby some Mensheviks ended up in prison and others in exiles.

In 1921 the Menshevik party was banned.

Ideology of the Mensheviks

Within the Marxist ideology of the Mensheviks, we can highlight the following ideas:

  • Diversity in leadership , discarding the idea of ​​a centralized government in a single person.
  • Peaceful methods , without violence or taking power through arms, to achieve the revolution of the proletariat.
  • The support of the intellectuals of the bourgeoisie to shape capitalism and achieve a revolution.
  • Its main affiliates were people belonging to the urban centers , not so much the peasants and artisans of the working class.
  • They believed that the most important thing, to sediment socialism, was the modernization of the industrial and agrarian system of Russia. 

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Difference between Mensheviks and Bolsheviks

The Mensheviks , although they had a main leader, believed in a broader policy with the participation of the bourgeoisie . The Bolsheviks , by contrast, implemented a centralized form of government, whose power was exercised by a single leader.

The Bolsheviks mainly used violence and weapons to seize power , while the Mensheviks sought to form a legal political party and then, from the government, achieve a revolution against the aristocracy. They accepted European and Western ideas for economic development and modernization.

Finally, the Menshevik group was made up of urban dwellers and to a lesser extent peasants, which is why it was considered the socialist minority group, while the Bolsheviks were mainly peasants and workers. 

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