What is Bolshevik/meaning/concept/elaboration

The term Bolshevik is used as a synonym for communist. It is an originally Russian word meaning member of the majority and which applies to a section of Russian communists who are opposed to tsarism.

In order to understand the most adequate meaning of this concept, it is convenient to enter into the historical circumstances that gave rise to the group of Bolsheviks.


The regime of tsars that ruled Russia since the 16th century was an absolute monarchy. In the late nineteenth century, various sectors of Russian society began to show discontent against tsarism, especially the communist groups that were inspired by the ideas of Karl Marx.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the communist party called the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party advocated the idea of ​​a social revolution to end tsarism. In this party there were several tendencies and groups, among which two stood out: the Mensheviks (members of the minority) and the Bolsheviks (members of the majority). The latter were led by Lenin and defended the thesis of a communist social revolution without bourgeois, as defended the current of the Mensheviks.

When World War II broke out, the Bolsheviks declared themselves supporters of peace, as they considered that the war benefited the imperialist system of the nations involved.

In 1917, the tsarist regime was defeated in the middle of the Russian Revolution. Initially a provisional government was formed among various sectors opposed to tsarism, just as the Bolsheviks were persecuted. Its leader fled to Finland, but in October of that same year the Bolsheviks staged a coup d’ état and seized power, imposing a new communist system , in 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, also known as the USSR.

As the Bolshevik leaders were the founders of the Soviet Union, the communist regime that was in force until 1991 was associated with Bolshevism, for this reason the terms communist and Bolshevik were equivalent.

For nearly 70 years of the Soviet Union’s existence, the country was governed by the orders of the Bolsheviks: in defense of the dictatorship of the proletariat , nationalization, atheism, the suppression of social classes, the single party and the collectivization of the means of production .

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