Discuss the aspects of traditional Russia retained by the Soviet Union.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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From the most theoretical points of view, I would say that the notion of hierarchy and control were some of the elements of traditional Russia that was retained by the Soviet Union.  Lenin and the Bolsheviks assume power and do so with the understanding that they are going to be leading the Soviet Union.  There is little in way of collective decision making and the sharing of power with as many people as power.  In many respects, the control and decision- making that Lenin and his Bolsheviks possessed was no different than the control that the Tsar had over his people.  This is enhanced with Stalin's rule and the elimination of dissenting voices and competition.  In this structure, power comes from top down, where there is an established order leading the people who are resigned to only follow and not really impact change in much of any substantive way.  This configuration was the one constant.  Whether or not the Bolsheviks and the Communists claimed to be leading for "the people" or "comrades," it did not seem to matter because it was one select and elite group or individual leading the nation, without any limitation, without any check, and without any regard for anything other than the construction and enhancement of power.  Serfs and Comrades were almost seen as one in the same after a particular point.  This hierarchic notion and clearly established structure is a constant from traditional Russia to the Soviet Union.


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