Society became more regimented, more tightly controlled. The Bolsheviks gradually pushed other parties out of the government, before eventually banning them altogether. Press censorship was stepped up, and under the leadership of Lenin, a one-party dictatorship was established, with the Bolsheviks renaming themselves the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The new secret police force, the Cheka, soon gained a brutal reputation for its hardline crackdown on the least sign of any dissent against the Communist state.
Although most of the Soviet leaders, like Lenin, were not of working-class origin, they nonetheless proceeded to establish a class dictatorship in which certain elements of society were regarded with at best fear, and at worst, downright hostility. Many of those of the upper-classes who hadn't already fled the country were put to work in manual occupations. Those considered especially dangerous were imprisoned in forced labor camps or in some cases executed. Their property was seized and often given to the lower-classes.
At that time, the vast majority of the Soviet population lived in the countryside, and it was there that the Communists' radical leveling of society was most keenly felt. Wealthier peasants had their land broken up to be handed over to state-controlled farms. Prior to the Revolution, the Bolsheviks had gained much support for their policy of breaking up large parcels of land and giving them to poorer peasants. Yet, having achieved power, they cynically went back on their promise and instead nationalized the land, which from now on would be run by the state. Many peasants resisted the new policy, and not just those with most to lose. The Cheka responded with the ruthless application of terror, executing opponents of the regime, both real and imagined, and forcibly seizing grain and other produce, which led to the first of the USSR's many man-made famines.