In early November 1917, as the First World War raged, one of the most momentous events in history occurred. The Communist “Bolsheviks”, the left wing of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, overthrew the Provisional Government established eight months earlier in Tsarist Russia. In its place, they established the first workers’ state in history, initially called the “Socialist Russian Soviet Republic” and then the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” (USSR).
This Marxist IQ is dedicated to this revolution, known as the “October Revolution” because Russia was still on the old Julian calendar, instead of the Gregorian calendar used in Europe and most of the world.
1. At the start of the First World War, most Marxists believed that
a. Russia was ripe for socialist revolution.
b. World War I would lead to socialist revolutions.
vs. socialism could only triumph in the advanced industrialized countries.
D. the war set back the socialist movement.
2. In Tsarist Russia, at the start of the war, the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin
a. supported the war as a war to defend Mother Russia.
b. supported war as a means of advancing socialism and democracy.
vs. called on the working class to be neutral in the war.
D. called on the working class to oppose war as an imperialist war to expand colonial empires, export capital and deepen the oppression and exploitation of workers across the world.
3. After the overthrow of the Tsar and the establishment of a capitalist provisional government,
a. People’s councils of workers, peasants and soldiers called soviets sprang up all over the country.
b. the Provisional Government, dependent on Soviet support, sought to continue the war and limit the expansion of the revolution in a socialist direction.
vs. the Bolsheviks grew stronger within the soviets by opposing war and calling for a policy of “bread, land and peace”.
D. All the foregoing
4. In arguing against those Marxists, including some of his fellow Bolsheviks, who believed that a socialist revolution in Tsarist Russia was not possible given both the backwardness of the country and the effects of war, Lenin supported
a. that a socialist revolution in Russia would lead to a world revolution.
b. that the Bolsheviks should organize an “occupy Moscow” movement.
vs. that a socialist revolution was necessary to save the democratic revolution against the tsarist autocracy and to prevent Russia from becoming a dictatorship of military generals.
D. All the foregoing
5. Alongside Vladimir Lenin, major personalities of the Soviet revolution will emerge who will influence the course of Marxism and the communist movement in the 20th century. Which of the following was not one of these leaders?
a. Joseph Stalin
b. Leon Trotsky
vs. Nikolai Bukharin
D. Alexander Kerensky