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p. 157 Conclusionlocked

  • S. A. Smith


The Conclusion looks at various interpretations of the rise of the Soviet Union. Does ideology constitute the key to understanding the development of Soviet totalitarianism? What elements of Marxism–Leninism were to blame? It is beyond question that ideology was of central importance in determining the course of the Bolshevik revolution. All Bolsheviks believed in the Marxist vision. It is that the Bolsheviks were incapable of realizing their ends. It is their blindness rather than their vision that is striking. Policy was frequently the outcome of improvisation and pragmatism rather than the drive of ideology. The relationship between belief and action was complex. What questions did the revolution raise about justice, equality, and freedom? Are they still relevant today?

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