Nicolae Enciu: Soviet society was constituted as an antipode of Western society

Soviet society was built according to the model of liquidation of parliamentarianism and private ownership - a development model that is diametrically opposed to the European and Western model, historian Nicolae Enciu stated in a public debate hosted by IPN. According to him, the Soviet model of society organization and development turned out to be noncompetitive and ultimately led to the dismemberment of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Constituent Assembly was the first democratic representative entity elected in Russia after the February 1917 revolution. It consisted of a clear majority of revolutionary Socialist MPs and Mensheviks, who opposed the new Bolshevik regime, and came together for one meeting only. Nicolae Enciu said the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly was Russia’s last chance to keep a civilized development course, but this was missed.

“That last chance was the election of the speaker of the Constituent Assembly. Viktor Chernov was a Menshevik and that election to choose the speaker of the Constituent Assembly was the last pluralist election. The Bolsheviks also proposed a candidate – Maria Spiridonova – but Viktor Chernov won. This thing considerable irritated the Bolshevik Government and the Constituent Assembly was dissolved as a result. Protests against the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly followed and they involved famous writer Maxim Gorki, who noted that the Constituent Assembly was a democratic experience of only several hours, which had been waited for 100 years. The Bolsheviks held overall power in Russia and resorted to an unexpected maneuver. They stated that the Bolshevik government can also act outside the capital city and transferred the capital from Petrograd to Moscow. The expanding protest movement was this way disturbed,” said the historian.

According to Nicolae Enciu, another chance existed in 1917 and this was also missed. Then, the Mensheviks and the SRs didn’t realize the importance of holding power through the Soviets. In 1917, when Nicolas II was dethroned, the State Duma created the Provisional Government and the Soviets appeared. In the Soviets, the effective power belonged to the executive committee that wasn’t elected, but was named and depended on the party that dominated that Soviet. The Soviets were consequently Bolshevized.

The Soviet authorities tried to build a society that was diametrically posed to the Western one by rejecting the idea of parliamentarianism and banning private ownership, as an antipode of bourgeois society, of European and Western society.

“That Soviet model that was an antipode of liberal democracy was based on the liquidation of private land ownership, production means. The official state ideology was not to accept parliamentarianism. But these elements turned out to be noncompetitive. The last democratization attempt was made by Nikita Khrushchev after Stalin’s death, but Khrushchev didn’t have a well-panned reform project. Later, Gorbachev’s reforms were welcome, well-intentioned, but late. Gorbachev neglected the role of the national factor in the USSR. The non-solving of the national problem led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union,” explained Nicolae Enciu.

The public debate entitled “Collapse of the Constituent Assembly and of chance to democratize Soviet Russia. Effects on the country and the world” was the 23rd installment of the project “Impact of the Past on Confidence and Peace Building Processes” which is implemented by IPN News Agency with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.

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