Talk:Soviet democracy

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I'm not sure of the factual accuracy of this page. I believe that Soviet Democracy was intended to be a decentralized entity, and not a 1-party system. -- Nik42 01:36, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

"Leader of the Communists" sounds POV (as if the writer does not like leftists and has decided to lump them all together), as does "one-man dictatorship", and the party and country went through various name changes (and when Lenin, supposedly, decided this is not mentioned). Plus, no sources. Willard 01:17, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Looks good now! Nik42 04:24, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

I am thinking about removing the stalin ere "blame" because the only evidence ive seen for this is in the entry of the dictatorship of the proletariat article, im not quite sure if the articles is referring to soviet democracy or "dictatorship of the proletariat since lenin" and have not yet found historical or poli sci basis for it as it applies to this article, i will consult with a poli sci or russian history professor and see what information they may have on the topic. Otherwise I think this is a drastic improvement over the older version and should be generally steadfast Solidusspriggan 09:19, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

I have removed the factual accuracy disputed maintenance template dated October 2013 based on the comments above. Finnusertop (talk) 12:20, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

proper format/layout, proper article[edit]

The article should not say things like like "according to previous versions of this article" not only that, but this is a political science page, not a USSR page. There is a slight history of soviet democracy in russia in the bottom, but is primarily a poli-sci and theory page. please create proper subsections for history and russian history either in this article, or create another article covering history of the topic and how soviet democracy was excercised somewhere like the soviet union in its own page.

If you want to modify my version, you have to do the revision more carefully. The previous version was simply incorrect. It confused the election principles of the communist party with those of the soviets. I can understand that you may see my version as non-neutral, but you cannot simply delete it because it is basically correct, whereas the previous one is factually wrong. Why don't you give me some time to improve the article further. We can use Soviet Constitution to check on the correctness. I left the remark about the previous version simply to point out what was wrong in it. --EncephalonSeven 13:22, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
ok guys, now it contains both theory and soviet history, Tried to make it a little more NPOV as well, still working on it though. But thank you for your contribution encephalon, the article needed something like that probably, either that or a second (and i think unneeded article) about Soviet Democracy in the Soviet Union, which is just too long of a title. heh Solidusspriggan 20:08, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Related government-controlled democracies[edit]

Would it be worthwhile creating links from this article to articles on governments that control democracies by controlling who can run (eg in Iran)? Andjam 11:18, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

well iran is and never has been a soviet run country so i think not. There really should be no restriction on those who can run in this system other than the fact that they cannot be of the bourgeois class which by the time this system of rule would be implemented then ideally the bourgeoisie would have been eleminated as a class. not only that but soviet democracy is not a supposed to be a government-controlled democracy but rather a democratically controlled government similar to that of the US legislature and theoretically more accurately representative of the population than that of the united states due to the proximal nature soviets should have with their constituents. Solidusspriggan 11:32, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Can you rephrase "not only that but soviet democracy is not a supposed to be a government-controlled democracy" please? Thanks, Andjam 12:15, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

well near the end of the article it states

When Stalin came to power he consoliduated much more authority under the party. Soviets were transformed into 
the bureaucratic structure that existed throughout the history of the Soviet Union and were completely under 
control of the party officials. During the time of Stalin's leadership of the USSR, the centralized power was 
consolidated under Stalin and the politburo rather than within the working class or proletariat.

this is what i meant by supposed, the fact that after the fall of the actuallity of soviet democracy came this state controlled democracy/dictatorship until stalin's death.

this page seems really biased[edit]

More on bias and mistakes: Lenins 'What is to be done' article has been cited over and over by opponents of the Russian revolution and of Lenin and his theory of the party. In fact, as Lenin himself said in subsequent writings and meetings, the statements about the workers abilities were made hurriedly in relation to particular political circumstances at the time, and Lenin *never* repeated these claims. Moreover, the party was far more pluralistic and internally democratic up to and including during the 1917 revolution than your article, or Lenins opponents, would have us believe. It was under the pressure of facing German aggression against Russia in WWI, a post-revolution civil war with right-wing forces, and attacks by something like 21 foreign armies on Soviet Soil, followed by Lenins death and the triumph of Stalinism, that Soviet democracy degenerated. You can source information on all these points. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:01, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

I'm not saying its wrong (I don't know) but the stuff about lenin sounds really biased and doesn't seem to be sourced. - —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) July 1, 2006 (UTC)

well, It's not wrong or very biased, I would go as far to say that this is one of the least biased political articles around. I am a little concrened about the villification of stalin on wikipedia. I know stalin did many terrible things but people tend to try and make him sound like a fascist sometimes which he couldn't be farther from. I did a major revision of this article and alot of the information that seems unsourced is actually pulled from various wikipedia articles where it is sourced. Beyond that I got some of it from lecture in russian history class at the university, the same information was covered in out books but i sold them, still have the notes tho. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Solidusspriggan (talkcontribs) July 19, 2006 (UTC)

What "terrible" things? You mean the nazi propaganda carried on by the US? -G

I agree. The article is sepposed to be about soviet democracy as a democratic system. Yet the Soviet Union is cited excessively. While it only makes sence to mention the USSR under the "history" section, it doesn't make sence to mention it every where else. (User:Demigod Ron)

Splitting this article[edit]

Soviet democracy should deal with how soviet democracy works. The other articles in the democracy portal are done in this way, they only say how that form of democracy works and where it originated. This article however deals mostly with the history of democracy (namely soviet democracy) in the USSR. Therefore the article should be split into Soviet Democracy which will highlight how that form of democracy functions, and Democracy in the Soviet Union which will describe how democracy in general was handled in the USSR. (Demigod Ron 00:22, 26 February 2007 (UTC))

There is almost nothing about soviet democracy outside the soviet union. Do you have some sources regarding this? Ultramarine 07:18, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

The article only needs to illustrate how soviet democracy works. And it has been implimented anywhere were workers' councils have sprung up (Demigod Ron 04:39, 27 February 2007 (UTC))

Source please.Ultramarine 09:51, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Soviet democracy is applied to any state using workers' councils as organs of government. Therefore "soviets" have existed in Germany during 1918, Turin, Italy during 1919-1920, Spain during 1936, Hungary during 1956, France during 1968, Chile in 1973 as cordones, and Iran during 1978-1979 as shoras. (Demigod Ron 20:23, 3 March 2007 (UTC))

Original research which is not allowed unless you provide a reliable source.Ultramarine 20:49, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

What would qualify as original research? It seems to me that, amongst other things, what you wrote under the 1918 constitution about the Bolshevik party being declared the rulers of Russia is original and incorrect. "Bolshevik" is not mentioned anywhere in this first constitution. Therefore it seems as if you're trying to further some agenda by providing the public with incorrect information. (Demigod Ron 00:05, 6 March 2007 (UTC))

Read Wikipedia:Attribution. Probably incorrect to state that they were formally recognized so removed this. On the other hand, see this:

Article 9. The main objective of the constitution of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, designed for the present transitional period, is to establish the dictatorship of the urban and rural proletariat and the poorest peasantry in the form of a powerful All-Russia Soviet Government, with a view to completely suppressing the bourgeoisie, abolishing exploitation of man by man, and establishing socialism, under which there will be neither division into classes nor state power.[1]

Article 65. The right to elect and to be elected is denied to the following persons, even if they belong to one of the categories listed above:

  • Persons who employ hired labour for profit;
  • Persons living on unearned income, such as interest on capital, profits from enterprises, receipts from property, etc.;
  • Private traders and commercial middle-men;
  • Monks and ministers of religion;
  • Employees and agents of the former police, the special corps of gendarmerie and the secret political police department, as well as members of the former imperial family;
  • Persons declared insane by legal proceeding, as well as persons in ward;
  • Persons condemned for pecuniary and infamous crimes to terms established by law or by a court decision.[2] Ultramarine 09:19, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I fail to see why the explination for the constitution of 1977 is so long and detailed. The other consitutions are condenced. Besides the constitution of 1977 should not even be mentioned since by the time of it's introduction the soviets had lost their bureaucratic power. Hence the 1977 constitution has no reason to be mentioned under the heading "constitutions which implemented soviets." (Demigod Ron 03:45, 7 March 2007 (UTC))
You have a point with this. However, already the 1936 constitution used direct eletions and the name Soviet continued to be used for certain bodies. Regarding the power of the Soviets, most historians argue that they never had any real power but were only rubber stamp bodies for first Lenin, especially after he had outlawed "fractions", and then for the following dictators.Ultramarine 14:45, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

This article indeed does need to be split. Soviet democracy as a concept is essentially in opposition to what it was in the Soviet Union. In much the same way as marxism, as a theory, is very very different to what happened in the Soviet Union. The marxism page does not go on about the USSR, and neither should this one. Mentioning it in history is relevant, but references to Stalin and his ilk in discussions of the theory of workers' council-based democracy is hardly valid. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sarg Pepper (talkcontribs) 00:07, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Soviet vs. Council Democracy[edit]

Why are these two things equated? The Soviet system deserves its own article, while Council Democracy is a theory advocated by anarcho-syndicalists, left-communists, council communists, and Industrial Unionists. Certainly the USSR deserves its own page, but referring to the theories of the radical left as necessarily "Soviet" is tantamount to redbaiting. Anarchists and most other radical left thinkers would not support the USSR, Lenin, Stalin, or any other dictatorship. (talk) 12:08, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

A big problem in this article[edit]

Is not clear if the "soviet" in "soviet democracy" refers to the "soviets" (worker's councils) or to the Soviet Union.-- (talk) 15:41, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Bolshevik coups d'etat: new commentary added[edit]

I inserted material from Brovkin's The Mensheviks After October to highlight the real Bolshevik coups d'etat that occurred from March 1918 onwards:

[In Sormovo] The Bolsheviks tried to delay elections, but an outbreak of strikes forced them to give way. N. Bykhovskii reported that the election returns had brought 21 seats in the EC of the new soviet to the Mensheviks and 18 to the Bolsheviks and Left SRs... The Bolsheviks not only declined to make an accounting but refused to hand over power to the new majority.


The Bolsheviks came to power in Viatka province only in January 1918, just when the plants' production was drastically curtailed. Many workers were laid off. The opposition parties naturally blamed the Bolsheviks. In elections to the Izhevsk soviet in February 1918, the Menshevik-SR bloc, together with the nonparty delegates, won a majority... The Bolsheviks refused to honor the election results and insisted on new elections in May, at which they were soundly defeated: only 22 Bolsheviks were elected out of 170 delegates... This soviet was disbanded as well.

In the EC formed in Zlatous following elections there, the Bolsheviks held three seats, the Menshevik-SR bloc nine, and nonparty delegates nine. The chairman elected by the Menshevik, SR, and nonparty votes was arrested and the soviet disbanded... In Syzran, the newly elected soviet, with a Menshevik-SR majority, was disbanded and its chairman arrested.


Elections [in Rostov] were held, and the returns brought the Mensheviks a majority in the city soviet. The Mensheviks' victory could have ended tragically for them. It turned out that the Bolsheviks were planning to install machine guns in the soviet building and shoot the "Menshevik counterrevolutionaries" during the session. Cooler heads prevailed, however, and the soviet was simply disbanded...

Kjk2.1 (talk) 04:48, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Direct Democracy[edit]

So to be clear: there has never been any form of direct democracy in the Soviet Union? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lbertolotti (talkcontribs) 00:31, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Yes, there has never been any form of direct democracy in the Soviet Union! Xx236 (talk) 10:28, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

The process begins when the workers of a city elect their local soviet.[edit]

No, the process begins when the Party decide, who will be elected. Xx236 (talk) 10:48, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Open bias[edit]

The article lists Soviet and pro-Soviet works on Soviet democracy but doesn't inform about critical works.Xx236 (talk) 10:30, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

Oh yes, historian Robert Conquest described the Soviet democracy as "a set of phantom institutions and arrangements which put a human face on the hideous realities: a model constitution adopted in a worst period of terror and guaranteeing human rights, elections in which there was only one candidate, and in which 99 percent voted; a parliament at which no hand was ever raised in opposition or abstention."[1] My very best wishes (talk) 19:28, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
An academic text Xx236 (talk) 07:07, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
  1. ^ Robert Conquest Reflections on a Ravaged Century (2000) ISBN 0-393-04818-7, page 97


There is a book: Kronstadt 1917-1921: The Fate of a Soviet Democracy by Israel Getzler Xx236 (talk) 07:20, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Vanguard party[edit]

I would like to propose that the section on the "Vanguard party" should be amended with a disclaimer, to acknowledge that Lenin's use of the "vanguard party" idea in early works like What Is To Be Done? did not logically imply a single-party dictatorship (unimagined at that time) and was equally applicable to a party such as the (German) SPD. This use of the idea in the Stalinist constitution of 1936 and the later PRC Constitution reflects a revision dating to around 1919, when the fact of single-party rule amid civil war and armed conflict between the Soviet state and both factions of the SRs, defensist Mensheviks, etc. became institutionalized as a theoretical monolith, to be imitated by later "Leninist" states. For citation, see Paul LeBlanc, Lenin and the Revolutionary Party, p. 293-300; primary sources of varying political trends by Victor Serge, John Reed, Bertrand Russell, etc. will also bear out these claims. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:58, 4 October 2016 (UTC)