- The Bolshevik (Majority) faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) emerged in 1903, following a party dispute over tactics and organization. The Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, argued for a party led by professional revolutionaries. The Menshevik (Minority) faction supported a mass-based party similar to the German Social Democratic Party or the British Labour Party. But Lenin and his closest associates broke with the majority of European socialists, who believed that the keys to the victory of socialism were control of the electoral process and the parliamentary process. Lenin advocated a more “Jacobean” program. Victory, he argued, would go to the more ruthless. He was willing to raise money through robberies (“expropriations”) and argued that capital punishment and terrorism were necessary ingredients of a successful revolution.Lenin — as dictator of a revolutionary Russia—put his ideas to work. He believed with every fiber of his being that there was no greater cause than victory. For this victory, he first tolerated and then encouraged revolutionary violence in the name of the Bolshevik Party. Nevertheless, Lenin did not run a tight ship from the standpoint of security: the Okhrana had repeatedly penetrated the movement with informers, including Roman Malinovskiy. Once the tsarist archives exposed the degree of penetration, Lenin called for a strong counterintelligence service to protect the party and the regime.
Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. Robert W. Pringle. 2014.
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