The Russian Revolution

One very important event that influenced Orwell was the Russian Revolution. The theories of Karl Marx were more than fifty years old when Lenin and the Bolsheviks seized power in October 1917. The response of people around the world was one of hope, that this was the beginning of an International Workers’ movement that would bring Communism into existence. The reality was that Stalin rose to power, instituted a police state, developed a cult of personality around himself and purged millions of people whom he thought might stand in his way. His capacity for cruelty was unprecedented in human history. He controlled all avenues of information, falsified history, and through the use of five-year plans forced the population to overwork. He developed a public enemy for the people to hate, in Nazi Germany, but signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler in 1939. Through show trials and purges, he removed almost every member of the Soviet Army down to the rank of captain.

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