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How significant a role did Ideology play in the formation of Soviet foreign policy - Essay Example

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The paper operates mainly based on research questions which can be stated as follows: How significant a role did Ideology play in the formation of Soviet foreign policy? The research will investigate the following: policy under Lenin, ideology in the modern world, policy of alliances…
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How significant a role did Ideology play in the formation of Soviet foreign policy
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Download file to see previous pages The paper tells that Soviet analysts have held that the central characteristic of Soviet foreign policy was established through Lenin’s Decree on Peace that was approved in November 1917 by the Second Congress of Soviets. It set forth the two fold objectives of Soviet foreign policy that encompassed both peaceful coexistence and proletarian globalism. On the one side, proletarian globalism is understood as the normal basis for the working classes of all nations that struggled to bring down the bourgeoisie and to introduce communist governments. On the other hand, peaceful coexistence referred to adopting procedures to establish comparatively passive inter government relationships with capitalist nations. Both these policies could be pursued together because Soviet policy makers believed that peaceful coexistence assumes that there will be strong resistance to imperialist aggressions. It also presupposed the backing for people protecting their radical achievements or fighting external oppressions. Under Lenin, the policy of the Soviet Union can be defined as involving both pragmatism and ideology, which was a part of the dialectical process. Marxist ideology provided a strong basis for the Bolsheviks to act against the material conditions faced by them. Marxism Leninism pertained to the idea of contextualizing Soviet actions relative to the material circumstances that confronted the Bolsheviks and the proletariat during this period. The initial foreign policy decisions taken by the Bolsheviks were about the issue of how the Great War was to be approached. Eventually, the Bolshevik government made a decision to end the involvement of the Tsar with the central powers by accepting the peace terms dictated by Germany. Consequently, the Bolsheviks lost control of several regions that were under Russian control such as Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, which implied the loss of vast areas as well as more than a population of 50 million people, including coal mining, iron production and significant parts of the rail networks. Accepting such severe terms can be understood as a practical approach towards foreign policy because the Soviets wanted to have the best possible bargain under the given circumstances (Goldgejer, 1994). During this time, there were divisions in terms of the relationship between pragmatism and ideology amongst Lenin, Trotsky and Bukharin. Lenin felt that the decisions taken were in keeping with the Soviet ideology and Trotsky held that if there was no war, peace could not be established, which meant that a cease fire had to be called for without getting involved in the signing of peace treaties. Bukharin believed that there should be a revolutionary war because he wanted that Russia should continue with the war, which would allow Russia to get support from the Germans who in turn would stop assisting the war initiatives against the Bolsheviks. In this context, communist ideology indicates that Bukharin’s sense of communists was the actual understanding of Marxism because of the element of internationalism (Hoffman et al., 1981). Foreign policy of the Soviet Union is often held responsible with compromising on ideology relative to the need for integrating into the global political identity, which was primarily for economic motives. Soviet pragmatism aimed at gaining trade rights by providing capitalist nations with access to the country’s natural resources (Kull, 1992). This policy was driven by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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