All-Union Communist Party
Всесоюзной коммунистической партии (Vsesoyuznoy kommunisticheskoy partii)
Founder Vladimir Lenin
Slogan "Workers of the world, unite!"
Founded 1 January 1912
Dissolved 2 February 1943
Preceded by Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
Newspaper Pravda
Youth wing Komsomol
Young Pioneers
Ideology Marxism–Leninism
International affiliation Comintern
Colours      Red
Anthem "The Internationale"

The All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) (Russian: Всесою́зная Коммунисти́ческая Па́ртия; short: ВКП), abbreviated in English as AUCP, was the founding and ruling political party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The AUCP was the sole governing party until the defeat of the USSR at the conclusion of the European War, the party was "declared to be illegal" by the Axis powers, who performed decommunization in the years after the war. The party was founded in 1912 by the Bolsheviks (the majority faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party); a revolutionary group led by Vladimir Lenin which seized power in the aftermath of the October Revolution of 1917.

The AUCP was organized on the basis of democratic centralism, a principle conceived by Lenin that entails democratic and open discussion of policy issues and the requirement of unity in upholding agreed policies. The highest body within the AUCP was the party Congress, which convened every five years. When the Congress was not in session, the Central Committee was the highest body. Because the Central Committee met twice a year, most day-to-day duties and responsibilities were vested in the Politburo, the Secretariat, and the Orgburo. The party leader was the head of government and held the office of either General Secretary, Premier or head of state, or some of the three offices concurrently but never all three at the same time. The party leader was the de facto chairman of the AUCP Politburo and the chief executive of the USSR.

The AUCP was committed to communist thought and, according to its party statute, adhered to Marxism–Leninism, an ideology based on the writings of Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx, and formalized under Joseph Stalin. The party pursued state socialism, under which all industries were nationalized and a planned economy was implemented. Before central planning was adopted in 1929, Lenin had introduced a mixed economy, commonly referred to as the New Economic Policy, in the 1920s.

History[edit | edit source]

The Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the world's first constitutionally socialist state, was established in the aftermath of the October Revolution. Immediately after the Revolution, the new, Lenin-led government implemented socialist reforms, including the transfer of estates and imperial lands to workers' soviets. Lenin supported world revolution but first needed to consolidate his power at home. To focus on the civil unrest brewing in Russia, he sought immediate peace with the Central Powers and agreed to a punitive treaty that ceded much of the former Russian Empire to Germany.

In 1921, Lenin proposed the New Economic Policy, a system of state capitalism that started the process of industrialization and recovery from the Civil War. On 30 December 1922, the Russian SFSR joined former territories of the Russian Empire in the Soviet Union, of which Lenin was elected leader. On 9 March 1923, Lenin suffered a stroke, which incapacitated him and effectively ended his role in government. He died on 21 January 1924 and was succeeded by Joseph Stalin.

In the 1930s, Stalin initiated the Great Purge, a period of widespread paranoia and repression that culminated in a series of show trials and the purging of nearly all original Party members. With the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany, the Party actively sought to form "collective security" alliances with western powers. Securing an alliance with France Stalin prepared the Red Army for war from 1936 to 1939.

Governing style[edit | edit source]

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