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Soviet Road From War To War.Doc Notes

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Western historical debate on Soviet foreign policy has become a debate on the continuity and discontinuity of Soviet interests from the 1920s to 1939. Stalin had more than one strategy in hand, and his foreign policy initiatives were stamped with idiosyncrasy and vicissitude. In 1941 The Times labelled Stalin's foreign policy-making under the headline "Enigmatic Attitude". Winston Churchill described Soviet policy as "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma" Soviet foreign affairs took a seemingly unintelligible and disconnected route. Robert Donaldson has described the years of 1928-1938 as "Changing Soviet Policy"- effervescent and incoherent. "The picture that emerges is of a very curious dualism in Stalin's policy. Not sufficiently confident of his understanding of foreign affairs, and ever mistrustful of relying entirely on any one adviser, Stalin tried to conduct what amounted to two entirely contradictory lines simultaneously" - Jonathon Haslam. "Stalin's vision of future Communist revolutions was Russocentric" (Robert Tucker). In other words, Stalin's foreign policy was an ensuing marriage between ideology and Realpolitik Aims of Ideology
- Reasons for which the Bolsheviks had come to power - the communist cause
- Soviet security could not be guaranteed until communism had spread further
- Bolsheviks were inclined to think that the development of capitalism, of competition for markets inevitably led to war. Hence to guarantee Soviet security, it was vital to spread communism abroad, especially since now the success of the Russian Revolution presented a concrete threat to the hegemony of the bourgeoisie in the capitalist states. Marx had believed that Europe was the "natural home" of the Socialist revolution. For this purpose Germany was seen as the ideal springboard for revolution. The export of Communism to Germany and Stalin's German orientation was rooted in his Bolshevik political culture and the legacy of Lenin. Not only had Germany been one of Lenin's domiciles in emigration, its pre-1914 Social Democracy had been a chrysalis of his Marxist thought. It was believed that if revolution was to spread like wildfire across Europe, Germany would be the perfect ignition. Russia hoped to use the occupation of the Ruhr in early 1923 as an opportunity to foment revolution in Germany. According to Rolf Ahmann, "Germany, weakened by the First World War, had been regarded as an important bridgehead for the spread of revolution in Europe" Aims of Realpolitik
- Soviets needed to increase their power by developing the domestic economic base of the state internally - hence internal policy determined external policy
- Secure peace while the Soviet has chance to develop

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