In 1912, a bolshevik faction was formed within the Social democratic workers‘ party of Russia. It derived its name – bolsheviki – from the situation which arose at the party congress in London in 1903 when the majority (bolshinstvo) of the delegates sided with the opinion that Russia of the day needed a violent revolution. The change of conditions was not to happen gradually (e.g. by parliamentary means), but based on a professionally organised and systematically prepared state coup.
This happened in Russia in November 1917 when the bolshevik party headed by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin seized power. It was this faction of the social democrats which went on to become a state party, subjugating and taking control of the state mechanisms, eliminating the role of parliament and government, applying the interests of the party apparatus as a priority and introducing a totalitarian regime in the country. Despite calling themselves bolsheviks, they always represented a small minority of citizens in the state.
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