When Lenin died in 1924, he had effected a temporary stabilisation of the Soviet order. But many political, economic, social and international trends grew more worrisome to Bolsheviks who still wished to preserve ‘the gains of October’. The solution that the Politburo adopted at Stalin’s suggestion was a comprehensive revolutionary offensive. It increased the powers of the state over society, but this was never wholly acceptable in the communist central leadership, and tensions contributed to Stalin’s Great Terror.
The USSR became a great European power and helped defeat Nazi Germany but had ‘October’ been saved or its foundations been destroyed?