Why was Bukharin Executed?

Bukharin, Nikolai Ivanovich

(1888-1938): Publicist and economist, member of the Bolshevik Party since 1906. In the years of World War I (1914-1918) adopted an anti-Leninist position on the issues of the proletarian dictatorship, the State, the right of nations to self-determination and others. In 1917 he denied the possibility of the triumph of socialist revolution in Russia. After the October Revolution he was a member of the Politburo of the CC of the Bolshevik Party and the Executive Committee of the Communist International, and the editor of Pravda. He manifested himself repeatedly against the general line of the party: in 1918 he spearheaded the anti-party group of “Left Communists” which opposed signing of Brest-Litovsk Peace; in 1920-1921 he supported Trotsky during the discussion of unions. Bukharin was the major spokesperson for the turn to the rich peasants during the NEP. After 1928 had was a leader of the rightist opposition party. Dismissed the following year from the Politburo of the CC, as well as the Presidium of the Executive Committee of the Communist International; expelled from the party in 1937 for his anti-party activities and executed after the Third Moscow Trial in 1938.

Under Gorbachev, there was an attempt to rehabilitate Bukharin, seeking for a theoretical and historical justification for “market socialism.”

For more information on the charges of 1938, see the Trial Transcripts available in the PDF page.

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