The Bolsheviks seized power in the name of the soviets, councils of deputies chosen in factories and other places of employment by workers supportive of the revolution. After the Bolshevik takeover in late 1917, the soviets provided some of the trappings of democracy but little or none of its substance. Elections to them proved to be easy for Bolshevik agents to manipulate, and within several years they had become little more than localized organs for the despotism of the Communist Party. The constitutional slogan was periodically updated—from “dictatorship of the proletariat” in the first two decades to “state of the whole people” in the Brezhnev period—but the underlying reality of one-party rule persisted.
The initial justification for the abrogation of civil rights was that a brief interlude of dictatorship was a necessary precondition of the socialist paradise ahead. As that paradise receded into the indefinite future, the Soviet leaders felt free in essence to rule as they pleased.
Neither the RSFSR constitution of 1918 nor the USSR constitution of 1924 made reference to the dominion of the Communist Party. That veil was removed in the Soviet constitution of 1936, which, while listing all manner of citizens’”rights,” explicitly said the Communist Party was the “leading core” of the state. The last constitution of the USSR, enacted in 1977, declared the CPSU “the leading and directing force of Soviet society and the nucleus of its political system.” Only the party could “guide the great endeavor of the Soviet people and place their struggle for the triumph of communism on a planned, scientific basis.” "USSR" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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