The Russian Revolution & the experience of the Soviet Union helps clarify two important aspects of political theory:
1. The nature of working class democracy
2. The stages involved in the transition to communism
The form of working class democracy was first clearly identified in what was the first workers’ revolution: the Paris Commune of 1871. This lasted just two months before the Communards were massacred in their thousands. The democracy of the Commune was not a parliamentary one. It was a working body as well as a law-making institution. Both executive & legislative. Not a talk-shop for puffed-up egos. Those holding office were paid the salary of an average manual worker. They could be recalled at any time. It was a much more participative democracy than the ‘vote once every five years’ so-called representative democracy of Westminster.