The radical shifts in policies towards the economic, social and political landscape of the Soviet Union from 1917-1924 can be mainly attributed to the Bolshevik party's desire to seize, consolidate and sustain power in the face of internal and external opposition. Although egalitarian Marxist ideology spawned ideal Bolshevik policies, to retain their power, Lenin prioritized pragmatism, ruthless terror and political survival above ideological purity. Bolshevik ideology primarily began to subside from its Marxist roots during the October revolution in 1917 in Petrograd, when the party first seized power from Kerensky's Provisional Government. Although these revolutionary intelligentsias established a "dictatorship of the proletariat" and pragmatic reforms that placated the masses, the working class were volatile and indecisive in their loyalties due to some inevitable decisions that displeased the working class. However, Lenin's April thesis presents Marxist ideology, as he strongly emphasizes Russia's readiness for revolution as a result of WWI. .
The processes of industrialization, furthermore, should not interfere as Lenin claims it will be a social clerisy that would infiltrate the working class with class-consciousness, which therefore, would prevent a spontaneous proletariat revolt to unfold against the exploiting classes. Not only was the revolution un-Marxist in character, as David Christian discusses, it was meticulously carried out by a small group of trained revolutionaries to initiate secure control of Russia – the Military Revolutionary Committee led by Trotsky. Therefore, the validation of the October revolution in Lenin's April thesis reinforces the ideological flexibility of the Bolsheviks.
In the earlier months of Bolshevik rule, the party struggled for power through its main source of support – workers and peasants. The government continued with demolishing the old machinery of coercion, the legal system, the police, conscription, bureaucracy, and discipline in the Red Army.