The fear of Bolsheviks is known as Bolshephobia. Bolshevism is the desire to apply Marxist principles to society.
Reasons For This Phobia
The fear of communist doctrines will fuel this phobia. People who feel that Communism is unnatural and unhealthy will rebel against this school of thought.
In Russia, the shadow of the Communist past hangs heavy over its populace, where Communist leaders imposed strict rules about income, religion, and politics.
Communism Frightens Many
In the Western world, Communism was a product of Cold War fear and paranoia. Americans, in particular, were wary of it, since it is the polar opposite of Capitalism, which allows for many freedoms with regard to commerce and freedom of religion, etc.
Those who fear Bolshevism may perceive it as a flawed system, one that contradicts the natural order of things. Bolsheviks were one section of the Communist Party, and Leon Trotsky was one famous proponent of Bolshevism.
Vladimir Lenin was the founder of Bolshevism. For some with this phobia, his legacy is a frightening one. Lenin is only one of the most famous leaders whose reign was tied up in Bolshevik thinking.
Bolshevik Dictators Inspire Terror
Another, Stalin, a bloodthirsty dictator whose reign of terror went on for far too long, is a primary trigger for this phobia.
The gulags (Russian prison camps) were a place where dissidents, or political prisoners, could be found living in harsh, filthy conditions during Stalin’s time.
Those who opposed the Bolshevik regime paid a heavy price. Executions, separations from friends and family, and prison sentences in rough barracks where food and water were scarce, were oftentimes the punishment for speaking out against the system.
Marxism touted freedom through equality, through sharing, and through a thought system that turned away from Orthodox religion. However, in Communist Russia, there was little freedom for citizens, who were forced to endure countless hardships while toiling for the State.
The Travails Of Russians Under Communism Are A Trigger
As well, the dictatorial leadership of the time placed many demands on its citizens. They were deprived of a voice. Today, the reign of Stalin, who is widely viewed as a butcher and oppressor, are triggers for Bolshephobia.
The Cold War brought out this phobia is many Americans. The threat of nuclear oblivion, brought on by the conflicts in belief systems (between East and West), caused the Cold War to drag on for decades. Escalations in weaponry, espionage, and misunderstandings between America and Russia became an enduring symbol of the differences between the doctrines of Capitalism and Marxism.
Capitalism Vs. Communism?
On the one side, Capitalists in the West were regarded as “pigs”, greedy carpetbaggers with little empathy or depth. On the other side, Communists were seen with a jaundiced eye as workers who were content to hand over the fruits of their labors to the State.
Primarily, fear of Communists, dictatorships, and Cold War thinking are the biggest triggers for this phobia. People who’ve endured life under such harsh rule will be the most likely to suffer from the phobia. However, it also affects those who don’t really understand the principles of Bolshevism, and see it as an evil they don’t really comprehend. Lack of education and historical perspective can be as apt to cause Bolshephobia as an acute understanding of politics and history.
Symptoms And Treatment
The symptoms of this phobia will manifest themselves in the form of panic attacks, where sufferers become dizzy, nauseated, or tense around triggers. A feeling of unease, terror, and physical malaise is common.
Treating this phobia may require more education into politics and the waning influence of Bolshevism in the modern world. Psychotherapy may help to treat any symptoms caused by painful memories or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Other Names For The Fear Of Bolsheviks
Fear of Bolshevism