“The end of history,” was the theme of a best seller in 1992 written by academic Francis Fukuyama. In the 1920s, the Bolsheviks retreated from the radical ambitions of War Communism with the New Economic Policy (NEP), which allowed a certain role for private enterprise and trade. Readers who can tune out the often exasperating analysis and treat it as unfortunate background noise will enjoy the ride. Soviet leaders argued that one-party rule was necessary because it ensured that 'capitalist exploitation' would not return to the Soviet Union and that the principles of Democratic Centralism would represent the people's will. He quotes Trotsky’s 1928 statement that Stalin’s move against Bukharin was “undoubtedly, an attempt to approach our position,” before going on to assert that Trotsky later believed socialism was “finally being built” under Stalin’s direction, but “could not rejoin the ranks.” In reality, Trotsky’s flawed “Bonapartist” analysis of Stalinism suggested that it was a force wavering between the interests of the working class and the petty bourgeoisie which would continue to do so. By the end of 1924, during the disingenuous campaign against Trotskyism, Stalin had deleted his own previous reference to international revolution as a prerequisite for socialism from his textbook Foundations of Leninism. In addition, personal pensioners paid less for utilities and medicines, but such costs were not too high anyway. As Cold Warriors in the West tried to add as many digits to the death toll as possible, revisionists responded in kind, in an attempt to minimize the scale of repression and Stalin’s role in the mass murder. Most House of Government women, according to Stalin’s niece Kira, had their clothes made to order — “not only dresses and suits, but even overcoats and fur coats.”. Also, the living conditions of the Soviet elite could differ from those of the general population. At times Slezkine lapses into sheer absurdity, claiming that both the Bolsheviks and Nazis followed Marx, “but Hitler did not know it (and the Bolsheviks did not know it about Hitler and did not usually read Marx’s Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right and ‘On the Jewish Question’).”. Slezkine also mangles Trotsky’s analysis of Stalinism. Indeed, Slezkine could simply have read the adulation addressed by Preobrazhensky to Stalin in 1934, quoted in his own book, in which the former Left Oppositionist said the following: “You know that neither Marx nor Engels, who wrote a great deal about the question of socialism in the countryside, knew the specifics of how the rural transformation was going to occur.”. In fact, as Stephen Cohen has argued, Bolshevism was really “a diverse political movement — ideologically, programatically, generationally . Meri, Hindrek. One might expect a thousand-page saga of the Russian Revolution, by one of the most talented and provocative Russian historians alive today, to garner the interest of socialists around the world. Some of the family stories are of people we “may not recognize,” but their lives are so engrossing that the reader might feel they deserve a book of their own. – Kunstiteaduslikke Uurimusi/ Studies on art and architecture, 2004, No 2, pp 11−41. Edit page. In August 1937, the NKVD head Ezhov issued Order No. All the communist party organs had their own nomenklaturas: the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU CC), union republic communist party central committees and regional communist party committees (in the case of the Estonian SSR the latter were the city and district (raion) communist party committees). Includes bibliographical references (p. 895-977) and index. Slezkine conveys the impact upon Kazakhstan of Stalin’s war on the peasantry — forced collectivization and the resulting famine — from the perspective of Sergei Moronov’s inspection tour through the region, alongside his mistress Agnessa Argiropulo. Among the many victims of the Terror depicted here were Tania Miakova and her family. Brilliant, captivating, and often heart-wrenching, in many ways it is social history at its very best. Such approach is too simplistic and fails to consider the formal hierarchies and social strata within the nomenklatura and leaves aside several social groups that cannot be ignored when studying the functioning of the system of privileges. Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; U.S.S.R.), former northern Eurasian empire (1917/22–1991) stretching from the Baltic and Black seas to the Pacific Ocean and, in its final years, consisting of 15 Soviet Socialist Republics. Debate over the future of the economy provided the background for Soviet leaders to take more power in the years after Lenin's death in 1924. The objective of this paper is to examine the privileges that accompanied social or official positions and were acquired with the help of such positions, giving the chosen few access to social and economic benefits, which were completely or mostly unattainable for the rest of the people. The House of Government: A Saga of the Russian Revolution did finally appear, however, during the centennial of the Russian Revolution in 2017. The extravagant lifestyles of some House residents pales in comparison to their proclivity for violence, which, according to Slezkine, was bound to figure prominently in an “apocalyptic movement” like Marxism: “Violence generally made good theoretical sense. The overwhelming majority of people in society are working class, living from pay-cheque to pay-cheque. The Soviet Ruling Class. Nomenklatura was abolished as the Communist Party lost its monopoly of power and the Soviet Union collapsed. References to this book. Any attempt to square the prevailing barrack socialism with the ideas of Marxism was rarer still, even in private. By Olimpiad S. Ioffe.t Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1985. The capitalist class live by systematically exploiting the working class. The crucial thing, as Stalin told his industrial managers in 1931, was closing within a decade the fifty- or hundred-year gap separating the USSR from the advanced capitalist states, “or we will be crushed.”. Despite such serious flaws, as a prosopographical study of how an important part of the party apparatus converted itself into a new ruling class, The House of Government fills a huge gap in the history of Stalinism, even if the author himself doesn’t view it in such terms. Beijing’s ruling class is haunted by the fall of the Soviet Union Brutal treatment of Hong Kong protests shows the Communist Party is gripped by fear of a Soviet-style loss of ideological control . Klassid klassideta ühiskonnas. Tallinn 2010. The struggle has pitted the workers against the privileged, oppressive, and property-owning ruling class. The capital was … Matthews, Mervyn. After seven years of war, civil war, and failed European revolutions, Stalin’s vision of “socialism in one country” was a gesture of appeasement to the more conservative sections of the party, offering them stability in contrast to the supposedly adventurous Trotsky, whom Stalin described as the Don Quixote of communism. Unfortunately, Slezkine’s depiction of the Bolsheviks as a millenarian sect obscures rather than clarifies this process. Maintain property and make a profit. Lankots, Epp. As strange as it may seem today, a few decades ago the “revisionists” — apologists for Stalin — could make arguments about the Terror that were taken seriously. those in short supply) and other benefits. All the Bolsheviks expected it as part of the Revolution, and no one could possibly object to it in principle.” Slezkine does not explain why October was so violent in Moscow, yet almost bloodless in Petrograd, or why, as he observes, “the intensity of violence subsided” during the 1920s. 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