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By Thomas M. Twiss

In the course of the 20th century the matter of post-revolutionary paperwork emerged because the so much urgent theoretical and political hindrance confronting Marxism. not anyone contributed extra to the dialogue of this query than Leon Trotsky. In Trotsky and the matter of Soviet paperwork, Thomas M. Twiss lines the advance of Trotsky’s considering in this factor from the 1st years after the Bolshevik Revolution in the course of the Moscow Trials of the Nineteen Thirties. all through, he examines how Trotsky’s conception of occasions motivated his theoretical figuring out of the matter, and the way Trotsky’s idea reciprocally formed his research of political advancements. also, Twiss notes either strengths and weaknesses of Trotsky’s theoretical point of view at every one level in its improvement.

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Extra info for Trotsky and the Problem of Soviet Bureaucracy (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 67)

Sample text

However, in later years Trotsky, too, would come to perceive the relevance of the classical Marxist analysis of bureaucracy for the Soviet situation. chapter 2 Revolution and the Problems of Bureaucracy Soon after the October Revolution, many Bolsheviks began to assert that the problem of bureaucracy had not died with the old regime. Although there was a consensus that bureaucracy was a growing problem, there was little agreement on exactly what that problem was or how to account for its reappearance.

118 The imminent prospect of a Russian dictatorship of the proletariat suggested to Trotsky the relevance of the experience of the first dictatorship of the proletariat, the Paris Commune. 119 In turn, Trotsky’s study of writings of Marx and Engels on the Commune led him to a vision of the dictatorship of the proletariat that was far more anti-bureaucratic and anti-statist than Kautsky’s. Trotsky proclaimed that the first tasks of the proletariat in power would be ‘to consolidate its position, arm the revolution, disarm reaction, widen the base of 116 Lenin 1960–70, vol.

However, on other occasions he employed bureaucracy in a wholly different sense to characterise the enormous inefficiency of the Soviet state and party apparatuses. In later years Trotsky, too, would come to define the problem of Soviet bureaucracy in terms of extreme political alienation. However, in the first period of Soviet power his analysis was unusual in that it rejected both the view that Soviet bureaucracy involved the rule of officials and the notion that it was related to the use of bourgeois specialists.

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