Download Western Marxism and the Soviet Union: A Survey of Critical by Marcel van der Linden PDF

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By Marcel van der Linden

Jurriaan Bendien (tr.)

The ‘Russian Question’ used to be a fully principal challenge for Marxism within the 20th century. quite a few makes an attempt have been made to appreciate the character of Soviet society. the current publication attempts to painting the advance of those theoretical contributions due to the fact 1917 in a coherent, accomplished appraisal. It goals to provide the improvement of the Western Marxist critique of the Soviet Union throughout a slightly lengthy interval in historical past (from 1917 to the current) and in a wide zone (Western Europe and North America). inside of this demarcation of limits in time and house, an attempt has been made to make sure completeness, via being attentive to all Marxist analyses which not directly considerably deviated from or further to the older theories.


“The volume of resources the writer has studied is staggering...the ebook [has] an encyclopedic worth and [is] obtainable to all students drawn to political history.”
— Martin Kragh, Stockholm tuition of Economics

“Since the Russian adventure continues to be used to vilify the belief of socialism, the talk is still appropriate. Van der Linden...has now produced a accomplished scholarly account of the arguments.”
— Ian Birchall, London Socialist Historians crew

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Additional resources for Western Marxism and the Soviet Union: A Survey of Critical Theories and Debates Since 1917 (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 17)

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105. Trotsky 1920, p. 82; English edition, p. 101. 20 • Chapter Two Moreover, the Russian working class had to mount this horse, if it did not want to be thrown off the historical stage for a whole epoch. And, once it had seized power, and had taken up the reins, all the rest followed of its own accord. ’24 Kautsky’s reply was not slow in coming. In From Democracy to State Slavery (1921), he retorted that, although he was not a Bolshevik, he had nevertheless learnt to ride a horse: It is true I did not learn to ride a horse before I mounted one, but the horse had learnt to carry a rider before I mounted it.

67 He reproached Luxemburg for an ‘organic’ approach to the problem of revolution, whereas, in his opinion, a ‘dialectically-revolutionary’ approach was needed. 68 Luxemburg, he claimed, had failed to recognise that bourgeois and proletarian revolutions were qualitatively different. It was characteristic for a bourgeois revolution, that capitalism had already emerged within the feudal order, causing social and economic dislocations; the revolution was then merely the political and juridical adjustment of a society to changes which, on the economic terrain, had already occurred incrementally to a large extent.

Luxemburg 1922, pp. 113–14; English translation, p. 391, adapted. 30 • Chapter Two If one scrutinises Luxemburg’s discourse as a whole, however, it still remains unclear what the precise implications were. On the one hand, she signalled the danger that the strengthening of bourgeois forces in the countryside, and in nations gaining independence, could lead to a bourgeois counterrevolution aiming at the overthrow of Bolshevik rule. On the other hand, she also envisaged the possibility that the Bolshevik system could degenerate into a bourgeois dictatorship.

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