Download Soviet Communists in Power: A Study of Moscow during the by Richard Sakwa (auth.) PDF

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By Richard Sakwa (auth.)

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Additional resources for Soviet Communists in Power: A Study of Moscow during the Civil War, 1918–21

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The Bolshevik response to these problems led to the promotion of radical policies which together came to be known as war communism, lasting from about mid-1918 to March 1921. The genesis of this system and the manner of its implementation at this time are crucial issues in understanding the nature of the Soviet system. The key question revolves around the issue of whether war 20 Soviet Communists in Power communism was a conscious attempt to move rapidly into the realm of communism or whether it was largely a response to the requirements of fighting a civil war in twentieth-century conditions.

Szamuely suggests some of the answers: the economic policies of war communism established a 'momentary correspondence between the earlier theoretical assumptions about socialist economy and the everyday requirements of practice'; and since this economic organisation had proved effective in winning the war then why not apply it to the peaceful construction of socialism; and the victory itself seemed to prove that the theory had been correct. 118 It 28 Soviet Communists in Power was to take further economic collapse and worker and peasant insurgency, together with dangerous conflict within the party, before the need for NEP became 'self-evident'.

Purely soviet power, as proposed by the Leninists, meant their complete and immediate rejection. The coalitionists' views harked back to an earlier stage of the revolution, when, for example, even the radicals of the Moscow Ob/ast Bureau in their proposals for the political structure of Russia to be incorporated in the new party programme called for a democratic republic with a parliament and made no mention of destroying the bourgeois state at all. 7! Times had changed, however, and the coalitionists' political ideas predated the shift inaugurated by Lenin's State and Revolution and its insistence on the need to smash the old state.

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