Four 1970s and 1980s studies of where the Soviet Union went wrong

Brendan Clifford explaining why ‘De-Stalinisation’ was a wrong turn, well before the Soviet decline and fall.

Medvedev on Stalin.  A study from 1980, when the Soviet system was still strong.  It shows that the attempt by Soviet political writer Roy Medvedev to Khrushchev’s attempt to define a ‘Stalinism’ distinct from Leninism was nonsense.  All the Old Bolsheviks had similar ideas.  All of them had a similar willingness to crush and denounce opponents.  Stalin alone was a competent politician when Lenin was no longer there to give guidance.

Soviet Socialism and Law.    A survey of Soviet legal theory.  This shows that an authoritarian attitude was general among Bolsheviks, and indeed was found in many other thinkers.  That Stalin’s own views were relatively moderate.

Market Socialism in the Soviet Union.  A study from the late 1960s, that strongly criticised the economic reforms that were introduced under Khrushchev.  And looks at economic theories of the superiority of market mechanism, which had a lot in common with the New Right ideas applied in the West in the 1980s.

Marxism and Market Socialism.  A second study from the late 1960s, which suggests that economic theorists in the Soviet Union had got into a complete muddle about what was or was not a commodity.  And a history of the idea of Market Socialism.

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