Political Sociology: A Reader

By S. N. Eisenstadt | Go to book overview
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if as a result the Soviet political system is to change fundamentally, the change will have to come primarily from the outside and not from the inside. Originating in bona fide Communist states and formulated within the framework of the common ideology, alternative and more tolerant notions might gradually penetrate the ruling elite and only afterwards affect the society as a whole. 9 However, if one considers what it took and how long it took for foreign ideas to penetrate the far less controlled Tsarist Russia, to merge with domestic trends and eventually to emerge supreme, and weighs all this against the power of the Communist regime, one may well be justified in cautioning that this erosion must be awaited with a great deal of patience.

For a theoretical analysis of this relationship see William Kornhauser, The Politics of Mass Society (Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1959).
For discussion see Amitai Etzioni, "Authority Structure and Organizational Effectiveness," Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. IV, No. 1 (1959), as well as the following sources cited therein: Robert Dubin, Human Relations in Administration (New York, 1951); Melville Dalton, "Conflicts Between Staff and Line Managerial Officers," American Sociological Review, Vol. XV, No. 3 (1950); A. W. Gouldner, "Cosmopolitans and Locals: Toward an Analysis of Latent Social Roles," Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. II, No. 3 (1957) and No. 4 (1958).
John A. Armstrong, The Soviet Bureaucratic Elite: A Case Study of the Ukrainian Apparatus (New York, 1959); David Granick, The Red Executive (New York, 1960).
I have tried elsewhere to define what I mean by ideology and in what way I think it affects the conduct of Soviet leaders. I will not therefore cover the same ground here. See chapter xvi of my The Soviet Bloc: Unity and Conflict (Cambridge, Mass., 1960), and "Communist Ideology and International Affairs," Journal of Conflict Resolution, September, 1960.
It may be tentatively posited that the ideology-action generalizers at the apex are usually in a closer relationship to the ideologues than to the more subordinate experts. On lower levels, the party apparatchiki are usually in a closer relationship to agitprop than to the experts. (By closer relationship is meant less direct subordination of latter by former.) In revolutionary times (in early post-1917 Russia or even in China today) there tends to be a relative fusion between the ideology-action generalizers and the ideologues (symbolized by Lenin or Mao Tse-tung). With stability a process of differentiation took place, and in some respects the apparatchiki came closer to the experts. In recent years Khrushchev has been trying to counteract this process by stimulating increased activity by the agitprop and by assigning greater responsibility to the apparat, thus compensating for the necessarily greater importance of the experts, given Soviet industrial-technical development.
One may add that an older example of the expression of the survival instinct of a goal-oriented movement through such organizational compulsion towards indoctrination and social integration is provided by church history.
By the former is meant that type of community which because of a continuous and often competitive interplay of groups is necessarily responsive to the impact of new ideas. New York and Paris are good metropolitan examples of actively receptive communities. By a passively receptive society is meant one which does not set up purposeful impediments to the inflow of new ideas.
The political experience of intellectual unrest in Hungary and Poland on the one hand and in China on the other might be relevant here. In the former it was closely associated with demoralization in the party and led to an eruption. In the latter it did not penetrate the party and the regime could quickly suppress it.
There might be an analogy here to the political history of religiously oriented societies. It was only after the Protestant and Catholic states learned to coexist with one another and, for that matter, with non-Christian states, that Protestants, Catholics, and others learned to live with one another within given states. An "interfaith council" in the United States is thus not only an example of conscious toleration but also of a decline in absolutist commitment.

Modernization and the Maoist Vision—Some
Reflections on Chinese Communist Goals

Benjamin Schwartz

What can be said at this point about the broad goals and motivations of the present Chinese Com‐

munist leadership? The question is, of course, distressingly imprecise and begs further definition. Is the leadership a monolithic group? Have its goals remained constant and unchanging? Is there a rigid Chinese Communist "goal structure," etc.?

On the question of leadership I shall simply ad

From Benjamin Schwartz, "Modernization and the Maoist Vision—Some Reflections on Chinese Communist Goals," China Quarterly, No. 21 (January-March 1965), pp. 3-19. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.


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