Soviet Rule in Russia

Soviet Rule in Russia

Soviet Rule in Russia

Soviet Rule in Russia

Excerpt

The present book is meant to serve as a foundation for studies of how Soviet Russia is ruled. It covers a wide range of subjects, all of which call for detailed studies that have yet to be performed. An attempt has been made to delineate in broad outline the soviet system alike in theoretical development and in actual application. The origins and growth of soviet institutions are emphasized.

It is hardly necessary to mention the special difficulties of the task, since the accounts which have appeared on conditions in Russia are a sufficient indication. Soviet Russia, refuses to be frank with herself, and it is correspondingly difficult for a foreigner to seek to look under the surface and at the same time to keep a proper perspective. To interpret accurately the various phases of life in Russia would require a long period of residence in the country, as was the case with Mackenzie Wallace when he wrote his still invaluable work entitled Russia, published in 1887. An intermediate period of observation between this and the accounts of writers who spend one week in a strange country in order to confirm previously maintained impressions serves often to confound and perplex. It may not be amiss here, however, to make two general observations, one of which will apply to the text of the book and the other to the appendixes.

First, there is in Russia, as in all countries to varying degrees, a wide margin between theory and practice. This factor has perhaps reached its acme in the communist system of administration. An act may define the jurisdiction of a given administrative body, while at the same time the framers of the legislation are perfectly aware that it corre-

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