The U.S.S.R. and the Future: An Analysis of the New Program of the CPSU

The U.S.S.R. and the Future: An Analysis of the New Program of the CPSU

The U.S.S.R. and the Future: An Analysis of the New Program of the CPSU

The U.S.S.R. and the Future: An Analysis of the New Program of the CPSU

Excerpt

The new Programme of the CPSU, to which this Symposium of essays is devoted, may not prove in the end to be such an epoch-making document as its sponsors have claimed. Like its predecessor of 1919, it may in time seem to offer too many handles to critics and be consigned to oblivion. It is also the case that at the Twenty-Second Congress of the Party in October 1961, which was primarily convened in order to debate and adopt the Programme, the limelight of publicity was stolen by the dramatic denunciation of Stalin and of his alleged supporters in the USSR and outside. Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to doubt the significance of the Programme. Whatever fate may be in store for it in the internal political life of the Soviet Union, its present importance lies in the fact that it represents the image which the Soviet leaders, after much deliberation and thought, wish to project, both at home and also abroad. It will probably be some time before we have another statement on which so much care has been lavished.

The Programme is therefore not unworthy of the study which the scholars whose essays are printed in this volume have devoted to it. It is not for me, when so many more competent than I have examined the Programme from all important angles, to burden the reader with a discussion of any of its particular aspects. But it may not be out of place to look at its more general nature and character, and to search in it for some clues to the political climate in the Soviet Union as it enters the Sixties, and looks ahead, both at home and abroad. Ostensibly, of course, the Programme looks ahead to communism, and it is to the task of building communism, on the delights of which the vaguer parts of the Programme wax very lyrical, that the Soviet citizen is summoned by its final clarion call: "The Party solemnly proclaims: the present generation of Soviet people shall live in communism." The communist utopia had fascinated political thinkers long before Marx, as interpreted by Lenin, brought it into the realm of party politics. As we know from his 1844 manuscript, Marx's vision of the coming future, when men would no longer be "alienated from society and when all the failings that characterise the daily life of men would . . .

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